You wouldn’t think so, right?
Boy, do I have a story for you.
Yesterday, I let Roxie out into our fenced backyard to “do her business”, which is a polite way of saying…well, you know what I’m saying. I made the mistake, it being a lovely summer day and all, of walking away from the family room (where I can keep an eye on her) and getting involved in something else, in another part of the house. The reason that’s a mistake is because Roxie has a problem with not being able to pass up the opportunity to roll in rabbit poo. Usually, on a great summer afternoon, if I don’t keep an eye on her, she will return to the house looking disgustingly filthy (especially around the neck area), and more remorseful than any dog you’ve ever seen. Your honor, I submit Exhibit A, taken after the “first roll of the season”, back in April of this year.
When I remembered that Roxie was outside yesterday, unsupervised, I ran to the back door…just in time to see her rolling on her back like a mad woman, er, dog. It was clear that she hadn’t just begun, either: she was right in the middle of an area about three feet wide where the grass had been flattened by her body. “ROXIEEEEEE!” I screamed, knowing that if she was rolling in what she normally does, the clean-up would be epic.
She seemed to finally hear me screaming at her the third time I called out, and stood at attention for a moment.
And then things got a little nightmarish. Not taking her eyes off of me, she picked up something in her mouth and started chewing. “ROXIEEEE! NO!” I screamed, trying to get her to drop whatever it was. She was on the back edge of the yard, so I couldn’t see exactly what it was. She kept chewing on it, though, and then when she finished, she picked up another piece of it. Suddenly, I was horrified. Whatever she was chewing on was hanging halfway out of her mouth and it looked bloody.
In my mind I went back about six years, when she was still a puppy. I went out to the backyard just in time to see her juggling a baby rabbit. She was literally tossing that little fluffy baby into the air (with her mouth, of course), and then catching it on the way down, only to toss it up again. I was terrified for that rabbit because I suspected that what Roxie was doing would eventually kill it, and I didn’t want that, so I ran out and made her drop the bunny so it could run away.
Yesterday I knew that I was too late to save whatever it was. I frantically called for Roxie to come to me, but she wouldn’t. And I didn’t want to go to her, either. I called out “Are you hungry? Want some food?” because frankly, this dog will do anything for a meal. She let what she was chewing on drop to the ground, and as I watched the bloody-looking, slimey piece of whatever it was fall out of her mouth, I got a little nauseated.
Once Roxie was secure inside our screened-in porch, I grabbed gloves and shampoo. I donned the gloves and dragged her into the bathroom shower stall and lathered her up several times, trying to forget what I had just seen. I made a mental note to take her outside on a leash next time, so she wouldn’t return to the scene of the crime. I was certain that I would have nightmares from the experience.
Later, I attached the leash to Roxie’s collar so she could go out and take care of business again. As I stood by the back door, not letting her venture out too far, I decided that even though I didn’t want to check out the situation at the back of the yard, it was probably best that I assess it anyway.
Slowly I walked towards the flattened grass, as if on a death march, disgusting images running through my head along the way. The bloody-looking pieces of whatever it was came into view as I approached. I couldn’t believe it.
…a tomato, from our vegetable garden.