Sunday, July 27, 2014

When Rabbits Scream and other things you don't want to hear.

     Mom was visiting this weekend but needed to be leaving by 7:15 a.m. today.  So after awakening at
6:30 a.m. - I popped up and started the morning routine.
6:32 a.m. - make the coffee
6:33 a.m - let the dogs out
6:34 a.m. - change the cat's water, feed...wait, why are the dogs growling and barking?  That is the wrong timbre for play.
     Hear a God Awful scream of terror
6:34 a.m. - look out the window and see them chasing something - see it try to escape and get stuck in the fence.
6:35 a.m. - race outside in pajamas and slippers and start yelling at the dogs (as quietly as I can so as not to wake the neighborhood) to, "Drop it, stop, let it go," and other useless sentences, as they had no intention of letting it go.
6:36 a.m. - get to the fence and find a wild rabbit half way through the  chain link fence, with my larger dog, Annie, trying to pull it out.  She was certainly not trying to be helpful to it, so I grab her collar and start hauling her up the hill to the house.  Meanwhile, Libby, our little dog, is investigating the smell, but not trying to get at the rabbit.   After much pulling, yanking, dragging, and a touch of cursing, I get the dogs into the house.   Meanwhile  Mom is in the kitchen asking what is going on and if she can help.  My only thought, and thus only directive, was to keep the dogs in the house.
6: 40 a.m. - I go back to the fence, and the darn bunny has moved and made things worse.  It tried to escape out of another section of the  fence - which had the same size diamond shape openings as the rest of the chain link.  It managed to get its head shoulders and ribcage through, but was stuck at the hips.  I try pushing, nothing.  I try stretching the wire - I am not that strong.   After about five minutes I go wake up my husband.
 6:46 a.m. - With my husband at the head, and me at the rear, we try manipulating the poor animal's limbs to see if we can twist it or change the width of its muscles to scooch it through.  No go.  This rabbit is not moving.  We discover that the rabbit (possibly in combination with the dog's teeth and trying to squeeze through a too small opening) has lost a  section of fur, and is bleeding.
6: 56 a.m. - My husband gets some tools.  By this time we have wrapped the front of the rabbit in toweling so it won't flail as much.  I am holding its front end and talking to it as my husband starts dismantling the fence; first unclasping it from the tension wire at the bottom, then one woven wire at a time, shifting and unfolding the  "diamond" openings, all the while trying not to accidentally add any extra pressure to the rabbit's abdomen. Eventually we get it free.  Mom is up on the patio asking how things are going, as she has to leave.
7:15 a.m. - Carry rabbit to the garage - stopping to show Mommy - and put it in a box to examine it.  This  thing is in shock,  but aside from the loss of fur, seems okay.  A bit of discussion and we decide it will be best to let it go, rather than try to rehabilitate it in the garage.  (Certain death, if you recall our chicken rehabilitation episode and later debacle).
7:18 a.m. -  Mommy calls goodbye and heads out as we head to the lower forty to let the bunny go.  After being unwrapped and just laying still, it suddenly pops up and scurries off, down the embankment to its warren.
7:20 a.m. - wash hands and get a well earned cup of coffee.

I really hope this rabbit will now think twice about playing "Peter Rabbit" and sneaking under the fence into our version of Mr. MacGregor's garden.