As I was making coffee this morning (and by coffee, I mean dark roast espresso with steamed soy milk), I looked out the kitchen window to admire my furry friends playing in the backyard. I noticed that they were stuffing their noses in the grass like pigs hunting truffles. This is nothing particularly new. But then they started to yelp at each other through the tall grass, as if to plead “No, it’s mine!” Maybe they found another big beetle or something to torment. I understand the circle of life, but I have to admit I’ve become fixed on Buddhist belief that no creature should be killed. Except for bees, I hate bees. They scare the living shit out of me. I was recently giving a lecture while a scary looking bee snuck in the classroom for a lesson on statistics. Talk about stressful. But back to the story – I decided to venture outside to see if I could save some poor bug’s life or prevent our dogs from eating something they would regret (i.e., something I would be cleaning out of the carpet an hour later).
As I approached, I saw a glimpse of something in someone’s mouth. I don’t know who’s mouth, because it all became a blur. I swiped for the dog’s collar and it took off. I think there was some sort of exchange, like in football. And then Missy had the little creature. I could see it was small and dark, with a tail. God help me. I chased after her and she ran to the other side of the yard. I screamed as she ran to the back fence line covered by drooping trees. And as I yelled at her to “drop it!”, she did. Just like that. By then I was at her feet holding my hands above the little guy, sheltering him from another attack. The other 3 pups gathered round as I realized it was a mole. An adorable little mole. A mole who had escaped, unscathed, in perfect condition. And wouldn’t you know it, Missy dropped him right in front of a mole hole. He quickly scurried in the soft dirt and was suddenly gone. The dirt quaked for a minute, like jello, and then subsided. My little mole was safe!
After the event I praised Missy for listening to me and she glowed with pride. Perhaps this was because she, and not her 3 brothers, held the mole in her mouth for the longest time, but I’d like to think she was happy to have saved him. For months the dogs have been stalking this little mole to no avail. Why on earth would this mole spend so much time in our yard? A yard filled with 6 dogs nearly all of the time? His most enchanting passages are positioned just under our large trees in between the roots that are buried deep in the soil. Our pups are half hound, so their daily activities are almost entirely determined by scent. And this compels them to dig, dig, dig. If you need a trench dug, our dogs could do it in tandem, in record time. We have just 3 weeks left at this house, and I’m happy to know that we’ll continue to spend it with our little mole friend, who I think we’ll all miss upon departure.