Death by Dog

This post comes from an email written by Bob, my best friend’s father. Bob is a middle-aged man generally found wearing a fedora, dancing, and/or stroking his long beard while plotting his next escapade. Here are his observations on the animal kingdom…

It’s not easy being green.

Tuesday afternoon, after work, I was going through the screened porch to check on things in the back yard. Just as I was heading out, I noticed an anole at eye level beside the door. I couldn’t help but notice that he had a sad look on his little reptilian face… almost like he had lost the love of his lady lizard. I just ignored him and went about my rounds.

I came back shortly thereafter and was sitting on the porch enjoying the day when there was a small “thump” right beside the door where I had seen him. I looked over and, sure enough, he was lying there on the floor. He wasn’t dead, only stunned. It appeared the little guy had climbed to the very top of the door and flung himself into the wild blue yonder in an apparent suicide attempt! He looked across the porch at me with a very sheepish expression as if to say, “Damn, I couldn’t even do that right!”

The famous Seamous

He seemed to shake it off and moved away, and I was distracted by some movement outside the fence. I called to the dogs and we walked toward the yard to check it out. As we passed, I saw the lizard again, climbing the screen on the door. I didn’t think overly much about it… I figured he would simply climb higher if he needed to get away from the pups. Seamous [a large mixed breed] saw the anole as we went past and made a curious move toward him. But instead of climbing higher, what does Mr. Liz do but climb down right past Seamus, through the door, and out into the yard! Of course, this was more than Seamous could tolerate. He promptly caught Mr. Liz and started “playing” with him.

Now, I was right there as this was happening and I could have intervened. But Seamous has been chasing lizards since he came to North Carolina, and I really felt he had a right to keep his prize. But I didn’t feel right just standing there, so I moved away some distance and observed. Seamus grew tired of the game after a minute or two and dispatched the lizard.

I realized then that what I had just witnessed was another (and this time successful) suicide attempt. Definitely a case of “death by dog.”

Seamous, Bringer of Death (“Who, me?”)


26 responses to “Death by Dog

    • Thanks for letting me know. May I ask why? I can guess, but don’t want to assume. And there are many varieties of tea in my cabinet, so hopefully you’ll come back for a different brew soon.

      • Absolutely – I appreciate your inquiry. Basically, I’m not a fan of people standing by when they see a living being in the path of harm, and not take action when they can safely/reasonably do so.

        (And yes, I know that animals live by different rules/laws of nature than humans. And I wouldn’t stop a lion from hunting a zebra, or some other ‘natural’ occurrence where the survival of one animal depends on him/her exercising his/her hunting instincts. That said, I also don’t allow my dogs to harm other animals if I am present when they attempt to do so. I feed them very good food – they don’t need to ‘hunt’ for their own. And I give them excellent toys, so they don’t need to use other animals for that purpose, either.) πŸ™‚

    • Yes, with a restraining-order kind of love. πŸ™‚

      My friend left Seamous with her parents for a year because she couldn’t house him with her at school. She gets regular email updates from her dad about Seamous’ adventures, and forwarded this one to me, saying, β€œThis is disturbingly sad to me and yet hilarious on a lot of levels.” I tend to agree.

    • Yes – I am in Raleigh, to be precise! When were you here, my lovely researcher?

      I’ll be sure to pass on all compliments about Seamous. Some may find his hunting heartless, but I’ve grown up with cats/dogs and see their playing with smaller creatures as a part of the circle of life… AS IT MOVES US ALL… THROUGH DESPAIR AND HOPE… (Sorry, I jump straight to The Lion King, every time!)

      • Animals do what they will – who am I to stop them?

        I lived on Gorman and the interstate area – about 3 miles from NCSU. I was a system librarian at NCSU’s DH Hill library in 1999.

        If you took Gorman down past the interstate you get to Garner??? and it took you to a little town (maybe Garner, Garney?)

        I did not live in the Containment Area for Relocated Yankees, however πŸ™‚

        And yourself? Are you from NC? It was very hard for me to live there – it is so much different than living in the Southwest – two souths but entirely different cultures.

        I did love the pizza place on Hillsboro (that’s the street that runs past the library by the university, correct?)

        Now if I’d lived in Chapel Hill, I think I would have adjusted much better πŸ™‚

        • This is all simply amazing. (Then again, I am easily amazed.) You remember it so well!

          As for me, I was born in Raleigh, raised from age 3 down at the NC coast, and went to school in Chapel Hill (which is a mecca in this state – a bit homogenous, but delightful). The I ran away to Mexico for two years, and finally came back to Raleigh again.

          My sister lives in Garner, where there is a dive sushi bar that, frankly, terrifies me. And you’re totally right about Hillsborough Street – these days, they have a hookah bar where I write once a week – they serve the best mint tea and stay open ’til 3am every single night.

          P.S. Pork rinds are disgusting. As are Corn Nuts. But boiled peanuts… those are crack in a shell.

  1. I kind of feel sorry for the lizard. I was once surprised by a BEASTLY grasshopper while unfolding a tapestry and was so freaked out that I immediately told my dog to attack it– She started… “playing” with it as you say and then I felt really really bad about it… I eventually scooped up the maimed grasshopper and set him free on the balcony, hoping a bird would come gobble him up and complete the circle of life.

    • I hear you, Aussa. In fifth grade, there was a monster cockroach in our classroom and as it scuttled toward my desk, my friends yelled at me to kill it, so I dropped my textbook on it. But it didn’t die. I smashed it three more times and it was still moving, and I felt so bad I started to tear up, because I didn’t want it to suffer… just to die. Strange, but that’s how I felt. At least your grasshopper got a little more time in the sun.

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