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…
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!”
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.”