Monday, May 07, 2012

A dog's instincts

Boomer is a mixed breed.  We believe he's part American Bulldog and part Pit Bull.  Both breeds have hunting instincts.  Boomer has shown that in the past.  So, when we found a nest of baby bunnies in our yard, we tried to keep Boomer away from them.  He actually responded quite well to the corrections and stayed away from the nest.  So, on Sunday, when I called A out to come see that one of them was partly out of the nest, I thought Boomer would be okay on the porch.  I didn't expect that baby bunny to take off across the yard.  Then Boomer did what his instincts told him to do, he caught the bunny.  It will be a while before I forget hearing the bunny squeal.  I didn't know bunnies made noise.  I screamed no several times, I grabbed Boomer. He dropped the little baby bunny and it scampered off, wounded.  I was so upset with Boomer.  No matter how smart we think he is, how many wonderful, human-like characteristics we might ascribe to him, he is still a dog.  He did what his instincts told him to do.  So, we found little baby bunny hiding in the grass.  Boomer had been put under house arrest.  The bunny fled from the grass to the gardens.  In all the commotion, two other bunnies fled the nest and went under a rose bush and two more hung out by the nest.  When A started the lawn mower, those two fled to the garden as well.  We tried to put the injured bunny back in the nest.  He hopped right out.  We continued to worry about it all day, checking on him in his new hiding spot.  Then A decided we would create a safe haven for the bunnies until they grew up and left.  So, we now have fencing around the area of the yard where their nest is.  Mommy bunny can get in, big bad Boomer cannot.  The wounded bunny appears to be doing okay.  We watched last night as he moved out of his hiding spot when his mother came.  She cleaned him and tended to him, so we are hopeful that he's going to make it. 
Last thought - I wish I could communicate with the mother and ask her "WTF were you thinking, building a nest in the middle of a yard where you knew there was a dog?"  Strangely, according to the research we have done on wild bunnies, they don't consider dogs to be predators.  One little bunny knows differently now!

1 comment:

Brenna said...

No fault of Boomer's. My girlfriend once ran over a bunny nest on a riding mower. She still feels guilty.