Thursday, May 19, 2011

Armadillo Tails

Yeah, you read that right. Not tales. TAILS.

As in, one of my dogs, right now, is carting around the back shell and tail of an armadillo in his mouth, and it's creeping me OUT.

It all started Tuesday, when I posted to Facebook that "any day without a dead possum in the yard is a good day." Because, yes, we've had a spate of those, thanks in part to our wonderful canine companions.

My sister responded and asked if armadillos counted, because if so, all bets were off. I didn't realize how serious she was until I got home that night, and Anna Marie and my mother told me the tale of coming home from school and seeing the dogs playing - PLAYING - with the carcass of an armadillo. EEEK!

(And yes, someone has enlightened me to the connection between those animals and leprosy. And it's not helping the creep factor, let me just tell you.)

When Jason came home, he disposed of it like he does most things they drag up - by getting a shovel and throwing it into the cow pasture next door. Because we're good neighbors like that. But apparently, the dogs are able to get back there under the fence because remnants of the beast appeared back on the front lawn that night.

Once again, we tried to dispose of it.

Later that night, after Jason and AM had gone to bed, I heard a ruckus outside and looked to see that same object on the front porch. I start screaming uncontrollably, but does anyone get up out of bed to see about me? NO.

(But that's another post for a different day, my friends.)

Our male dog, Lucky, was a rescue dog. I happen to know how he came to the shelter, because he belonged to a man I knew who had passed, whose wife had cancer and couldn't care for him or their other dog so she surrendered them. The other dog had a tumor and was put down, but we adopted Lucky. He's a great dog, but he's got this habit - when you come near him, he picks up something - anything and brings it to you.

It could be a food bowl, or a stick, or a bone he's found - but he never shows up empty-mouthed.

Tuesday night on the porch, he was headed straight for the armadillo. I knew what his little doggie mind was thinking, and scolded him to stay away.

Then, I got desperate. I couldn't stand the thought of them messing with that thing all night, so I went into the kitchen and grabbed some hot sauce - and from four feet away, I flung it towards the remains, screaming at the dogs to stay away all the while.

It worked, at least for a bit, because much later when I checked it was still in the same spot. I was NOT going to stumble around in the dark of night to find the shovel and try to dispose of it myself! I figured that Jason could do his manly duty and get it done in the morning.

By morning, though, I guess either the hot sauce had worn off, of they decided they liked the taste of it, because it was back in the yard. Again.

Again, it was disposed of, or so I thought.

Again, after another ruckus just now, I checked and Lucky was defending our property from some dogs who live around the corner. When I called him, he came running - and ran straight for the armadillo shell, which was lying in the yard. Again.


I wonder how long it takes armadillo shell to burn to a pile of ashes? Because at this point, I'm thinking cremation is the only way to go.

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