Beneath the Gentleness Beats the Heart of a Huntress

Cody Awake 1Some days just start off bad.

June 1 should be a great day – the weather should be warm and sunny, and thoughts of beaches and barbecues should run through one’s head.

Alas, ‘twas not to be.

It had rained the night before – a torrential downpour which flooded the back yard.  The yard was still partially flooded the next morning when I took Cody out to do her business.  Cody loves to chase the squirrels and bunnies – and Cody is faster than me.

This particular morning, Cody leaped out of the side door and streaked into the backyard before I could even get my aging legs in gear.  By the time I got there, this is what I saw:


Yes, that is a real bunny.  And yes it is very, very dead.

Fortunately, it was already dead when Cody found it – at least I can comfort myself with knowing that Cody is not a murderess.


“I dare you to take this away from me!”

Of course, Cody thought it was just like her own stuffed toys.  She pranced around the yard daring me to give chase.

I tried telling her to “drop it” – nope, having too much fun.

I tried luring her with treats – nope, not hungry (Cody not hungry?  This is a very serious situation!)

I tried  threatening, begging, sweet-talking.  Forget it.

Meanwhile, I tried to call my husband to let him know that since I was going to be seriously late for work, he would have to come home at lunch time to deal with the dog.  Why do men never answer their phones when it’s important to do so?

How was I going to explain to my boss that I was late because I was chasing a dead bunny around the yard?

I even tried telling Cody that she could take the toy into the house.  She loves to take outside toys into the house. I figured I could barricade her in the attached garage and get the “toy” away from her in a more confined space.

No dice.

Finally, I got out the Frisbee!  I threw it as far as I could.  Not even Cody can resist a Frisbee.

While she ran towards the fence line, I grabbed the bunny by the back legs (I had a plastic bag on my hand to avoid disease).  Cody is quick.  As I was lifting that bunny up, Cody ran back and grabbed it by the head.

Cody thinks tug o’ war is tremendous fun.  I could only picture the little body splitting into two parts.  Fortunately for me, Cody was so intent on her game that I was able to reach down and pinch her jaws, forcing her to let go.  It wasn’t easy holding that critter up high enough to keep it away from the dog, but somehow I managed.

And the dead bunny is no more.

Cody is again the gentle creature we all know and love.



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Images by Cordelia’s Mom

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39 Responses to Beneath the Gentleness Beats the Heart of a Huntress

  1. Paul says:

    That hunting thing is definitely instinctual. It is amazing CM, isn’t it? One minute the calm friendly family animal, the next, a wild killing machine. And with no experience or even observation. Yikes! When I was in high school I had a friend – Debbie – whose Dad was a Forest Ranger or some such forest animal related job. Anyway, the animal park – Shubenacadie – had a baby black bear whose mother had passed away. The little bear needed someone to take care of him so her Dad volunteered. They built a caged run in their back yard but he bear was so attached and would cry if they left him in the run. He became a house-bear. Visiting Debbie always entailed a visit with the bear as well – he’d meet you at the door and follow you around the house. It was a bit surreal to knock on her door and be greeted by a bear from inside. I bet there were a few salesmen who ran screaming.

    Anyway, to my point, as the bear grew, he became more aggressive but play fighting with a bear is a bit problematic. Any sign of aggression on the part of anyone or any animal would trigger an automatic hunting response. The officials involved- vet, animal handlers, bear specialists – were all surprised by how aggressive the bear became and how quickly. They had assumed that being brought up in a house with people, the bear would be more docile. But that turned out to be wrong. They had to take the bear back to the wildlife park when he was less than 6 months old as he got too aggressive too quickly. Even though he had never been around other bears in his life, genetics very quickly took hold as he grew and his behaviour became that of a wild bear. Debbie was very sad when her pet bear had to go..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Did they try neutering that bear? That supposedly works with keeping down the aggression of male dogs as they get older.

      Cody really wasn’t being aggressive with that bunny. I think she was more confused by the fact that the bunny didn’t want to play “catch me” like it has every other day this spring. Every once in awhile, she would put the bunny down and gently poke it, then pick it up again when I got near. This morning, she seemed a bit sad not to find a “playmate” in the backyard – until a squirrel ran up the tree. I hope that squirrel lives a nice, long life.


      • Paul says:

        Yeah, you are probably right about the castration. The problem was that the bear belonged to the animal park and he was just raising it because they didn’t have time and it needed a lot of attention when it was young. Unless it’s for medical reasons, the animal park does not castrate or neuter any of their animals.

        I would imagine you are right about Cody – she likely misses her playmate. Oh well, maybe Mr. Squirrel will keep her amused.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Maggie found a dead rabbit in our garden but came to show us, rather than bring it to us to see. Although she loves the chase (rabbits, hares, pigeons, gulls, squirrels, pheasant, partridge) she has never caught anything to kill it. She rolled a pigeon and flipped a rabbit kitten, but it was a game to her.


    • One of our previous dogs, Morgan (the border collie mix) found a bunny nest in the yard once, and before I could get to her she ate one of the baby bunnies. Guess you can’t stop nature from taking over, no matter how carefully you try to raise them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan Antion says:

    We have a bunny that is calling our neighbor’s yard home and visiting our yard a lot. We are doing our best to keep Maddie from getting near it. She stalks birds (which is what Irish Setters are supposed to do) and she’s very good at sneaking up on birds and squirrels. I don’t want to end up playing tug-of-war with a bunny.


    • That was the worst part. Well, that and worrying that Cody might catch some kind of disease from having a dead animal in her jaws. But I called the vet and was told as long as Cody’s shots are up to date, not to worry.


  4. OMG, I alternated between laughing out loud and shuddering at this one. I can totally picture it! I would have been freaking out. JJ’s torn after the resident bunny in our yard a few times, but luckily it usually spots her before she spots it.


    • Had the bunny still been alive, Cody never would have caught it. In fact, I think that bunny and Cody have been playing “catch me” since the snow melted. The bunny would run circles around the yard with Cody right behind it. Poor Cody couldn’t understand why the bunny wouldn’t get up and play any more. Every once in awhile, she would put it down and poke at it, and then pick it up again when I got close.


  5. Elyse says:

    That is one rough way to start a morning. One of our dogs caught a pheasant when I was growing up. He did not understand at all why everybody was mad at him!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Being me, it did occur to me that if Cody had actually killed that bunny – rather than finding it dead from unknown causes – I could have skilled and cooked it.

      But this is exactly why I refuse to buy dog treats made from “natural rabbit meat.” No need to tempt her more than she already is.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ladyryl says:

    Our Phoenix has caught and eaten a bunny, it didn’t change her demeanor in the least.
    We didn’t realize she had caught one until I noticed the half carcass when I let her out, was going to remove it, but having already eaten that much we let her have the rest. Up to date shots and the heart worm medication she gets was enough to ensure she didn’t get anything bad from it.


    • Our vet did say not to be too concerned about that dead bunny being in the dog’s mouth so long as the dog’s shots were all up to date. Still, I’m glad Cody didn’t actually start eating the darn thing.


  7. willowdot21 says:

    Who killed the rabbit was it Vlad….. he was telling That Head Woozle he needed some BLOOD!!


  8. Hunting is completely instinctual for cats and dogs. Before we fed them food pellets, they hunted.

    But the dead rabbit is more worrisome. Rabbits don’t just die. They die of disease or poison or something. I get far more worried that my kids will eat something they find that is already dead of something dangerous to their health, than that they will hunt and kill an animal that is in their DNA to hunt. We may not like it. It may not be politically correct. But our pet dogs and cars are predators. That’s they way they are wired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m pretty sure the rabbit drowned. We had a torrential rainfall the night before, and I believe the rabbit’s den was flooded. Most likely, the bunny swam out as far as it could and then collapsed and died under the tree where Cody found it. It’s little eyes were open, which leads me to believe it didn’t die from some kind of disease.


  9. lbeth1950 says:

    You need to MYOB and let Cody handle things. She had things goings just fine till you got in her business. Why can’t humans leave well enough alone?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. So familiar. A frantic insistent “Drop it” here quickly becomes a Keep Away game. We reserve a special bacon treat that is only offered in rare situations where it is critical. (and we keep our fingers crossed this continues to work.)
    It looks like Cody is planning the next game….


  11. markbialczak says:

    Cody is being a dog, CM. a very beautiful dog but a dog indeed.


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  13. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:

    I had a different post to re-blog, but then I came across this one.
    And hey – who doesn’t love Puppy Cody? Have a good weekend, everyone!


  14. Over the years, my dogs have killed a coule of birds, a few rabbits, many mice, and one big rat. They NEVER give you the animal back. They killed it, it belongs to them. The rat in particular, I really wanted Bonnie to put that thing down. Who knows what diseases it might be carrying.

    Dogs are predators. No matter how sensitive they may be in other ways, they get a real kick out of killing things they are supposed to kill. Terriers kill rats and mice with verve and enthusiasm. Almost all dogs will hunt rabbits and birds. Our cats kill birds too, if they can. It is their nature.


  15. Aww….Puppy Cody is too cute! So glad to know she is not the murderess. And it”s so good to read Paul’s message/story here. (V●ᴥ●V)


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