Birdbrained Dog

Sorry for the gripe.

I’m sleepy. Missed a lot of sleep last night when we woke up at 4am to a monotonous barking in our backyard. We live on a small acreage, not near enough to neighbors to usually be bothered by neighbor dogs, and our own dogs were in for the night. Especially with frozen precipitation and a wind chill to 9°F, we couldn’t imagine what the animal was doing, then we remembered we’d set a coyote-sized live trap earlier in the week after something came on the property and spree-killed 5 of our chickens and ducks. Hubby feared maybe we’d caught the culprit, and sure enough, there was our neighbor’s Labrador Retriever in the live trap. We’d caught footage on our wildlife cam of this dog on the property along with a husky that doesn’t belong to the neighbor on the day that the birds were killed, though only the husky was seen with a bird in it’s mouth. Anyway, we’d told the neighbor about it and he’d apologized, and he didn’t know who the husky belonged to, either. Hubby went out and freed the dog and he ran straight home, and we called the neighbor later in the morning to let him know the dog is still coming on our property. Neither of us was able to get back to sleep.

20150223_163655Anyway, with the weather and roads worsening, I closed early this afternoon and was looking forward to a nice little nap. When I got home, what should I hear but more monotonous barking in the backyard. Looked out the window, and there was the same knuckleheaded Labrador back in the live trap for a second incarceration of his own making. I know I’m playing the helpless female a bit here, but I don’t really want to tramp out there in the blowing snow and struggle with opening up the live trap, which has some foreign mechanism that Hubby says is “Tricky”… called the neighbor and he said he’d come and free his birdbrained dog. Still waiting… guess he’s in no major hurry.

So much for the nap. Sigh.



  1. Perry · February 23, 2015

    As I understand it, Labs can be taught easily, but they’re not by nature, the brightest tools in the shed. Though you’d know that better than I, if it’s true. Curious – what delicacy did you provide to lure the canines?


    • jholland · February 23, 2015

      You don’t wanna know. A duck wing from the carnage earlier this week. =(
      Some labs have good sense but many are rather foolish.
      Let’s just say I see a lot that are basically good-natured knuckleheads. Like this one. Lol


  2. Servetus · February 23, 2015

    Puts the lie to the effectiveness of operant conditioning in canines …


    • jholland · February 23, 2015

      Lol. I was actually floored that he’d been back in the same predicament so soon. Neighbor stated the obvious. “He’s dumb as a rock.” I was thinking the same thing but wouldn’t have said so. =)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Helen · February 24, 2015

    And labs are ruled by their stomachs 🙂 We had one we nicknamed binhead… We lived in a school and she occasionally snuck out and raided the kitchen bins, with predictably messy results. If there was a duck wing to be had, she’d have been a regular visitor in your trap – though she was otherwise an extremely bright dog!


    • jholland · February 24, 2015

      Which is why we left the trap closed last night. Couldn’t face another visit from the same dog! You’re right, though. To him, the temptation of the duck wing was just too wonderful. Many of the dogs I’ve done abdominal exploratories on are repeat offenders. They don’t seem to connect the consequences of swallowing whatever they swallowed from the trash can with the pleasure of trash-diving! Not all dogs are this way… our own little mutt spent one afternoon in the live trap last year, and she’s never been back no matter what the bait was. We’ll see her on the wildlife cam sniffing around occasionally, but she won’t go in. Lol


  4. Helen · February 24, 2015

    🙂 Whereas a lab will just think ‘oh well, I’ll take a nap and maybe another duck wing will appear…’ 😉

    The barking was only to say he wanted seconds, please…


    • jholland · February 24, 2015

      LOL! Yep. “It’s awful cold out here. Can I get that next wing hot out of the oven?”


  5. Helen · February 24, 2015



  6. KellyDS · March 1, 2015

    wish I’d had a nice neighbor like you when I was a child, one who didn’t call the authorities and demand my husky be put to sleep b/c he killed some chickens 😦


    • jholland · March 1, 2015

      I have sympathy for both sides. Of course I understand that a dog is a beloved family member, but if the dog is repeatedly going onto someone’s property and harming other animals, it’s incredibly frustrating. And, though it’s not always true, at our home, the chickens and the ducks are pets, too. It’s hard to explain to a little girl why someone’s loose dog came to our house and killed Duckworth, her pet, who she raised from a duckling. =(
      RIP Duckworth

      Liked by 1 person

      • KellyDS · March 1, 2015

        yes, it can be especially confusing when pets are involved. in my case it was a neighboring farm. and even though the majority of their claims were false (my dog was only loose one time out of the many diff’t instances they claimed) the rules said it had to be done. I was 12 years old, but a harsh lesson for a child of any age when they loose a pet.

        as an aside, when my aunt was young her parents would gift her a baby duckling for Easter and then eat it the following year *gasp!* that horrified me as a child (still does, frankly)


  7. jholland · March 1, 2015

    I know. I can’t imagine eating one that was a pet. I love duck meat, and I pretty much order it any time I’m at a restaurant that offers it, but our ducks are perfectly safe from us! =)
    I am sorry about your dog. That’s really sad. Especially for a one-time offense! It’s hard because it’s really not the dog’s fault- just being a dog having an enjoyable outing. It’s up to the dog’s owner to ensure that their dog stays home, and that’s not easy to do with any husky… escape artists! We do have a fully fenced property, enough to contain our horses, but not enough to keep smaller animals out. We’re gradually going around it with cattle panels, but it’s expensive to do 10 acres.


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