Uninvited guests

“Is that dog waiting for someone?”


That’s what a visitor asked upon seeing Luke in this pose – perched at the end of the deck, ears erect, eyes intent, his body facing the gate to our driveway.

“Yes,” Zach replied. “A mouse!”

A family of mice lives in our fencing. I hear them scuffling nervously every day when I open the back door to let the dogs out for their morning break.

Before the deck went up, I often saw the little buggers, too. Gray shadows flitted past the gaps in the boards. Or maybe a little face peeked through to see if the coast was clear.

Luke’s not the only one keeping watch.

Foster dog Charlie Machete knows about the mice, too.

He races Luke around the corner of the house daily. They even attempt a sort of team hunting tactic, with Charlie Machete ducking under the deck from the back and Luke crawling in from the other end. This strategy has yet to prove successful.

In the spring, the fence mice attracted another kind of predator.

Luke found the evidence – a snake skin, half buried in a mound of dirt next to a fencepost. It was beautiful.

I hope the former wearer of that skin enjoyed a mousy meal before slithering on.

Last year, the mice inhabited the garden.

They nibbled the melons and excited Luke and past foster dog Minnie, who rushed to the melon patch at every opportunity to nose every possible mousehole in the hopes of catching something. (Ideally, not a disease.)

One of those times, I snapped this familiar picture:

A few minutes later, Luke succeeded at hunting! The mouse trapped between his teeth did not succeed – at life.

At least the killing was quick.

I was more grossed out than mad. But I won’t gross you out with a picture of a bloody rodent.

Truth be told, even in death mice are pretty adorable.

Their pointy little faces can’t help but remind me of a certain very old, pointy-faced toy dog, if only his head was the size of a thimble.

Scooby has in fact been known to engage in dirty, mousy behavior.


But let’s be realistic.

Cute though they may be, mice are not creatures I want lingering in or too near my home. I’m glad Luke’s looking out for us.

However, something tells me I may need to get him some back-up in the form of pet-safe traps.

Do your dogs chase mice or other small animals? Do you have a foolproof method for deterring mice?

About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on July 23, 2012, in Dogs, Dogtography, Gardening, Luke, Scooby and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. They are such good family members! I do not share your opinion of the cuteness of mice and unfortunely, Melvin is terrified of spiders and mice so I’m on my own there!

  2. We’ve not had any run-ins with mice but we do have a lot of rabbits, squirrels and moles in our yard. Dottie is an excellent hunter and Boomer on occasion joins in on the fun.

    Most of the time they are unsuccessful. The few times they’ve caught something I try to let it go if it’s still moving.

  3. Well done! Two rats came into our yard earlier this year but they didn’t leave, thanks to my cat Barnaby!

    • Barnaby must be a good cat. I initially brought the cat Luxor home because I thought he could scare away the mice at my rental house. But he only ever pulled the dead ones out of traps and acted as if he had caught them.

  4. GROSS! Turk and Rufus were absolutely no help to us when a mouse sauntered across our kitchen floor a few winters ago. Daniel and I were both screaming like girls and Turk & Ru just looked at us like “what do you want us to do about it?” Maybe Luke & Machete need to have a chat with them….

  5. Ha! I still remember the time our beagle mix brought home baby ducklings and placed them in the kiddie pool because mama duck did not make it across the road – we thought he was playing to kill, but he was a gentle soul:)

  6. One day I was outside with BabyGirl and she was laying under the picnic table had her paw curved and at first I thought she was biting her nails again as she had that guilty look on her face so I went under to inspect her paw and she was hiding a mouse! She had caught herself a mouse outside. I took the mouse away from her and put it in the woods as killing is just not in my nature. She looked for the mouse up in the woods for weeks after. I was so surprised that she had caught that mouse. At the time I didn’t even know dogs caught mice She is a better mouser than my 2 cats!

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