Sunday, July 16, 2006

RIP Woody

I was doing dishes this morning when I heard a woman shrieking outside. I looked out the window, expecting to see kids misbehaving or a creepy boyfriend trying to be macho. But no.

Instead, I saw someone from down the street was walking her two dogs - and one of the dogs had Woody in his mouth, shaking him.

She finally got the dog to put Woody down, and got both of the dogs away and back home. One of the other neighbors and I went outside a few minutes later when the dog's owner came came back to pick up the deceased. Apparently Woody broke away a couple of times, but the dog probably broke his neck the third time.

Just a couple of days ago, our next door neighbor and I were talking about the groundhogs. They hang around in his backyard a lot, and he was wondering what kind of food he could put out for them. (He's a tender-hearted guy who has also protected baby bunnies from sneaky cats.) I have never seen all three of them out of hiding at the same time, but he has, and said it was one adult and two babies.

He thought one of the babies was crippled, because it seemed to have trouble moving its hind legs. Terry and I had also noticed that one of them didn't move very fast. That's the same one in the picture on the link above. When the others ran home, they hid. Woody would waddle under the shed when he spotted us, and then turn around and stick his little white nose out to look at us. We saw him doing that yesterday, in fact.

Until I see the other two, I won't know which one the dog got, but I have to think it would be the curious and slow-moving one. I'll miss seeing the little guy.

I learned something else this morning, too. Knowing it was going to be hot today, I called Animal Control to report there was a dead animal on the sidewalk. The dispatcher told me "they only come out for domesticated. You'll probably have to throw it away yourself." With all their protective gear, they won't come near a dead groundhog on a public sidewalk, but they expect me to pick it up with my kitchen tongs and throw it in the trash, where it will sit for three days until the next garbage pickup. If a rabid fox stalks your kid's swingset, you better hope Atticus Finch is around to put him down.

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