Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fox Hunt

Monday afternoon.... and it's snowing again.

There's not much that I can say about that (that hasn't already been said.)
I'm thinking that Madame Spring has decided to catch a later train.
It seems her baggage arrived about a week ago...
but she remains yet-to-be-seen!

The dogs don't seem to mind the snow,
but I have to admit that I am ready for it to leave us!

It's hard to believe that this summer marks the third year since Sammy and Oakley
came to live on the farm.
Since their arrival, our losses from predators has dramatically decreased.
These two boys love to hunt,
and the chase....there's nothing better!

The other evening, after dark, I was out closing up the animals for the night
and doing the last feeding,
when I heard Sam and Oakley barking (like crazy) down in "the holler."

The holler is a small valley to the back of our house that runs between our house
and that of Dr. Becky, on the next ridge.
(You can see Sammy staring wistfully into the holler in this picture...
(probably remembering "the incident.")

It seems the ruckus heard that evening was Sam and Oakley
with either a coyote or a fox cornered in the holler.
Barking....howling....shrieking... such scary sounds were coming out of the darkness.
I called to the dogs.
They ignored.
More barking.
More shrieking...to me it sounded like a fox.
Then the cry of a wounded dog.
Panic struck me.
My heart sank.
I called to the dogs again.
Finally, two four legged figures emerged from the woods, out of the pitch darkness.

Into the house I bade them.
The reason for the wounded dog cry was instantly obvious.

Sam had sustained a couple of nasty bites on his nose.
Oakley was bleeding from somewhere, but his black coat
prevented us from seeing his wound.

It wasn't until the next morning, when the dried blood appeared
that it was apparent that Oakley had been bitten in both his ear 
and under his eye.

I spoke with Becky, and she decided to give them each a Rabies booster.
(All of the dogs are always up to date....but we thought we would play it extra safe just in case.)

We started them on antibiotics to prevent abscess. 

Considering that both dogs received wounds on their face,
we concluded that they had chased a fox into it's hole,
and proceeded to taunt it.
Sticking their noses into the hole made the dogs easy targets.

Having a secure feeling that our birds are safe when free-ranging 
is the upside of having two dogs that like to hunt.

The downside is always the possibility of injury...
not to mention the skunk sprays (several each year) and porcupine quills
that go along with this activity.

Oh, you silly boys....
will you ever learn?
(Probably not.)


  1. That must have been very scary for you. I am glad not too much harm was done. Silly dogs... you are probably right, they will never learn! Good to know that your birds are that little bit safer though!
    The weather here is a little strange too. Autumn should be upon us, but Summer keeps making a comeback. Won't be long though and we will be shivering!
    Kathy from Tasmania

  2. I remember the post where one of the boys had the quills stuck in his face and Dr. Becky had to take them out after he has anesthetized. I'm so happy to know they are both okay! No school today, too much snow!

  3. Excitement at Bee Haven Acres! Luckily neither Sam nor Oakley was seriously injured. Such good hunters they are. I'll have to get your secret for ridding a dog of skunk perfume. Our foxhound, Bailey, has been sprayed twice and both times we tried different potions without much success. Every time she got wet for months afterwards, the skunk scent lingered.

  4. Snow arrived here again too . . .

    I have been away and catching up . . . almost.

    I hope "the kids" will fair well from their protecting you and the Haven! . . .

  5. Poor babies. Hope they heal quickly!

  6. Awww, poor boys! We all hate to see them hurting! What great watch dogs they are!

  7. Even though Miggs doesn't get the chance to chase or catch a fox , raccoon and what not she stays on the property even though we are surrounded by wooded areas and fields she always has all her shots as does out cat whom is an indoor cat every year as some of the diseases here have been known to be air born now . Hope they heal soon . Have a good day !

  8. Oh what good boys you have. I'm happy to hear that they weren't too badly hurt. I can't imagine how you felt though. Hearing shrieks must've been awful.

    Waiting for the snow to finally end. I am done done done with snow! Have a great day!

  9. Poor boys but so glad they keep the foxes in there hole. Hopefully they heal fast and continue there watch!

  10. Be glad it was not a pack of coyotes but a fox. We have the big ones here but while Bob and Bella keep them out of the yard, they are no match for them. :( Glad your guys are no more worse for wear! Those sounds in the night are scary!

  11. Scary for you..Hearing those sounds would have given me a very bad feeling..Glad things weren't any worse than they were..Boys will be boys :)

  12. Brave dogs! Our main bird predators are raccoons and owls. I can't help liking the owls - fascinating creatures, but I hate the raccoons.

  13. Aw .. maybe the best part about dogs is they don't learn. They will feel just as eager the next time!

    Funny how this morning laying in bed I was thinking what might be the most "zen" thing for a dog to experience, and what came to mind was doing anything that involved lots of running and their nose. And here is their story! sending extra butt scratches to them both ..

  14. How scary! We had two labs, a chocolate and a yellow, and our chocolate was bit on the top of the head by what the Vet says was a rattlsnake. She liked to corner them, and then bark in victory. Snakes, possums, etc. This time, she got bit. She had to have surgery and a shunt put in her head by which I administered meds through every day. Almost lost her. Now, when the chickens are grazing, I like to have the dogs out too!
    XO Kris
    PS Hope this is your last snow!!!

  15. oh no..poor pups! my last chow chased a hog into it's hole. she tried to dig into the hole and the hog bit right through her pad. she had to pull her paw out and the hog hung on and ripped her pad in half. what a noise. it did not stop her from future hog hunting though! more snow on the way!

  16. Poor little doggies! But I guess it is just plain natural for them to go after something unusual on the farm. The dogs are lucky to have you and Dr. Becky.

    It is snowing again here today in the Finger Lakes of NY...we have had no sign of spring whatsoever. Usually by now it is warmer and some sun!!!!!It is still very cold!



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