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Those #$%@ rats

In case you haven't heard various parts of Ontario are under siege from the worst set of ice storms in Canadian history. As close as 2 hours east of me they have been without electricity since Monday of last week. I am lucky in that the ice storms have only resulted in small power failures not lasting very long. The effect for use has been everything is coated in about 2" of solid ice. Very pretty when the sun hits it, but extremely dangerous for walking. It has also made the creatures of the fields look for better accommodation.
One of the creatures that decided Hotel Armstrong ( hotel Armstrong is a 130 year old farm house with more ways in for a rat than a shopping mall for Christmas shoppers)would be a better place to wait out the ice was Mr. Rat and his family (8 to date). This has resulted in my girls playing the mighty huntress. Glory is the most dedicated to the pursuit. She will locate what she thinks is their bolt hole and wait like a statue by the hour. Ellie has more of a proactvie approach. Why wait for them when you can make the hole bigger, dry wall and floor boards be damned. Jet on the other hand can't seem to wait and just hopes they will run past her as she cruises the halls and checks under things. Now majority of this activity is at night and can be quite nosiey. Try to picture 3 adult Airedales chasing one rat own the hall at 3AM. It is rather like the Keystone cops with complete sound track. Glory has the quick kill method down to a fine art. Ellie is more like a cat in that you catch them, then let them go and catch them again for at least 4 or 5 times. Ellie thinks the game gets better if she can get the other two to participate. Jet is the "look what I caught mom" type and has to bring it to me still squirming. I truly get the feeling she isn't sure what to do with it next. Of course the other two girls would be more than happy to help her out. Now with all this going on try to keep in mind I hate rats. Dead or alive I don't care.
Glory will now hold the dead thing until I put a platic bag under her jaws of death and then on command she will drop it into the bag I am holding. Glory is such a good girl. Ellie on the other hand isn't sure she wants part with her prize so I have had to resort to the exchange method. One dead rodent for a cookie. Even with that she will hesitate. If the other dogs are loose there is no way she will part with her kill, So I have to crate the other two and funny thing they really don't want to go. Then there is Jet. She is such a sharing dog. Jet wants me to have it. She tosses it at, like she expects me to catch this not quite dead wiggly thing. Bless Jet she has even brought me her "toy" when I am in bed sleeping. There is nothing like turning on your bedroom light to see your dog standing over your face with a not quite dead rat in her mouth. Thank heavens she knows the "hold-it" command. When Jet catchs a rat and brings it to me I lock up Ellie in a different room and then I let Glory take over. Glory is so accommodating.
Well that is my rat story. With any luck the weather will improve and they will go back to their natural habitat.


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Web Page first created during the ice storms of January '97  GMT