September 25, 2008

Chloe saves the chickens!

Chloe, Honduran Rottweiler/DobermanChloe: Always on guard

Last night the dogs were going nuts. I was really scared.

We have five chihuahuas and one sweet (to us) and ferocious (to others) Rottweiler/Doberman mix. My dogs, I'm sure like most dogs, have different barks for different reasons.

There is the bark! which is a gentle reminder to "Give me a cookie." or "Pick me up."

There is the direct order: bark-bark! which means "Let me in now!" "Hey! It's raining out here."

Bark-bark-bark! (usually from two or three of the chihuahuas) and Woof-woof-woof! (from the Rottweiler) means someone is walking on the street and the dogs are saying, "There are guard dogs here. Watch your step, buddy."

Bark!-Bark!-Bark!-Bark! (from three or four of the chihuahuas) and Woof!-Woof!-Woof!-Woof! signifies imminent danger: "You are getting too close. I'm warning you!"

Last night I was getting:

Bark!-Bark!-Bark!-Bark! Bark!-Bark!-Bark!-Bark!
Woof!-Woof!-Woof!-Woof! Woof!-Woof!-Woof!-Woof!

Warning! Warning! Warning!
Perimeter breached!
Intruder on the premises!!

I believed them.

To make matters worse, all six dogs were involved and they were alternately racing to the street side of the house and standing guard at the top of the steps of the terraza as they barked their little heads off sounding much more ferocious than chihuahuas usually do. Chloe has no problem in this department. If I didn't know her, she would scare me when she gets serious about her guarding job.

I made sure all the windows and doors were locked. I went upstairs and looked around from the terraza but it was too dark to see anything. It's not a good idea to talk about security measures but suffice it to say that I was prepared!

Eventually we all calmed down, the dogs first and then me. I assumed that the dogs were protecting us from an animal intruder, not a human one. Chloe particularly does not like snakes and has barked all night long while she kept one cornered.

(You might want to stop reading here if you are sensitive to dead body photos.)

This morning I went out to the terraza to feed the dogs. I walked down the steps to go to the chicken coop to gather the daily egg (Singular. We have 10 chickens and are getting one egg per day, but that is another couple of stories.)

I turned on the sidewalk to head towards the coop and stopped and screamed! And then screamed again. El Jefe came running.

There, arranged neatly on the sidewalk as a display of her excellent kill was this:

Honduran opossum
I thought it was a huge rat! In the split second while I was screaming, I was also thinking that I wanted to move. El Jefe said that no, it wasn't a rat, "It's one of those animals that eat chickens." An opossum. Chloe protected our flock and captured and killed the vicious predator. We were so proud of her.
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