Monday, June 19, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Bears and Rats and Hamsters - Oh My - Part 3

I hope PETA wasn't overwhelmed with phone calls because of the unfortunate rat/dog situation that was left unresolved over the weekend. Does PETA handle complaints where one animal takes a fancy to another? I suppose it was in bad taste for me to blog about it. But I believe I warned you about my penchant for strange situations and milking them for all they're worth.

If you will recall Friday's post wherein our big Black Lab had just inhaled a baby pet rat.

Yes. The hand that had held the rat was empty. Four people stared with round eyes and open mouths. One big, black dog stared back at us with a mixture of triumph and dread lining his face.

All of this took place within the mere tick of the second hand.

My level headed husband flew into action. He trust his hand toward the clamped lips of the dog and yelled, "Bear! Give!"

Mute onlookers shifted eyes and worried frowns back and forth. A collective whimper rose.

The dog opened his mouth. A sodden rat tumbled, alive and well, into my husband's hand.

A murmur rushed through the group. A few "good boys" and sighs punctuated the charged stillness. Bear thumped his tail against the cabinet a few times and wandered into the kitchen to see if anyone had dropped any food during the drama.

We understand this situation as a bizarre phenomenon we now call the "Two Second Warning." We accidentally trained Bear to pause before scarfing objects. I think this all started with the socks. Bear would visit the laundry hamper and pick out a choice smelly sock. He usually brought it into the room that contained most of the humans. The humans, especially the parental units, learned that if Bear was asked to give up the sock within a few seconds of entering the room, the sock was saved. If not, the sock was shredded, spindled and mutilated.

Either the rat smelled like a sock or the proximity of all the humans saved it's little rat neck, we were unsure but grateful. And the theory was left untested for about eight months. Until Pepe moved in.