Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Hazards of Being an American Dog

American terrier work is its own bird. Our quarry is is a bit different (raccoons, groundhogs, and possums being indigenous to our shores), our tools and techniques are a bit different (our digging bars are longer than those in the U.K., we use snare and coontongs to avoid rabies), and even our settes are a bit different (we have no earthen settes as large or as cavernous as the badger settes of the U.K.).

American terrier work has its owns hazards, of course. For one thing, we have skunks (got into one on Sunday while out digging with Scott K. and Larry M.) whose lethal spray can kill a dog in minutes.

We also have rabies.

In the deep South we also have alligators, and throughout the West and parts of the South and Southwest we have rattlesnakes and porcupines.

And of course, coyotes are everywhere now, while mountain lions and bears are increasingly common in huge swaths of this country.

Though most dogs live their entire lives without encountering any of these "field hazards," if you are out and about enough, you may yet run into one. There is nothing to be done but to be prepared, have a working knowlege of what to do in case of a medical emergency, and carry a credit card without a limit.



clandauer said...

You have to wonder if either of those dogs walked out of the vets office with vision in either of their eyes.

Perhaps it's not as bad as it looks, but I wouldn't wish that on any animal, especially one without the aid of a human with a steady hand and a lot of patience and pain killers.

Matthew said...

that particular dog was put to sleep, it had an infection, both eyes gouged out, and morphine could not dull its pain. i emailed the owner, because i had to do a stats report on dogs killed my wild animals. so check but i think my evidence is correct