Monday, July 16, 2012

Fox News

We've had a little excitement outside of our house lately. It's amazing the things you learn about your yard once you have to walk a dog at 9:00 PM every evening. One evening we found a little toad. Oreo picked the poor little guy up, but I think he ended up being OK. Last Wednesday was not quite so innocuous.

We were watching our friend's dog Piper, who is an 11 year-old corgi. Earlier in the evening I had noticed a small gray animal scoot under our garage. When I took the dogs out for their final walk before bed we found that very same animal in the bushes next to our front steps. Piper sniffed at him, Oreo barked at him, and he "barked" back, as much as a fox is able to bark.

I turned my back on it and took the dogs into the yard. Based on its lower parts that I saw earlier I figured that it was a young fox. Since foxes are supposed to be so sly I figured that it would run for it when it had the chance. Instead it decided to climb up to our porch and curl up on the welcome mat.

I was then presented with a conundrum. I knew Piper could make quick work of this thing if he wanted to, but he doesn't really have a killer instinct. Oreo would just bark at it. My fear was that it would feel cornered on our porch if I let the dogs just run up there. I got a piece of wood from our woodpile and threw it up on the porch in hopes of scaring it with the noise. Instead, the fox grabbed it with his teeth and pulled it closer ("Oh look! A toy! Thanks!")

 I ended up letting the dogs approach it and the fox slinked down the side of the steps and went off into its little den. I haven't seen that fox since.

However, last night as Oreo finished his business he perked up his ears and started barking at something in our neighbor's driveway. That something was a much larger gray fox and it barked back. They exchanged a few barks and I realized that it would be best to take Oreo inside, which made Oreo very upset.

I had picked up some pellets at Wal-Mart on Saturday and it looks like I may have occasion to use them. One is not supposed even to fire an air rifle in Cary, but I am not about to pay for an exterminator to come out and deal with this. I have a small backyard and a shovel.