Death Shake

It occurred to me this evening that “Death Shake” would be a good adult ice cream drink or perhaps a dance for heavy metal fans. However, it’s also how a Chihuahua helps dispatch its victims after catching them.

Why would I think such a strange thing? It’s been a long evening.

I have managed to miss almost all of the killings my various pets have committed over the years. I’ve paid for a number of the victims to be removed from various pets’ various internal organs but that’s about it.

Until tonight.

Our Chihuahua, Rocky, takes forever to potty. He will walk the yard, walk the fence line, freeze when there is any noise within a 15-mile radius, and then have to remember why he was in the yard in the first place.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if people were like dogs, and had to wander in and out of every bathroom in the house before finding the “right one” which happens to be the same one every time.

Tonight, Rocky was wandering around on patrol and then by some miracle, he actually peed. So, we were probably half-way done.

Then, the yard patrol commenced again.

Then, he pooped. Victory is ours!

However, I was standing by the bedroom door, and he knows that means he’s going in his crate. He does not like his crate until he is in it, so he avoids the door. He wandered off towards the gate.

As Rocky passed the pile of dead branches and leaves that I have been mentioning to someone who shall remain nameless (but will enter this story in a few paragraphs) to have cleared for about ten years (really, just ask the yard guy to do it), I heard a squeak. I only hear that noise from him when he’s frightened or desperately trying to get outside to chase something. That was my first warning. It was also my last.

Then, I watched Rocky dive into the dead branches pile. It wasn’t a dive, it was like watching a spear flying through the air. He speared something.

He came out of the pile. There was something in his mouth. It was too large to be a baby bird. What else could he have caught?

Oh, Lord.

Rocky ran out, did a quarter-lap around the yard, and stopped, shaking furiously. Whatever he had was getting the life shaken out of it. Literally.

I had always heard Chihuahuas catch rats and then shake them to death, but I figured that was just a legend, like Santa Claus or IBM permanent employment.

It was a mouse. My wife says it was a rat, but I don’t want to have a rat problem around the house, so it was a mouse.

Rocky ran off again, still carrying the victim in his mouth, then finally came up on the patio, and dropped it. This is the first time he has ever dropped anything I’ve told him to drop, so he was probably just tired.

The mouse lay on the patio. “He’s dead, Jim.” There was a small puncture wound on his side. It doesn’t take much to kill a mouse, especially when you get shaken (not stirred) right after a small puncture wound is applied.

So, I picked Rocky up, mainly so he wouldn’t attack a corpse, and noticed there was mouse hair sticking out of his mouth. Now, I have a pretty strong stomach, but that kinda grossed me out.

I pulled the hair out of his mouth. Now, I had blood on my hands. Literally.

At this point, I called for backup. Unfortunately, the only backup was my wife, who tends to freak out about freshly dead things just a wee bit more than I do.

So, I’m holding a Chihuahua whose still cooling down from the kill, a woman who hates rats is trying to figure out if she can save the dead one on our patio (the pet rescue force is strong with this one) and I just want someone to take the damn dog from me so I can wash the blood off my hands – especially since I’m not really sure if it is dog blood or rat blood.

Well, this was a fun evening. What shall we do next?

So, I’m worried about rabid rats – mainly because this Chihuahua is crazy enough while he’s not rabid. My wife is worried about the death of a poor, innocent animal (“Honey? It’s a rat.”)

I’m secretly proud of Rocky because this rat is smaller than he is, but he whacked it good.  I’m pretty sure I can’t admit that out loud. I pet him, slyly.

We put the rat-mouse in a box. Well, I put him in a box. I was told that was cruel to leave him to die, but he was already gone, and I didn’t have a rat euthanasia kit handy. I suppose I should have checked to see if “he” is the proper pronoun, but I didn’t have the time. If I had, my wife would have just asked if he had been neutered.

I would bury the rat, but that would just give Rocky a chance to dig him up and kill him again. Zombie Rat Apocalypse, anyone?

So, corpse removed – sort of, it’s in the garage – crime scene secured, now we tend to the perp.

I carried Rocky into the house, so my wife could wash his wound with soap and hydrogen peroxide. She had to stop and get the dog shampoo. In the middle of this ministration, I finally said, “CAN I WASH THIS BLOOD OFF MY HANDS?”

So, witness cleaned up, perp cleaned up, victim removed, crime scene secured.

Time for dinner.

Medium-rare steak. Hmm. Not the best choice after just washing blood off a witness and a perp.

Maybe I’ll have a salad later.

So, Rocky will go to the vet in the morning, to check the small cut on his lip and make sure he didn’t catch anything while murdering an innocent. He will be walked on a leash for a while, to avoid killing off the rest of the mouse family that is probably now in mourning. (“Has anyone seen Steve?”) I’m not sure what will happen to the victim. I personally could probably use some therapy for this, but I got 1000 words out of it, so I should be fine. Eventually.

Rocky is disappointed there isn’t a cool chalk outline on the patio that he could show the other dogs.

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