Wilma Wednesday: From Rats to Bitches

Wilma at back door with rock

Our house is 93 years old, which is pretty old for California. We don’t want to cut a hole in the original back door to put in a dog door. To make it possible for Wilma to come and go during the day, we prop the door open with a rock. We did that for Boz, too. We’ve left that door open for years and nary a critter has entered—except members of our own pack, and the occasional fly—until the day after we returned from vacation.

I noticed the apples on the kitchen table Saturday evening and wondered if they’d been there since before we left. Then I forgot about them and let Wilma out.

“I went out in the dark!”

“You did, Wilma.”

I propped the door open with the rock while Wilma was out. I don’t usually do that when it’s dark, but it was a special occasion. We’d been gone for three weeks and we’d had a joyful reunion—

“I had joy!”

“I did, too, Wilma, I still do.”

“Joy joy joy joy joy!”

“I’m telling a story, sweetie.”

“Okay.”

So, we’d had a joyful reunion—

“…joy joy joy…”

—and I let Wilma out in the dark. The next morning, it was obvious a critter had been eating those apples. And pooping on the table.

“RAT POOP!”

“Wilma, this is hard enough to tell.”

“Why?”

“Because rats aren’t supposed to be in the house.”

“Lady, if you leave the door open and put apples out, you will get rats.”

Right. So, all the next day, the door was open and Wilma went in and out. I hoped the rat had found an opportunity to leave. When John took Wilma for her afternoon walk, I went into my office for something, and there was the rat, scurrying across the floor.

It stopped.

The rat and I looked at each other, then we both ran away. I went out to the front porch. I don’t know where the rat went.

I was on the front porch when John got home. I told him about the rat.

“You told us both!”

“I did, sweetie.”

I guess the rat thought he’d make a break for it while we were all on the porch, because when John and Wilma went inside there was a scurry and a rush and a command from John to “Leave it.” When I got to the kitchen, Wilma was leaving the rat, just as John had asked her to. The rat lay on the floor near the back door—dead, but not further molested. Wilma had done as she was told. Apparently the rat died instantly.

John asked me to take Wilma, who was still wearing her harness and leash, while he picked up the poor animal with a shovel and a garbage bag.

I’m glad I didn’t have to do that. Still, this was not a happy occasion for me.

“I loved it!”

“I know, sweetie, and you did a good job. But I’m sorry for the rat.”

“Why?”

“Because it died.”

“I know. I made it die.”

“Yes. You’re a good girl. But I’m still sad.”

“joyjoyjoyjoyjoyjoyjoyjoy…”

The exterminator is coming this week to double-check. But there won’t be anything for him to find. Wilma took care of it.

#rat#Wilma#Wilma Wednesday#WilmaDialogs

Comments

  1. chris - September 13, 2017 @ 03:58

    Wow! Well I am impressed that when John said “Leave it”, she did leave it…
    Wonder if that rat has a family?? Just sayin’ … I bet W. was proud! another bone for her!

    • Petrea - September 13, 2017 @ 09:28

      She’s received so much praise for this I’m surprised she hasn’t brought us more prey. But don’t give her any ideas.

  2. Diana Britt - September 13, 2017 @ 10:51

    Rats can learn to use a dog door, anyway; ask me how I know… 😉

    • Petrea - September 13, 2017 @ 11:35

      Hee hee! I’d love to hear that one.

  3. Michael - September 13, 2017 @ 11:22

    A prudent idea would be to scour the floors especially in the basement. They can hide anywhere but there poops will still be there. Good luck. Usually there is more than one. GOOD DOG !

    • Petrea - September 13, 2017 @ 11:37

      That she is! Thank you!

  4. TheChieftess - September 13, 2017 @ 12:25

    Good girl Wilma!!! Rats and mice are the kitties job here, Kelly’s job is lizard patrol! So far all the lizards are accounted for!

    • Petrea - September 13, 2017 @ 15:57

      Wilma protects us from lizards, too. I don’t think there are mice, but that might be because she manages them.

  5. Lowell - September 13, 2017 @ 12:28

    Wilma deserves a combat medal. Rats are stinky things sometimes and it takes a special kind of canine courage to kill one of the little stinkers. Another option, to save Wilma any extra stress, would be to obtain Wilma a feline friend. They are truly scourges so far as rats are concerned. Good work, Wilma!

    • Petrea - September 13, 2017 @ 15:58

      We have feral cats in the neighborhood, but Lowell, I fear she would kill a cat who got into our house. So no kitty partners for her.

  6. Anonymous - September 13, 2017 @ 13:14

    I feel like you. Grateful that Wilma took care of the rat, sad that an animal died when it was just trying to get some food. They’re only human after all – no, perhaps that’s going too far….. Wilma must be thrilled to have finally caught something, after all her attempts to hunt squirrels and lizards.

    • Petrea - September 13, 2017 @ 15:58

      She has wanted to kill something ever since we got her. I doubt she’s satisfied with just one event, though.

  7. William Kendall - September 13, 2017 @ 13:26

    She’s a very good dog.

    I’ve only had to deal with a rat once. Once was enough.

    • Petrea - September 13, 2017 @ 15:59

      I strongly agree, William!

  8. Shelley - September 13, 2017 @ 17:55

    Poor rat …. but good job, Wilma. I was about to suggest a radical solution, being to remove the door and store it so you aren’t ruining the door’s heritage and replace it with a practical one you can chop into with a dog door … but then I saw Diana’s comment and there’s no point if rats can still get in!! x0x

    • Petrea - September 14, 2017 @ 15:20

      I hadn’t thought of that, though. It’s a possibility!

  9. William Braquemard - September 13, 2017 @ 20:05

    Oh we had rats; they’d gnawed their way in through some substandard cement by the kitchen door. I came up with a fancy rat trap involving a large bin and a coca cola bottle coated with peanut butter and some used cooking oil. Rats tumbled into the bin and couldn’t jump out on account of the oil. Got rid of about a dozen that way; all alive but covered in sunflower oil. Have to say I don’t miss ’em.

    • Petrea - September 14, 2017 @ 15:21

      It’s ingenious, William, but I don’t think I’ll try it. The only thing ickier than a bin of live rats is a bin if live, oily rats!

  10. Bonnie Schroeder - September 13, 2017 @ 21:00

    Good Wilma! Thunder would have eaten the rat.

    • Petrea - September 14, 2017 @ 15:22

      Since we don’t have rabies in the area I suppose that’s okay, but eeuw!

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