It seems that this very cold weather has brought a gopher visitor or family to my yard. There have been a couple of mounds that have appeared (at least that is all I can see through the thriving field of my nemesis, oxalis.) It is like Caddyshack back there. Liesl, of a breed known for hunting vermin, was pretty excited yesterday to see the mound of dirt. This particular mound had a bonus-an actual live gopher. I found her staring at the hole, not moving, not breathing, except for the twitchy leg she gets when she is trying to contain herself at a gopher hole. The twitchy leg is ready to propel her into the gopher hole if need be. I think this is where the stubbornness and iron will of a terrier comes into play. Anyone who has a ratting dog will tell you that they can be unbelievably tenacious , focused and patient when it comes to watching a gopher hole with a gopher in it.
Now what Liesl does not know is that her momma would not let her have the gopher if she caught it. There are several reasons for this. The most important reason is that many people will try to poison gophers (or any rodents) to get rid of them. You never know if a neighbor has done this. A dog can receive a secondary poisoning from a rodent, which can kill them. Liesl is too important to me and admittedly I am pretty overprotective of her.
Anyway, this gopher hole is all that she can think about. She keeps ringing her bell to go out so that she can check the status of the gopher hole. It has been constant. You can see the gleam come into her eye, as she thinks, "Oh, hey, we should go check on that mound of dirt." When I let her out, she runs straight to it. Right now the only thing for the gophers to eat is the oxalis, which I would be happy if they ate and killed. So I am hoping that they move on to greener pastures soon, so to speak. I would think that the neighbors yard is far more interesting. :)
So I am hoping for a peaceful night. I am hoping that my furry one does not keep feeling the need to patrol the gopher hole. Hopefully, she is having pleasant dreams of chasing her favorite squeaky ball, eating her favorite cookies and having the back of her ears scritched. Wish me luck.