Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

A Way to Skin a Rabbit — Unillustrated

There is, they say, more than one way to skin a cat. I contend that the same is true of skinning rabbits. Today’s lesson involves a cat and a rabbit. Now do I have your attention? Don’t shy away. There will be no photos.

In many of my posts, I have mentioned various animals. Beau, our male Yellow Lab, is featured in some of the more popular of those posts, including the most recent prior to this very one, which is about his dietary choices.

So, to continue on a related theme, I describe the scene of tonight’s meal at our home, prepared by Sugar, my trophy wife. We decided to eat on the front porch. It is covered, offering shade, unlike the courtyard to the rear. We had four companions, none of whom had been invited — two dogs and two cats.

After Sugar finished her meal and put down her plate, Beau grabbed her fork and went down the stairs to exit the porch. I suppose the barbeque sauce on the fork was the attraction or maybe it was just to tick us off.

Although he is nominally a retriever, in this situation he felt it was funnier to have me retrieve the fork for Sugar. So I went down the steps too. At the bottom of the steps was a sight to behold. I warned Sugar to not look, which, naturally, aroused her curiosity, and she, well, looked. Then she sort of moaned and then she definitely gagged. It was her own fault. Remember, I told her to NOT LOOK. She failed to thank me. Nevertheless, ever eager to please, I promised to get a shovel, and I did just that. What a good boy am I!

The title to this post hints at what I shoveled up. Yes, it was a rabbit. Well, sort of a rabbit, the leftovers at least. It still had a head attached to a spine, from which ribs were attached, and there was also a pelvis and legs. All but the head and the feet were pretty much skinned to the bone. I credit our cats.

Beau noticed my shovel and its contents, the skeleton, and followed me to the river flowing fifty yards from the house. I tried to flip the shovel so the remains of the rabbit would fly across the river to the other side. I thought that maybe coyotes would finish the job after nightfall.

It will surprise you that someone with my athletic prowess did not propel the skeleton sufficiently to clear the river and reach the far bank. Believe it or not, the rabbit’s remains hit the water and started flowing away, probably in violation of some E.P.A. regulations.

Beau, who keeps up on E.P.A. regulations, was concerned about the river being polluted by the rabbit carcass, apparently, although he did not specify his motive for jumping off the bank of the river, into the water, and swam to where the rabbit had hit the water. The rabbit remains had not, if you will, remained in the same spot. It floated for awhile and then sank. Beau desperately tried to retrieve it, as he does sticks and balls and, sometimes, birds. This rabbit did not float like those other things that he retrieves. Beau whined. He paddled. He had to tread water to keep from floating downstream. It obviously bothered him that he did not find the rabbit. I told him that it was okay. (I really did not want the rabbit back, nor did Sugar.) I called him off the task, but he was reluctant to quit. Eventually, he left the river. He was probably tired. He seemed kind of down. He acted ashamed. I petted him as he laid on the porch. Then I went inside.

I hope that rabbit does not reappear in the morning. The cats seem to have an endless supply of rabbits. Sugar can attest to that.

Beau’s Dietary Choice


Our dog Beau is a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  His breed is known for being intelligent.  It is known for being fun-loving.  It is known for eating the uneatable, similar to goats.

My friend Sam’s Chocolate Lab ate his daughter’s panty hose and needed surgery to remove that because it is not food and is not digestible. 

Once we were in the waiting room at a veterinary clinic and a man brought in his Golden Retriever because it had eaten rocks.  Golden Retrievers are very similar to Labs in many ways, and to goats in that way.  We might call it an indiscriminate palate.

Beau ate something last night which is not food.  He ate that absorbent paper that is in packages of chicken.  We had already eaten the chicken.  Beau helped clean up by putting his front legs on the kitchen counter and grabbing with his mouth the plastic, styrofoam, and absorbent paper formerly containing the chicken.  He is fast.  He ate the paper product before my darling wife, Sugar, could retrieve it from our Retriever.

Consequently, appalled and worried, she wrote to her Facebook friends about what happened and almost immediately got 30 responses.  Many were concerned whether the non-food item would not “pass through.” 

I don’t know whether it will pass through his digestive system.  I have observed that something has passed through a couple times today.  I usually avoid examining feces; however, to put Sugar’s mind at ease, I have done just that twice today.  So far, no chicken paper.  Still, he is not, as one might phrase it, “plugged up.”  I will let you know if that changes.


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