Mum took us to one of my favouritest places, University of British Columbia for a walk today.
I saw a lovely hedge and I started running in circles, wagging my tail,
And then I jumped into the hedge, and came out,
And then this.....
The thing is though, I really didn't mean to hurt him. I just wanted to catch him, and then be friends with him.
I put him down on the ground,
I thought he would start crawling like my Mousie used to do when I would take him out of his cage and set him down,
And waited..... but he never did crawl around...
(mum: Sunshade loves to walk on UBC campus. It all dates back to when I was going to school there, I would bring her to school with me a lot of the days. She knows to check every garbage can around the campus as rats like to hide under, and squirrels like to go inside the can. Today was no different, but it was a hedge instead.
We had walked past the hedge, and then Sunshade doubled back to it. She started running in circles around the hedge, and periodically sticking her head inside the hedge while wagging her tail. Then came the pounce, and she came out with a rat in her mouth. She sat him down gently, and just stared at him. She was expecting him to start crawling around.
I have no doubt that the initial pounce was that terrier hunting instinct. However, once it was in her mouth and she brought it out, she went back to the state where she actually wanted to be friends and be nice to the rat. You may recall I had inherited a pet hamster when Sunshade was about 3, and she used to open the cage, grab the hamster by the scruff or loose skin, and set him down and watch him run around (he always ended up behind the fridge scrounging for food).
So when this poor guy didn't move, Sunshade would go over, pick him up gently by grabbing his skin, and then set him down again to see if he would crawl around. I think she associated her picking it up, setting it down, to the rodent moving. When it didn't move, she just laid beside it and waited. She actually looked very sad and disappointed.
Now here comes the bad part..... I assumed the rat was dead when she brought it out, and for the longest time, I thought it was dead because it never moved. But it turned out to still be alive.... barely, but still alive. I don't think Sunshade ever meant to kill him, but the force of her pounce and catch was enough to almost kill him. When I realized he was still alive, and neither Sunshade nor Jaffa looked like they were going to end his suffering, I picked him up with a poop bag and laid him in the shade under some shrubs.
Sunshade has no interest in dead animals, even one's she meant to kill (those get a shake). I thought it was weird the way she waited by him, it was almost like how she was with her bunny Georgie, and hamster Mousie. She must have known he was still alive....
The video below basically sums up what I have written above, about her trying to "wake" the rat up after she had waited. You may or may not want to watch it. I still had no idea he was alive until the very end of the video when he moved. You'll see that Sunshade also noticed he had moved and she stopping touching him and waited for him to spring back to life I guess....)
I'm so sorry Mr. Rat... I just wanted to bring you out and be friends with you....
You can see more of my interactions with mousies HERE!