Sadie's Catch of the Day
Our UPS driver usually gets here between 7 and 9 pm. I point this out because it informs the logistics of this place. You would think he arrives everyday but, of course, he does not. His timing, however, is why our gate is always closed in the morning and often left open in the evenings.
The second part of this equation is the fact that Sadie only comes when she's called when she wants to. If I have food or am about the close the gate to the horses she will come scampering over. Come when I call her because she has gotten out on the road and I want her to come safely home? Nope. Not likely. There are just too many wonderful smells out there to be followed and investigated.
With the above in mind, Sadie comes out to feed with me almost every morning and only rarely does she come out to feed with me in the evening. Last night was the exception because the UPS guy was not likely to show up on a Saturday night so the front gate was safely closed. Sadie came out to the barn with me, watched while I fed the new goats currently sequestered in the barn and while I measured grain for the horses. She followed me out to the horses pastures and ran around looking for anything of interest in Jazz's pasture while I fed them. Then she followed me back to the barn and over to the house. At that point she went her own way to scout the perimeter and do whatever it is she does while she is out there by herself. It was starting to get dark and I knew dinner would be ready soon so I headed in the house.
Sadie was out and about for another hour and a half by herself. Well, not by herself really just without human supervision. The gate was closed so I wasn't concerned that she would be out running the roads but it was taking her quite a while to show back up at the door. I finally decided to entice her back to me by feeding the cats. This would usually attract Sadie's attention quickly but this time she was hesitant to come back. I could hear her collar jingling so I knew she was close. I finally saw her out in front of the carport with something in her mouth. Something that used to live mostly underground. smaller than a rat but larger than a mouse, big paddle from feet with long claws and very long teeth. Yes, she had found a mole. It was clearly dead. Sadie dropped it out in the dark someplace to come up on the front porch but repeatedly ran back and picked it up. I finally got a leash on her and lead her back in the house leaving the day's catch outside to be gobbled up by something in the night.
This morning when we went out to feed, Sadie took a sharp turn to the left after coming down off the porch and I knew she was headed for the dead mole. I was hoping it had been dinner for some other creature over night but Sadie managed to find it. The entire feeding process involved me doing the feeding and Sadie putting down her catch, checking out what I was doing then running back to find her mole again. Repeatedly. She never once tried to bring the mole into the barn, up on the porch or up to a gate I had passed through. She obviously didn't want to share this treasure with the llamas or the alpacas or the goats or the ponies. She was on to other smells in Jazz's pasture and would not come when I called her. Eureka! My chance had arrived. I scooped the mole up into a bucket and took it to Ron who disposed of it. Sadie came out of the pasture looking for the mole but it was gone, gone, gone.