I think it was Saturday morning that Mick alerted me to the fact that the barrier protecting the underside of the bedroom addition to our house had been breached. The first time critters sneaked under the addition (built on top of what had been a deck) was in late February. Unseasonably warm weather had prompted mating season for skunks and the potential for a very smelly disaster was high. I paid a pest control company to come out, dig a trench, and install heavy wire mesh attached to the bottom of the siding, then curving down then back out about a foot under the ground, to deter further visits. Problem solved.
Or not? I noticed a while back that there was a small gap near the corner of the house closest to the back steps. I plugged it up with some rocks and thought no more of it until – duh duh duh DUUUUUUH – Mick started sniffing and digging on the other side of the house this past Saturday morning. And so our story begins.
An interview with Mick Jagger, the Rock Star Dachshund
Mick, what drew you to the far side of the bedroom addition on Saturday?
Well, let me explain something to you first. I’m a dachshund, right? I’m a member of the Hound family and, in my opinion, we’re the best of the Hound family. I mean, look at this long, regal nose, right? We should be starring in crime shows. Just saying.
Right. I get that, Mick. But back to Saturday, what happened?
Okay, so I went outside for my morning dump and my amazing nose caught a whiff of something interesting over by the house. I knew right where to go not only because of the odor, but also because these intruders have a pattern. No matter where they sneak in, they always go over to the side of the house as far away from the back steps as possible. They’re stupid, but they’re not dumb, you know what I’m saying? So I know exactly where the little shits are hiding. You cannot fool a dachshund. You just fucking can’t.
Okay. So you knew it was hiding over on the far side of the addition. But why did you so stubbornly insist on trying to get to it, Mick? Except for the times when I had to drag or carry you into the house . . .
Yeah, and thanks for THAT, Moooom . . . .
Sorry. I was worried, okay? But just tell me, please, why was it that no matter how many ridiculous blockades I tried to construct, you just wouldn’t leave it alone? Mick, I don’t know how you did it, but you moved rocks I could hardly carry. You moved lawn chairs and stakes in the ground. You somehow shredded portions of that heavy wire mesh. Man, you were determined to dig under the house and get that little bastard. Why?
Mom, it’s my nature. It’s my job. If something is in the ground or hiding, it’s my calling to go after it until I can kill it. I may look cute with these soft, floppy ears and my fluffy, waggily tail, but I am a HUNTER. You have to respect that. And I’m German. Do you know anyone more stubborn than a German? No. I do not give up and I do not take no for an answer. And I resent the fact that you can just pick me up and carry me inside, just so you know. That’s not fair.
I’m sorry, Mick. I really do sympathize, buddy, but you are just ruining the landscaping and I’m afraid you’re going to hurt yourself on what is now torn and raggedy metal mesh. And what if you do manage to dig under the house? How the hell do we know what’s under there for sure? What if you get in a big fight and get hurt under there and I have trouble getting you back out? Do you know how dangerous this is?
I’m not a freaking puppy, Mom. Let me under there and I’ll massacre that critter. How could you doubt me? It’s my job to protect this house. To protect YOU. You think that pussy, Little Richard, is going to do anything? Ha. Who’s been napping in the chair most of the last four days while I’ve been on the job? Little Fucking RICHIE, that’s who.
Alright, alright. You’re very different personalities. Don’t blame him because he’s not all bent out of shape about critters under the house. But, Mick, here’s the big question – why are you so hell bent on spending every waking hour smelling the side of the house? When the pest control guy came today he pointed out the flies, which is a pretty good indication that whatever it is died under there. Why are you still obsessed with smelling the area?
Well, first of all, it’s my job. I don’t know why this is so hard for you to understand, Mom. It’s my house. It’s my responsibility. If I don’t keep track of critters under the house, who will? I want that little bastard – dead or alive. It’s all the same to me. (Oh, and dead critters smell great, just so you know).
And pardon me for saying so, but this isn’t exactly the most exciting place to live. I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but it just isn’t. I love you and thanks for the food (although I have to ask, how much longer do I have to eat this damn diet food? You know I hate it!) and the belly rubs and all, but there’s more to me than being a lap dog, you know? I’m a HUNTER, for Pete’s sake. Remember when I killed that squirrel and brought him inside to show you? Cool, huh? I’d bring you some frogs and fish from the pond, too, but those little jerks are too fast. For now, anyway. Notice how they move their asses as soon as I head in their direction? Yeah. Stupid, but not dumb. That’s what I think about most other animals, if you want the truth.
Okay, Mick. I understand. Well, I have some news for you. The pest control guys are coming back Thursday to check under the house with their camera to find and remove (I hope) whatever is dead under there, and then they are pulling out the old wire mesh and installing new stuff. They’re going to attach the bolts more closely together so there aren’t the gaps that caused the problem this time. What do you think of that?
Are you serious? Come on! This is the most exciting time I’ve had in years and you’re going to wreck it? I hate you, Mom! I hate you!
Oh, dear. I hope that’s the end of the story. I’m so glad the pest control guys guarantee their work for a year. As for Mick, I know he’ll forgive me eventually. My brave little protector. He’s currently sacked out on the cool linoleum floor near my feet. He’s been working overtime since Saturday morning and I know he has to be all tuckered out. Ooops. Never mind. He just ran back out to see if there are any new developments. Who knew my dog was a workaholic?