RIP POSSUM


This evening, my white dog killed one of two possums that have been hanging around near the chicken area and the farmhouse itself – I’d say, for the past week or so.  I read that possums are opportunistic eaters and there is quite a bit of opportunity on this property. I also read that possums eat dog excrement. I wondered why my morning pick-up routine had been going rather well.

Anyway, all the dogs were out just after sundown tonight and there was absolutely nothing to indicate a mortal fight had occurred. No noises, no blood curdling screams or screeches. Nothing. When I went outside, I saw several of the dogs sniffing something and upon closer inspection, I saw it was the possum. This same possum played dead with me a few nights earlier, so I immediately shooed the dogs away and got them all into the house. I went back outside with a long stick (just in case it wanted to get aggressive with me), but the possum hadn’t moved at all, and as I slowly closed in, I saw blood near and around the under belly. I gently turned the possum over by its’ tail and could clearly see the cause of death.

Going back into the house to get a trash bag, all 6 dogs were sitting together in a loose  — pack –, panting…awaiting the verdict from me. Someone is gonna get it…is probably what they all thought.

How did I know it was the white dog who had done the dirty deed? Blood splatterings on the soft white hairs of her chest and front legs plus drool, panting, glazed eyes, and a rather strange demeanor. I brought her outside with me to take another look-sniff at the dead possum just before I placed it in the trash bag. Once the possum carcass was properly “handled,” I cleaned off my ferocious guard dog, rinsed and towel dried her, and in we went.

There was absolutely nothing to be upset about because earlier in the week, I caught the possum going into the hen sanctuary that houses the chicken coop. Luckily, the chickens happened to be in the closed coop at the time. Nonetheless, I totally freaked out and called all the dogs into the chicken yard and building to ferret out the possum, all the while screaming for encouraging the dogs to “get it!!

As the dogs were barking, sniffing, and running around like chickens with their heads cut off (probably having no clue as to what exactly they were supposed to get – the chickens?), and the chickens were freaking out in the coop, clucking and screeching away because I NEVER let the dogs in the yard, and here were 4 large canines with large schnazes sniffing right up to the coop door and nest boxes, I was in a -security lapse- freak world of my own trying to identify and address the more obvious potential entry points for medium sized mammals. I  knew that the building was not 100% predator proof; now I was dealing with consequence of that. Thank God, it was not something more aggressive. Possums are not known for frank aggression, but they will still get a chicken or the eggs, if the opportunity presents itself. The possum was not located that night, but I’m sure the possum smell left an impression — at least on the white dog. I rather doubt that the second possum will stick around…

Out of respect for the victim, there are no graphic images to accompany this post.

RIP Possum.

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