VirgoVoice

I'm just sayin'

Gopher Update

I have not seen ANY gopher activity in the backyard for more than 24-hours! Yippee.However, the operative word here is the BACKYARD. There seems to be some gopher activity in the front yard, again. Well, I’m gonna be on that as soon as it stops raining!

In case you missed the links to a video in yesterday’s blog, regarding the taunting Gopher, now’s your chance. If you want to see how a terrier gets the job done, check out the video of  Phoebe hard at work! She has at times dug holes so deep she can get her whole head in it.

*Click on Gopher or Phoebe

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High Rating On The Yukky Scale

phobe digging

Phoebe (left) working hard to get a gopher. Reba hanging out like a foreman. She just goes over once in awhile to see what’s going on but she’s not interested in working that hard.

Our backyard has been plagued with gophers for years. They have killed plants on the property that have been here for decades. They have ruined an entire lawn. They have created an underground burrow system that is reminiscent of Caddyshack. They have taunted my terriers over the years, who in turn have helped in the destruction of the lawn. Terrriers, all kinds of terriers are bred to be ratters; a dog which goes into tunnels to flush out and catch varmints. Varmints like badgers, rats, weasels, gophers. It’s instinctive to them. Like a Labrador Retriever is to water. Truthfully, if there is a varmint burrowing underground in my yard I don’t stop my dog who’s natural instinct is to get the destructive, little *&%$#. I let ’em dig. Kind of hard to stop them. They’re just following their dream. Being themselves. Doing what they do.You get the picture.

Well, recently, as foolish as it seems, we decided to, again, combat the gopher problem in our yard. I had done more research and I was given some hope. I thought because there were at least a hundred gopher holes throughout our backyard there had to be a herd of them down under the surface trolling the burrows of the gopher underground. But, the newest info I read said one or two can be devastating to a yard. One or two? That’s it? Bring it on. Off to the hardware store to check out the options. First instinct was to trap ’em. Not trap ’em like a feral cat. But trap ’em as in a mouse trappy kind of way. All right, a death trap. One that kills ’em. But then I saw the traps and they look pretty barbaric. Plus, someone has to check on the trap to see if one is in there. YUK factor. In addition to thinking about the cruelty to the gopher there’s the the flip side; if one is killed in the trap, where do you dispose of it? YUK. Second of all, if there is one in there, it has to be disposed of somehow. That means having to have pretty close contact with a dead gopher. YUK. So, now you have to get a gopher body-bag, I guess a Safeway bag will do. Then what? Let it set in your garbage can decomposing until the next pick-up day? Double YUK. Do you dispose of it sans a bag and put it in the green-waste can? Again, what if you have several days until your garbage is collected? Decomposition is a smelly issue. Really. So, maybe traps aren’t the way to go.

I continued to peruse the gopher extrication options at the hardware store. There were boxes of sonar emitting devices that are supposed to send out a sound every 28 seconds that sounds like a distress signal to gophers. (What the heck would that sound like? Like a pitchfork piercing the earth? Fran Dresser’s voice screeching, “Run Run?”) Someone told me once that the sonar things worked in their yard. Yet, some online reviews say “Don’t bother.” But with new found hope of maybe there only being one or two gophers. And the plus side,  nobody would have to man the traps, what the heck  let’s give ’em a try. The first couple of days I didn’t see any gopher activity. I really thought the sonar thing was working. I couldn’t believe it. But, and that’s a big but, the third day, I was standing at my kitchen window looking at the backyard dreaming of all it’s potential without the gopher presence. And lo and behold right before my eyes I watched a gopher pop it’s head right up out of one of it’s hole and take it’s sweet time looking around and nibbling on the weeds. Weeds were all that were left after it had destroyed the lawn we once had.  They’re not a scary critter, just a nuisance. Obviously the sonar thing didn’t work. I pulled that thing up, wiped it off, removed the batteries and took it back. But I didn’t buy the traps. I bought a pellet gun. Yep, I was going to get it. I went home, loaded that baby up with pellets. I was ready with pellet gun in hand, the gopher popped it’s head out, I had it in the site and I couldn’t do it.  Just couldn’t pop a cap in it’s tiny little head. I just wish it would go away. Go away, little gopher.

Remember that saying, “be careful of what you wish for”? My terrier, the ratter, Phoebe Rae, got the gopher. killed it. About 4 a.m. Phoebe woke me up to be let outside – I got up, unlocked the doggie door and out she went. I went back to bed. I was still awake when I heard her come back in and realized she’d been out there a long time. But all seemed normal. So I didn’t get up, I knew she was back asleep. But when I got up about an hour later something made me take a look around the room with a flashlight and YUK. There was a dead gopher on the bed. YUK YUK YUK. It’s probably one of the first times I did not want to take a picture for documentation. That is a Kodak moment in my mind. Forever. That’s probably another 15-years of therapy. A dead gopher on my bed. I know it wasn’t like its head was cut off and I woke up to a bloody scene. But, I’m just saying. A dead gopher on my bed. I can’t think about it anymore. But I bet Phoebe does.

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