Friday, April 16, 2010

Chicagoing: Chicago "Wildlife" and Mr. B. the Rat Hunter

Being a big city, people don't realize that we still have wildlife in Chicago. We just have a different type of nature. Instead of being woken to the sounds of songbirds, we hear the cooing of pigeons outside our window. These birds are so tame that even dogs as nonstrategic as Miss M. can sneak up on them:In our neighborhoods you'll still see the occasional seagull who made their way over from the lake:And best of all, we are a city filled with "wild" rats. These rats are the size of footballs. And while they're most populated in the alleys, they have become emboldened and they've started to infiltrate our streets. Plus, I've read that a large part of a rat's diet is dog poo, which makes it the more frustrating when people don't clean up after their dogs.
The good thing is, I never really see these rats, but I do know that they are always around. See, Mr. B. is a terrier which makes him prone to rat chasing. Re-enactment photo:This is supposed to be a special talent, but I think it's more of a curse. We could be going on a nice walk and it makes me uneasy when Mr. B. suddenly perks up, gets into stalking mode, and starts looking under some parked car or bush. Even though I don't see this rat myself, I still don't like knowing it's there.
The good thing is Mr. B. has never actually caught one of these rats. He just makes do with his mini-me. Ironically, it was Miss M with her stealth and prowess who actually caught the rat : We were on our walk when she stuck her head in a pile of leaves and came out a long tail swinging out of her mouth. I grabbed her and told her to "drop it"; we were in a stand-still for a good minute, until she finally released it, rat and all.
I'm not a big fan of our city "wildlife", does anyone have any positive interactions with nature?

22 comments:

laura said...

Thank God I've never seen a rat here in our Big City but Duncan acts like that with squirrels. I make sure to keep a tight hold on his leash. I like the rat population control method of catching feral cats, neutering them, and letting them loose again. This keeps the cat population down too.

Mango said...

That is too funny. Most of the wild life I see is flat on the road. We do get rabbits who leave most nommy poop in our yard and sometimes Bambi is in the yard next door trying to make me cracker dog.

I think that if I ever saw a big old rat that I would be very afraid.

Slobbers,
Mango

Sallie said...

Seagulls are fun to chase! But they always seem to get away.

Two Crazy Coaches said...

I'm so glad we don't have to deal with rats. But, we get to deal with bunnies instead. Ollie particularly likes to stalk them so I know how you feel. I'm just glad bunnies are cuter than rats! I'm impressed Miss M caught one..way to go!

Rescued Pittie Family said...

So gross! I would pass out if one of my kids pulled a rat out. Ewwww!
But after I got over being grossed out I'd be quite impressed with their hunting prowess.
That is awesome in a gross, doggie-only way. :)

Benny and Lily said...

Hey
those birdies live by us too. We love the way you carry your baby/stuffie with you..BOL
Brenny & Lily

brooke said...

Gross! Id have to wash Darwin's mouth out if she caught a rat! Yuck. I dont think we have to worry about that because even birds flying by make her jump.

Mack and Mia said...

Man-O-man! We have rabbits, squirrels, brids, and I've even seen a chimpmunk! We never catch any, I guess Mia and I are too slow, but it sure is fun to try!

Well...mom doesn't think it's fun...she said one day we are going to rip her arm out her socket...ahhh well...

Wags and Woofs,
Mack and Mia

houndstooth said...

I'd just be done if one of our picked up a rat! I'm not sure if it quite counts as wildlife, but here in our little village, there are horses that ride up and down the streets at times and Bunny is pretty sure that if she had a chance, she could take one down. She goes into stealth mode when we see them!

will said...

Somehow I think the rats in Chicago are a lot cleaner then the ones here in New York. I'm sure there is no truth to this but the ones here are filthy.

christine said...

Yikes. Mr. B is so precious walking with his stuffed rat though!

I've never seen any rats around where I live, but my dogs once tried to run into the middle of the street to get to a dead bird.

Martine said...

Oh gosh... we had no idea rats ate dog pooh... GROSS!

Up at my parents cabin in Michigan, Bailey gets to see plenty of wildlife... she perches on top of the couch and patrols through the window, never actually getting a chance to attack!

She also gets very annoyed if there is a animal living under my parents back deck... they will drive her crazy until the animal decides this might not be the most delightful place to make a home!

xo martine & the kiddlets

the booker man said...

lol, i love mr. b's rat stuffie.
fortunately, we don't have rats were i live, but we do have a lot of bunnies. a few weeks ago, asa and booker managed to catch a bunny in the backyard and killed it. i was so distraught. :( this was also at like 11pm right before we were all going to bed, so i was not at all pleased about getting both of them in the shower for baths and teeth brushings. ick.

the booker man's mama

Kari in WeHo said...

we loved nature when we lived in Alaska, not so much here in LA

puddleofink.com said...

I had a pair of pet rats until very recently (old age, blah). Napoleon is happy to coexist peacefully with anything, but Louis seems to think that coexisting is not enough and that everything should be *playing* with him as well. So when we see squirrels, deer, crows, neighborhood cats, etc. on our walks, he starts playbowing and doing his most inviting Chewbacca impression until they disappear. Poor guy is always so disappointed!

Pibble said...

Charlie thinks she can catch squirrels and climb trees, but she really can't. I haven't broken the news to her yet. :)

1000 Goldens said...

Drop it Mr. B!! Drop it!

Daisy Dog said...

Well I live in the foothills, so we get lots of wildlife, deer, bears, racoons, rats. The worst part is I put out birdfood at the feeders and guess who sits on the feders eating it?

cre8vekaos said...

For me & Quizz it's the evil tree rodents (squirrels) and rabbits. Finally, Quizz and I have agreed on the proper response to his hunting prowess is 'Good Spot!' That way he can see all the things he wants to, but not drag me after real and imaginary wildlife. Of course the morning we came face to face with a fox with her breakfast bunny clamped in her jaws... Well that's another story.

Bobby said...

I think there are rats everywhere, we see them when we are out but they dash away. We do have a lot of squirrels in the park, John has fostered some dogs that try to climb the trees after them.

susan said...

I already commented on the rats but wanted to add that squirrels are the biggest menace in my neighborhood. There's a little bit of everything though. Funny Stella strolled right by a Canadian Goose (three feet away) a couple of days ago and didn't even blink. I still can't figure that one out.

Courtney said...

I'm a newcomer to your blog (found you through Love & a Six-Foot Leash), and this post reminded me of something Jen Lancaster wrote in one of her books, about a rat in her house and how her husband didn't believe her. (She and her husband Fletch lived in Chicago for years, until they bought a house in the suburbs a couple of years ago.) So this made me smile.

Love the pups. Mr. B is so cute, I just want to take him home with me. :)

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