Double Trouble? Manic and Lorraina vs Nature

Hi, I’m Allison! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my three mixed-breed dogs from Thailand, Jelly, Lorraina, and Manic.

Before I moved to the US with my dog trio (and husband) in tow, I made sure that they had a place they could explore outside. In Thailand, the dogs had free-range of the neighborhood but never went too far. I loved that they could run around, explore nature, and get exercise. At their new home, they had over two fenced-in acres of wooded land to call their playground.

Now, interacting with nature can lead to some issues. It was not uncommon for dogs to attack and kill some of the wild animals, like snakes and rats, in Thailand. Sometimes, they would try to attack a monitor lizard but get lashed at right back.

However, here in the States, the dogs have plenty of animals they have never seen before—leading Manic and Lorraina to pair up to cause trouble.

Chipmunks and Rabbits and Squirrels (Oh My!)

While it is not the heart of the Serengeti, Maryland has its fair share of wildness, especially if you live in the rural areas. Squirrels, chipmunks, and various songbirds are incredibly common. Rabbits, raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, foxes, turkeys, geese, and deer are frequently seen during certain times of the day. There is a rumor about coyotes in the area, which I hope is just a rumor.

The mix of animals living freely in my backyard is wonderful, but I underestimated how my dogs would react to all these new fuzzy creatures at their doorstep. Lorraina and Manic decided that the best way to get these animals was to team up.

Manic near wood pile
Manic out by the wood pile

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

In the morning, Lorraina and Manic are already eager to start some trouble. The morning is when the squirrels and chipmunks are most active at the bird feeders, so before I let them out, I clap my hands to scare away the unsuspecting creatures. Once they get a head start, I let the dogs out.

Manic shoots out of the door like a cannonball and launches himself over a stone wall to get to the nearest trees as quickly as he can. Lorraina, who is far less nimble, runs to the other side of the stone wall to catch up to Manic, excited about what kind of trouble they are going to get into. If it was a squirrel, it usually beats them up a tree and can leap to another one, leaving Manic and Lorraina confused and frustrated.

If it was a chipmunk, however, things were different. We have a lot of chipmunk burrows in the rock wall on the property, so if they can get into their home fast enough, the dogs cannot get them. But if they were foraging in an open area, they would need to run up the nearest tree.

Now, while chipmunks can climb trees, they are not meant to be up there for that long. But once Manic and Lorraina knew they had one up a tree, they would sit under it for an hour, waiting for it to come down. I would rustle them up back into the house to give the chipmunk time to climb down.

Rabbits were a different story. They would give my dogs quite a chase, disappearing between fence posts. But this is only if they notice the dogs. If they are busy nibbling on grass, they hardly notice the dogs creeping up on them. Thankfully, the saying “quick like a bunny” is true. The rabbits continued to outsmart them. Most of the time.

Far shot of Lorraina and Manic

Far shot of Lorraina and Manic

A Dog’s Hunting Instinct

I understand that dogs have an instinct to hunt. Even though we have domesticated them, many dogs will still have the urge to chase, catch, and, unfortunately, kill creatures. Sadly, Manic and Lorraina have managed to kill a few of the animals they encounter. It breaks my heart for the small mammals I have had to bury, but can I really blame them for acting like, well, dogs? As perfect as I think my dogs are, they have things ingrained in them that I don’t think I can change.

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