Ugh… they killed a groundhog

Last year a groundhog dug under the concrete pad of the front porch and built
a nest.  We put a Have-a-heart trap out and caught it and then took it a few
miles away and let it free.  This year another groundhog took up residence in
the same hole.  The hole was rather obvious and I put a rock over it to see if
he was really active.  The bugger pushed the rock away and dug another path.

Every time I take the dogs out in the front yard, Riley follows the scent but
has never seen it.

Well, today that all changed.  We went outside to play and Riley started
sniffing around.  Apparently the groundhog had not made it back to its hole in
time and was stuck behind a bush.  Riley flushed it out and chased it around the
side of the house by the garage.  Kira and Remy took off after Riley and Bones
soon followed.  By the time I got around the side of the house they were all
sniffing around the cedar bushes at the top of the driveway.  I ran back in the
house to get some shoes on and came back out just in time to see a small rabbit
run from the bushes.  Bones took off after the rabbit but the other 3 dogs kept
circling the bushes.  They were remarkably coordinated in their circling of the
bushes.  They barked and nipped while circling.

All of a sudden the groundhog darted out toward the apple trees in the
orchard and all 3 dogs took off after it.  Riley caught up quickly and nipped at
it on the butt.  He flipped it into the air and it stopped.  I ran in the garage
to get something to catch the groundhog so that they wouldn’t kill it.  I
grabbed a glove and a trashcan and came out of the garage in time to see the
groundhog playing dead.  I laid there while the 3 dogs circled in a frenzy of
barks.  I just laid there on its back.  Riley darted in and nipped at it and it
flipped over and stood up.  It made a squealing sound and tried to dart off.

Remy jumped at it and it fell back on its back motionless.  Kira got close and
it jumped back up, squealed and tried to run again.  This repeated while I was
running toward it but before I could get there, one of the dogs must have made
contact and hurt it.  Then another dog grabbed it and shook it.  Then another
grabbed and shook.  When I got there they were all still circling and it was
laying motionless on its side.  I shut the dogs up but Riley was in a frenzy.
With the glove on my hand, I picked it up by by the scruff.  It was completely
limp and motionless.  The dogs were leaping into the air to try to take it from
me.  As I carried it along, it must have been alive because at some point it’s
bladder gave way and it peed. It never moved the entire time I was carrying it.

I went to the back field and tossed it over the fence.  The vultures will
quickly find it and take it away.

I got all of the dogs back inside the house and checked them to see if any
had been bitten.  None had as best I could tell.  I kept them inside but Riley
was frantic to get back outside.  I kept him inside and locked the doggy door so
that they could not get to the fence or to the back field before the birds go
there.

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