When I say that "My dog brings me animals", what I mean is "When I see that my dog has a dead animal in her mouth, she runs from me so that I can't take it from her". That's what I mean.

It happened twice in a 12-hour period: once last night around 8-ish, and then again this morning at 7:45.  Both animals this time were little, tiny, fluffy, yellow-beaked sparrows (maybe sparrows, I'm not an ornithologist but pictures of the breed in question can be seen below). Last time, it was a mole. The time(s) before that have been rats, a cat, lizards, squirrels, opossum, and, finally, a turtle (it was a red-eared slider, about 8 inches across!). (Was that a "Missing Cat" flyer on the stop sign a few months back? I couldn't tell, as it had been smudged by the weather. If so, allow me to offer my sincere condolences, and, on behalf of my dog, offer up a "thanks for the challenge!)

Mannie1, Bird 0 (Photo by John Falcon)

Last night, while I was sitting out on the deck, all three dogs suddenly scrambled to the corner of the yard, under the crepe myrtle tree. There was a little scuffle with something in the yard, and then Mannie emerged victorious, with a tiny bird in her mouth. My dogs are fairly well-trained, and will usually drop anything I tell them to drop, but when it is a live animal, it takes more coaxing than just a "DROP IT!!".

When I finally got to Mannie, the bird was no longer a being of our earthly realm. Just moments before, I'm sure, the little bird's winged spirit began to fly up towards the big aviary in the sky. Knowing Mannie, though, that bird's spirit probably didn't get very far before it was snatched from the air, given a death chomp and head shake, and then left to rot in my back yard.

This morning at around 7:30, I was in the back yard with the dogs when it happened again: all three scrambled to the corner of the yard, in about the same place, and again Mannie emerged with another squeaky toy in her mouth. By the time I got her to drop it (less than a minute), the squeaking had stopped. RIP little feathery squeaky toy.

Two more birds that look very similar to the victims now keep landing on my fence, right near the scene of the crime. I am guessing that they are with Air Med, and are looking to get the bodies to the morgue? Here's a pic of one of them, giving me and Mannie the "side-eye".

Small Bird (Photo by John Falcon)

I know that it's Spring, and the birds are beginning to venture from their nests (they should have practiced a little more, probably), but here's my question: is it innate in ALL dogs to hunt/kill animals? Mannie looks like she might have some Beagle in her blood, though we're not certain of her lineage as she is a rescue. Regardless of what kind of animal enters my yard, Mannie goes ballistic and does her best Hannibal Lecter impersonation (she's fine with dogs, though).

Can anything be done to calm the nature in my beast? (I'm fine with the beast in my nature, though.) Am I not feeding her enough? (She's not fat, but she is fluffy!). Or is it, at this point in the game, a lost cause?

What is the strangest thing that your dog has ever offered up to you?