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Walter Scott: Dog chasing a mouse makes for dangerous company while driving

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Drakesville, Iowa.

Columnist Walter Scott

We had a tremendous storm last week. It only rained for a few minutes, but the wind blew for hours. The wind had gusts up to 60 miles per hour for most of the afternoon. When the actual storm front went through, wind speeds hit 80 to 90 miles per hour.

It did not take long to figure out what was not well hooked down. Heavy chairs on the porch went flying from one side to the other and trees blew down. We were fortunate to not have incurred any major damage, but there were a few annoyances.

There were branches down all over the yard and the garbage can lids went flying. I found one lid on the opposite side of the house, one up in the timber, and one is still missing. Because of the missing garbage can lid, I decided on Saturday to load up the trash and take it to town to the dumpster and recycle center.

Leaving a trash can open is asking for trouble. We apparently have such tasty garbage, wildlife is drawn to it like June bugs to a porch light.

Billie, the poodle, was sound asleep on the couch when I announced to my wife that I was going to go to town. He was not as asleep as I thought, or he had the ability to snap awake when his unconscious brain hears certain trigger words.


One of those words that always elicits a response is “go.” Another is “town.” Two trigger words in one sentence will sent the dog into a begging frenzy that is all but impossible to ignore. He loves to go and does not care where we might be going.

One time last year, as the weather turned cold, we had an unfortunate incident where a mouse decided to winter in my pickup at the same time we made a garbage run. A dog chasing a mouse inside of the cab of one’s truck while driving down the road is not something a person soon forgets.

I thought of this while loading up the trash. It surely would not happen again. Since the truck had not been used for a couple of weeks, there was always that possibility.

Jag, the terrier, was running around the truck as I loaded the three trash cans. Jag darted under the truck and came out with a mouse. I thought this might cure the potential problem.

Billie jumped into the passenger seat, and we started up the driveway. He is always excited to be able to go and bounces around the inside of the truck, watching everything at once. Being accustomed to his frantic activities, I have learned to ignore him until he settles down to watch for squirrels, rabbits and deer.

We were almost to the end of the driveway when he made a dive for the floor and tried to get behind my feet. I was not expecting this. There is not much room for a 75-pound dog on the floor of a pickup when a person’s feet are already there. My feet popped off the brake and gas pedals as I looked at the south end of a dog going north, trying to get under my seat.

I managed to stop the truck by the time we rolled into the middle of the road. I opened the door, threw Billie out and turned around. He got to go for a ride as well as run down the driveway, which he also considers great fun.

He got to stay home for this trip. I decided it was better to go to town with a mouse than a dog, a mouse and me. Sometimes, three is dangerous company.


Read more from Walter Scott .

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Drakesville, Iowa.
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