Tale of Tails: Tino & the Critters

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Tino, Christmas 2007 (10 years old)

I have so many stories about Tino and one kind of critter or another – enough to fill a book. There’s:

  1. Tino & the rabbits – so many of those, at least a monthly story about rabbits
  2. Tino & the gophers
  3. Tino & the possum
  4. Tino & the skunk
  5. Tino & the coyotes (too many of these stories!)
  6. Tino & the bird
  7. Tino & the squirrels
  8. Tino & the lizards
  9. Tino & the deer

You get the idea.

Today I’m going to write about one of my favorites. Tino & the possum. This happened after Tino was blind, and maybe about 11 years old. It was early one morning and I was getting ready to take the dogs out for their walk. Tino was out in the back yard, but didn’t come in when I called for him. I look out back and he’s way in the back under the big row of bushes along the back of the property. I could tell he was digging or burying something.

(Tino rarely used his feet to bury things – he used his nose. I think this was because as a youngster, before we rescued him, he had a very bad injury to his back left leg and couldn’t stand on it – he couldn’t dig like a normal dog very well – he adapted and used his nose – not very effective, but good enough).

Tino searching for critters.

Tino searching for critters.

I go out to see what he’s got – figuring it’s a rabbit as we had lots of them in the yard. But I get out there and see yes, it’s an animal, but it’s much bigger than a rabbit – it’s a possum. And Tino is burying it in the back yard. After getting over my initial horror, I grab Tino and bring him inside. I know I have to do something with the carcass since I can’t leave it in the backyard. Steve has left for work, so it’s up to me.

I grab a shovel & the garden cart and go pick up this possum with the shovel – and believe me it was heavy, probably a good 12-15lbs. of dead weight,  put it in the garden cart and lug it over to the trash barrels and dispose of it. It was pretty gross.

TIno, meanwhile is back out in the yard combing every inch of where the possum lay wondering what happened to his wonderful find. (Remember, he’s blind).

Later that day, purely by coincidence our exterminator comes by. We have regular treatments as we live in such a rural area with so many fruit trees we tend to get a lot of unwanted critters. I ask him to take the possum out of the trash and take it with him.

A moment later I hear a yell and a stream of cursing. I rush out to the side of the house and the exterminator is cursing at the trash can and says “I thought that critter was dead – he about jumped out of the pail and bit me!!!”

That’s when it dawned on me…it was a possum, it wasn’t really dead, it was ‘playing dead’ just like possums do. We had a pretty good laugh once we got over the initial shock and he wheeled the trash can out and down the road and let the possum free in the open space at the end of the street. I saw him waddle off and could not believe I had stood over it and picked it up with a shovel to put it into the trash! I still get the willies just thinking about it now!

And at the source of the story…Tino, of course Tino.

What critters have your pets gotten into?

Monday Mischief

Tino is  mischief master, so we are joining the Monday Mischief Blog Hop hosted by Snoopy’s Dog Blog, Alfie’s Blog, Luna Dogs Life and My Brown Newfies


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26 Comments

  1. Hah, he was playing possum! I wondered if that was the case when the shovel came out. I’m sure the poor exterminator has certainly seen a lot!
    Jen recently posted…What is this “Frisbee” of which you speak?My Profile

  2. LOL! I would have thought the same thing! Our dogs have only been lethal to birds and mice, but they love anything that moves and have played with or chased their share of frogs, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, turtles, and of course, porcupines. No skunks… Whew! This Spring they found their first marmot! It was so stinking cute we relocated it to a national park.
    Champ’s mom recently posted…Love is CruelMy Profile

  3. lol!! I knew where this story was going!! lol thanks for the good laugh 🙂
    Christine and Riley recently posted…Monday Mischief 6/10 – Ninja & Roxy (Flashback)My Profile

    • I’m embarrassed to say that I DIDN’T even consider what the possum was up to! Doh!
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino & the CrittersMy Profile

  4. Ha ha ha! Somehow, I knew when you talked about picking it up with the shovel that it wasn’t going to be dead by the end of the story! We have possums around here and I avoid them at all costs because they’re stinky and rather mean. I’m glad that at least it didn’t wake up on the shovel while you were carrying it!

  5. Ha ha ha! Somehow, I knew when you talked about picking it up with the shovel that it wasn’t going to be dead by the end of the story! We have possums around here and I avoid them at all costs because they’re stinky and rather mean. I’m glad that at least it didn’t wake up on the shovel while you were carrying it!

  6. I had no idea Possums could play dead – the only ones I’ve seen have been running along the top of MY fence at night! I’m glad for the Possum that he was only pretending and also that he didn’t get stuck in the trash or buried by Tino! Phew! 🙂

    Wags to all,

    Snoops 🙂
    snoopys recently posted…Monday Mischief – Coconut Oil – I’m nuts about it!My Profile

  7. omg, that is so funny! I guess you can count yourself lucky he played dead when you picked him up!
    Coralee and Finn recently posted…Monday Mischief: Fly CatcherMy Profile

  8. That would have given me heart-failure too!!
    Sage recently posted…SPROINGMy Profile

  9. I’ve had dogs that would stand and stare at possums for hours trying to figure out why they wouldn’t run and be chased…But it was a cat that actually dragged one into the house one night…Eeek!
    GizmoGeodog recently posted…Invasion on Mischief MondayMy Profile

    • Oh no!!! At least Tino didn’t do that…although Jack brought a dead rabbit in a few weeks ago…
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino & the CrittersMy Profile

  10. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I’m thinking, “Surely it’s not pretending to be dead. She said it was really gross. That must mean the dog mauled it and it’s dead.” That’s HILARIOUS! Possums are mean cusses. I’m glad YOU weren’t the one who was bitten!
    Flea recently posted…Funny Bone Monday, 27My Profile

    • Gross in that, I thought it was dead, and they are just ugly looking things…beady eyes, rat tail..ick!
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino & the CrittersMy Profile

  11. Too funny. I wonder what Tino would have thought if his find had suddenly started to run away.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Monday Mischief–SearchingMy Profile

    • Well, he wouldn’t have seen it…it’s funny, if the possum had known he was blind, he probably wouldn’t have played dead.
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino & the CrittersMy Profile

  12. I would of fallen over if I realized it was still alive! Imagine if it would of jumped off the shovel!
    Jen recently posted…Schools Out For Summer!My Profile

  13. OMD, that is the craziest story. i’m so glad it was let outta the trash before trash day came! i don’t much care for possums, but i don’t want them to get dumped alive either.
    wags.
    bailey unleashed recently posted…cypress inn and mission ranchMy Profile

  14. We have seen possums dead on the road or in the distance walking along but we have never really met one and we certainly did not know that they play dead! Amazing that he was able to capture one even though he was blind!
    emma recently posted…Emma’s Taste Test | GBGV | Mischief MondayMy Profile

  15. Oh, that is so funny – especially since it wasn’t you that he bit! Possums are SO ugly and mean! We used to get one that would run along the top of our fence at our last house. It would just sit there and “play dead” while the dog went nuts. The hubs would go out and throw rocks at it to try to get it to leave (so the dog would calm down!) but nothing would make that sucker move. Eeeesh!
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Is My Dog Dumb, Or Just Not as Bored as I Thought?My Profile

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