In the weeks prior to our moving to the South Shore last year, a six-year-old Hanover boy was attacked by a rabid raccoon in his driveway, and there were numerous reports of renegade coyotes snacking on small pets. While I'm always on high-alert, I've figured it's only a matter of time before I come face-to-face with nature. And last week, my number came up. I was in the backyard enjoying the 70 degree weather; Caroline was chasing Vito and I was trying to keep Paulie from eating rocks. Suddenly, I heard a slight rustling in the bushes on the other side of the brook. The rustling got louder, and I spotted some kind of brown-colored creature through the leaves and branches who appeared to be heading in our direction.
Even though I'd started fibrillating, I tried not to become shrill and give the kids major anxiety disorders before they're even potty-trained. "C'mon! Everyone into the shed," I said, trying to make it sound fun. I picked up Paulie and herded Caroline and Vito into the shed -- a safe harbor filled with lawnmowers, weed killer, and razor sharp garden tools. I could hear something drinking from he brook, which really freaked me out. I grabbed a rake and peeked outside. I saw the creature again, a little clearer this time. It didn't look like a raccoon or coyote. Maybe a beaver of some kind. The word "woodchuck" came to mind but then I realized I had no idea what a woodchuck looked like. As the animal turned and scurried up the hill, I glimpsed it in its full glory. It was a familiar creature, indigenous to the suburbs -- my neighbors' dachsund.
While I was never going to share this truly pitiful story, LP, having been attacked by a dachsund once, reminded me they are vicious little fuckers who should not be trifled with.