We’ve been leaving Bud out of his crate at night.
A couple of months ago we discovered we had a rat in the house. We put out traps and caught three of them one after another.
Then it stopped and we thought we’d caught them all.
But we found pita bread stashed under the stove and in the mornings, boxes of crackers knocked off the counter. We found bits of insulation from the stove on the kitchen floor.
There were no dropping and the three traps that we set with peanut butter were untouched.
So we got a motion detector camera and last week at 4am saw the black and white image of a rat jumping from the kitchen counter into the cabinet.
After that we set more traps, this time with crackers, our rats favored food. We put set a “Have-a-heart” trap too. We taped the kitchen cabinet shut.
Still the rat came.
For the past two nights we left Bud, our Boston Terrier (bred to be a ratter), out of his crate.
He seems to understand what his job is. He’s adapting to his new schedule and sleeps more during the day.
We’ve seen no evidence of the rat since he’s been patrolling at night. We’re hoping the rat realizes it’s no longer a safe place for her to get her winter provisions.
Today after lunch Bud started scratching at the cabinet under the kitchen sink. I opened the door and he stuck his head inside, his ears up he nose twitching.
I emptied out the cabinet but the only evidence I saw of something unusual was that I steel wool that I stuffed in the space where the cabinet meets the wall, to keep mice out a couple of years ago, was gone.
Was that what Bud was smelling and hearing, a rodent finding a new way into the kitchen?
What I find really interesting is that Bud really seems to know what it is we want him to do.
It does come naturally to him, he is a hunter. But it’s as if he’s taking this new job of his seriously. As if he’s pointing out the places we have to pay attention to. The holes where the rats and mice can come up from he basement into the house.
So now we’re paying closer attention to Bud and what he might be telling us. I hope the rat is paying attention too.
Bud seems to be enjoying his new job. He is a working dog after all, now he has some real work to do on the farm.