My daughter, Angie, who we affectionately call 'Cupcake' wanted a small dog for Christmas. She has 2 weimaraners. Rocket, the older of the two, we inherited from my son, Eric. Rocket has always been scared to death of bad weather, had lived in the middle of Florida for 5 years, and 3 bad hurricanes just about did the ole' boy in. Rocket's life did not get off to a good start. When he was about 15 months old, he was ran over in our yard. This brought on the first of Rocket's many surgeries, a $1200 hip. About the time he recovered from the hip surgery, Rocket was in the front yard, around the pond. He was bitten by a water moccasin, causing his head to swell up to the size of a watermelon. After much anti-snake venom, and 2 weeks in Vet ICU, he was able to come home. Rocket is an old dog now, all he wants to do is eat on a very regular basis, sleep on his bed, and go outside on a short term basis (come to think of it, that's about all I want to do too). Considering all the past injuries (I just mentioned a few on a long list), the advanced arthritis, being blind, generally being old, 88 in dog years, Cupcake decided it was time to add to our canine family. Since we have two weimaraners the size of a Shetland pony, she thought a very small dog would be the best choice. She opted for a Shih Tzu, I think mostly because she liked that line in the Tim McGraw song that referred to a Shih Tzu hound. Since I'm still not burdened by constant, of for that matter, any employment, I took it as a personal task to stay on Craig's List, and other sites, until I found the perfect puppy for her. I found a 7 week old brown male pup, the only white on him is his two front paws. Cupcake promptly feel in love with him, and he her. For those of you who are visual like I am, the size of the new pup is smaller than the piles the other two dogs deposit on the edge of the yard, get the picture? Angie got busy about the business of 'potty-training' Jackson, and therein starts are story. Jackson weighs 1lb, and will eventually gain up to 4 or 5 lbs, upon maturity. Jackson was out in the yard, right by himself, Tim (Angie's permanent finance' of the past 12 years, and boyfriend of the past 17 years) went outside to check on Jackson. About the time Tim opened the door, two huge owls swooped down and attempted to invite Jackson to be 'meal time on the power line'. Tim shoo-ed the owls off, and now, when Jackson goes outside, Tim has to stand out there, with his gun, so he can kill anything that tries to snatch up Angie's puppy.
Having pets taken by flying prey is not a new thing in my family. When my nephew, Jon, my brother Jim's son, was about 5, his mother bought him a rabbit around Easter time. Jim said the rabbit had fleas, and powdered the rabbit up real good, with the same flea powder he put on his bird dogs. Come to find out, in the worst possible way, this stuff was too strong for rabbits. Jim put the rabbit under the carport, and sprinkled him down good, at which point, the rabbit, 'Hops-a-lot' took to having severe convulsions and died, deader than hell, right out there under the carport. Jim's ex wife, and Jon's mother, Maribeth was fanatical about animals, so Jim jumped into plan 'b' which was to throw Jon in the truck, throw the dead rabbit in the back of the truck and into the first deep ditch, on the way to Dublin to get another rabbit. This plan worked well. Jim and Jon was home with the 2nd 'Hops-a-lot', ( Maribeth was unaware of the hare-swap). Jim, Jon and Maribeth was outside, watching the rabbit hop around on the ground, at which time, a hawk swooped down, picked up the new rabbit, who had been in the Graham family for about 2 hours at this point, and flew off. Maribeth started crying, and Jim announced they were out of the damn rabbit business. For the next 20 years, Grahams did not have rabbits, then Ted decided that he would get a few rabbits, Flemish Giants, they weighed about 30 pounds, and it would have taken a strong hawk to fly off with one of those bad boys. Ted had the family carpenters, Herman and Nathan, build a big rabbit pen. Ted bought about 10 of these huge rabbits, and put his breeders together. Well, we all know the story about how quickly rabbits produce, but not for Ted, after several months, and no little rabbits, Pa Pa, Ted's father-in-law, (and we use the word 'law' loosely where Pa Pa is concerned) went to check out the rabbits and noticed that Ted had put two females in one pen and two males in one pen, hence Ted having no luck in his big rabbit operation. Since it was duly noted that Jim had bad luck in the rabbit business, we decided it must be a family trait, and started battering and frying the rabbits, which I can report, fried up quite well, and was very tasty.