Sunday, 5 May 2013

The trouble with nature...

Reuben - looking like butter wouldn't melt!

Yesterday something horrible happened.  My beautiful, soulful-eyed, little boy dog, Reuben, who is gentle and needy and always needs to be touching you, reminded me that ultimately nature wins over nurture.  He killed a little bird.

S had gone out to put food in the bird feeder and a tiny siskin  got into the back porch. The previous owners used it as a greenhouse and had put up bubble wrap on the windows for some reason and the wee bird got stuck between it and the glass. Before S could free it, it managed to get out but instead of flying out the top of the bubble wrap, it flew out the bottom and Reuben grabbed it. S made him drop it immediately but unfortunately because it was so very tiny and delicate the damage was already done.

S came in and told me what had happened.  I was glad I didn't see it myself. The dogs were sent to bed in disgrace and I went out and picked the wee bird up. I will admit that I even tried massaging his wee tiny bird chest but it was just too late. I was gutted.  


Reuben, the killer.

I know that Reuben is a terrier and it's instinctual but there's that silly wee part of me that was thinking 'I didn't raise you to be a killer, Reuben'  and 'Where did we go wrong' as if he was an actual human kid who'd gone off the rails! Anyway, he certainly knew I was disappointed in him and put those hang-dog eyes of his to full effect to win me round.


S spent the afternoon taking down all the bubble wrap from the porch windows and then called me out to the garage where he'd laid it on the floor so that we could jump around all over it like a couple of middle-aged kids - popping bubble wrap is so therapeutic - I just wish we'd taken it down before it caused that wee bird to get trapped.

I'm linking today with Sunday Sketches, hosted as always by Alexandra. The sketch I'm posting is actually the last one in the 75 day challenge but it seemed appropriate to illustrate today's post so it's jumping the queue a little! I'm annoyed that I drew his snout too short but hey ho, I plan to turn it into an acrylic painting so I can hopefully get it right then. 

24 comments:

  1. Oh dear! Henry says " feed him more meat" !
    I'm with you on the bubble-wrap and the drawing of the little murderer is lovely - he looks so innocent.

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  2. Yeah I am here!!

    Reuben is looking mighty sheepish. They know when we are angry with them...so smart. Too bad about the birdy but he didn't mean to...he just wanted to play with it right? Lovely sketch..Look forward to the painting! He is an adorable dog, I am such a sucker for little white dogs, they have me wrapped around their paws!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  3. I always get such a shock when a dogs kills anything, I live with 5 cats and they kill all the time, but I expect more from a dog but I could be wrong.
    Merle......

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  4. Oh he looks so cute! It´s my fovourite kind of dog. Sorry about what happened. It´s allways awful when animals gets hurt, I know.

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  5. Lovely sketch and done so well ~ He is adorable ~

    So sorry about the little bird ~ he probably thought he could play with it ~ know that he is not malicious ~ He is loved and a treasure to you as all animals are I am sure ~ Bet stomping on bubble wrap helped!

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  6. Oh dear...that's sad. Love the sketch.. :)

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  7. Your sketch is wonderful and I have to admit Reuben would definitely have me wrapped around his paws as Giggles so aptly put it. Your picture of him definitely tugged at my heartstrings.

    I love visiting your posts. It is such a pleasure to be invited into your world each week. Jumping on the bubble wrap sounds like fun. It reminded me of when my husband and I were first married. (45 years ago) I worked at the recreation department so every night after it closed we would go and jump on the trampolines. We had such fun and it was the perfect way to release what I now know was a lot of stress.

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  8. As you said, it's their instinct. You can't really do anything here. However, in contrast to cats who couldn't care less whether we're disappointed in them or not, dogs do feel some kind of remorse and know they didn't do something good.
    Your sketch is beautiful, and I can imagine that the painting will be even more beautiful.

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  9. Despite his instinctive behaviour which can't really be changed I don't think. He looks adorable and so does your sketch of him.

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  10. Well it's a great sketch even if he was a naughty dog. I hate it when my cats kill birds too - though it's been a long time. I think the last telling off they got may have done the trick!

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  11. your puppy sketch is adorable. it's hard to remember that animals are, well, animals, but since i have 2 cats, i have the same problem with them and birds...especially in the spring.

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  12. we forget our pets are animals in their own right first and foremost. Terrific sketch again Nic. x

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  13. Beautiful sketch. I'm so sorry about the little bird. I'm glad you got to release a little tension by jumping on that bubble wrap. That is always loads of fun!

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  14. I love how Reuben is snuggling his toy bird in your sketch! So sweet. You've captured those big puppy dog eyes so well! Poor poochie and poor bird. Nature's rough. But at least bubble wrap is fun. :)

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  15. that is too distressing... and I would be freaking out a bit as well but hopefully with the bubble wrap down there won't be any more horrors... your drawing of him is so gorgeous though... hard to stay mad at such a cutey...xx

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  16. It happens to the best of them. :) My previous dog just opened her mouth and the pet parrot that we had fell in her mouth literally because it was on a table running backwards. I was shocked and it took me like 30 seconds before I told her to spit the bird out. Luckily it was unharmed probably because she was a rottweiler dog with big mouth so she didn't grab it with her teeth. :) Love the portrait you did of the pooch. :)

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  17. Poor little bird. My cat caught and ate quite a few birds and mice in her life, although I managed to save some of her from her mouth. It was always hard to see my sweet little cat turn into a killer, but part of me was also glad that she was still a "proper" cat. Love your drawing, I didn't notice that his nose wasn't right. In fact, I still can't see it, it just looks perfect to me.

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  18. Sad story but it does unfortunately happen, doesn't it? :/ Your sketch of Reuben turned out utterly beautiful! I LOVE it so much. Your talent just continues to amaze me! :)

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  19. I love the sketch - he definitely looks like he could get away with anything! My little terrier caught a guinea pig once, she looked so shocked when she actually caught it, and although she let it go straight away the poor guinea pig died of shock.
    When we lived in scotland we would put a layer of cling film over the window panes in winter to keep in the heat - i wonder if the previous owners were thinking the same thing?

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  20. Aaaw... that's so sad :0(
    Codi once caught a bird mid-flight! She literally jumped up and caught it as it flew across the garden. I yelled at her to drop it, which she did and I took it straight to the vet. It turned out that she had such a soft grip on the bird that it had just a little superficial bruising and the vet let it fly off later that day :0)
    I think that dogs just think they're toys and that it's just a game...? I'd like to think they don't do it on purpose anyway :0)
    Your drawing, by the way, is really lovely!

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  21. Oooops !! Oh dear - back in the doghouse then ?!!!!
    Such is life I guess. :-( I have cats so we don't even wanna' go there !!!! :-(
    Great sketch and I would have loved to be there for the bubblewrap party :-D.
    Hugz
    IKE xxxxxxxxx

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  22. Ah poor little bird, but maybe since it was so small and moving so fast Rueben was attracted to it. Maybe something bigger wouldnt affect him like that..? Lovely photo and drawing of him. A painting will be wonderful.

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  23. Ahhhh! I have two Maltese and a Jack Russell Terrier. The terrier has been a huntress all her years until this one. I was constantly picking up wee rabbits and bemoaning her nature. Now? She's going blind from aging and she can't get them. She still efficiently chases them from the fenced in area but because she cannot keep their numbers under control, they are chewing up my arborvitae horribly much and the neighbors are wondering at the enormous number of rabbits in our neighborhood. Little did they know my dog kept their numbers tolerable for 10 years.... Someone else's turn to get a Russell and shed a tear or two while picking up their bodies from their yards, don't you think? Though I hated the fact that my Lucy was capable of killing these wee souls, I shed a tear or two, now, for her compromised vision. She becomes confused when walking from carpet to non-carpeted floors and does not see in the light as well as the dark and shakes with fear at these moments. As i age, I see differently. Love the sketch. Can hardly wait to see the painting, Nicola.

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  24. I remember when my first dog caught a bird that had flown into the window outside. It takes awhile to get over that feeling that somehow the dog isn't the same loving dog she was the day before...

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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