The damn lagomorphs are coming. They are coming for your garden. Yep! On my block alone, I have to slow down driving several times daily to avoid creating “road pizza” from the busily hopping bunnies crossing the street from one suburban buffet to another. Our dog, Max, has advised me that every day is now an existential crisis for his peers in our neighborhood. Traditional dog/lagomorph customs have broken down – the traditional woof and chase technique no longer deters the beasts. They have sufficient numbers to mob a valiant pooch interested in protecting the family mansion from their munching.
Just a few years ago, a neighbor pointed out the cute bunnies under her porch, I pointed out that they were merely immature munchers of my lettuce, and I did not take kindly to her sheltering them with such obvious affection. Last winter, they trimmed the blueberry bushes to the snow line, began raiding the bird feeders, and one hopped onto the porch to taunt the dog.
This trend is worrying because we have coyotes, fisher cats, owls, hawks galore, and even a few eagles. Nothing seems to stop the multiplying bunnies. However, Max, sometimes referred to as the “hound,” has pointed out to me that our yard has suffered relatively few depredations this growing season; salad crops undisturbed, kale unnibbled, and so on down the line of crops. This is due, of course, to the intensity of patrol actions on the part of his team of neighborhood dogs and himself, barking bravely through the night to keep the yards safe. Bowser notices a rabbit and starts the chorus; Tony picks it up, and soon Trey adds in his yowls. Down the street, Honey and Cooper soon join in. Soon the neighborhood is alerted to the threat, and the dastardly lagomorphic invaders are forced to retreat toward the woods, away from the lush lettuce, carrots, and other goodies.
By now, Max is Basking in the Reflected Glory (BIRGing) of the efforts of the local CCC ( the Coordinated Canine Corps). I ask him to sit, lie down and give him a treat. Then I attempt to explain to him that the noise complaints from all that barking and howling have the neighbors preferring the quiet munching of bunnies to the racket provided by the dogs. Max insists that, like Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, he and the CCC are misunderstood – the Bunnie War must be won by any means. Loss of sleep is a small price to pay for freedom!
In miniature, the dog/lagomorph crisis is part of more significant problems in our society. It’s the old situation where the solution is worse than the problem, making me concerned for the future.
Max, however, assures me that the CCC will continue its valiant crusade to free us from the bunny apocalypse.