Terror at Run A Muck Ranch

Thump, shuffle, whine, squeak. Thump, shuffle, whine, squeak.

It was a dark night, a cold, dark night. The only thing preventing me from freezing to death was the strategic placement of the five little dogs along the length of my body, under the covers.

Thump, shuffle, whine, squeak.

Those noises could only mean one thing: Sarah had to pee.

Really Sarah? It’s the middle of the night! It’s freezing out! Can’t you just hold it?

I gotta go nowww mom!
I gotta go nowww mom!

Thump, shuffle, whine, squeak.


Okay, Sarah, but if you make me do this, you’re off my Favorite Dog list forever!

Judge me all you want but keep in mind,  in our home it’s impossible to sneak one dog out of the house at any time, including the middle the night. Every time I show any hint of movement, at least half a dozen dogs are doing the happy dance.  The time spent dealing with one dog is increased x the number of dogs stirring at any given time.

But I did it. I left the warmth of my bed and the the warmth of five little dogs snuggled under the covers to let Sarah out. But it wasn’t just Sarah.  While the intelligent dogs stayed all snug in their beds, some of the more stupid ones went out that cold, dark night.

In order to keep the sleeping dogs settled, I let the stirring ones out, without turning on any lights. The aquarium light in the kitchen cast enough glow for me to make my way. To be considerate to the horses at that un-Godly hour, I also refrained from turning on the yard lights.

After letting the dogs out I sat on the couch, wrapped in the imitation warmth of the couch cover, while I gave those stupid enough to brave the frigid temperatures enough time to do their business.

In the same darkness I let the dogs out,  I let them in, and this is when I discovered something was terribly wrong.

The first one in was Mortimer.  Usually he’s one of the last. As Morty came through the door, his head and tail were low and he glanced nervously over his shoulder. I didn’t think much of it because Morty’s a sensitive guy and sometimes overreacts to simple things.

Is a scary thing gone ma?
Is a scary thing gone ma?

Then came Sarah. Sarah rarely, if ever, does anything wrong, but if one of the others strays from the Light, Sarah acts guilty. As she came through the door, she had the appearance of a Sarah who had just watched Morty knock over the trash can. Her head and tail were down but her eyes were turned upward looking at me with remorse. I still wasn’t concerned at this point but I did start to wonder.

I'm sorry that evil creature got in mom.  I promise never to have to pee in the middle of the night ever again.
I’m sorry that evil creature got in mom. I promise never to have to pee in the middle of the night ever again.

Next through the door was Gertie. One word that can never be used in the same sentence as “Gertie” is “fast”.  Gertie only has 1 1/2 gears: ‘super slow’ and ‘super slow.5’, but on that cold and dark night she added ‘almost rapid’ to her gear count. At this point I was becoming alarmed.

I found a gear I didn't even know I had mom!
I found a gear I didn’t even know I had mom!

Slugger was the next to enter the house and on his face I saw a fear that I had not seen in him since his terrifying ordeal with the scary Chihuahuas at the beauty contest he was entered in a few years back.   At that point, I began to get  scared myself.

Slugger reacting to the scary Chihuahuas said his beauty contest. Note the terror.
Slugger reacting to the scary Chihuahuas at his beauty contest. Note the terror.

There was only one dog left at that point and that was Marcy.  She was nowhere to be found so I went outside, bare foot, half dressed in the cold dark night to find her.

Suddenly, without warning, a blur went by me and into the house. I assumed it was Marcy. I assumed wrong. It was not Marcy.

Upon entering the house I heard Morty’s fear whistle. I heard Sarah whining. But above it all I heard a sound that can only be described as something that was born from the unholy union of a rabid badger, a wolverine, and a Tasmanian devil. I didn’t know what it was that I just let in my house but from the sound of it, it wasn’t a benevolent spirit. That was the point I started turning on lights.

I ran into the living room where my dogs were clearly in the presence of a monster, afraid for their very lives.  If the beast so much as looked at the others, they took deliberate steps backward, or fled to another room. There was a monster in my home and it was hideous. For the safety of my dogs I had to get it out of the house, but try as I might, every time I got close I was met with snapping and utterances of rage which only a hybrid rabid badger,  wolverine and Tasmanian devil could make.

The creature ran in and out of every room in the house, including, but not limited to, over Crabby’s sleeping form, several times. As it approached the other dogs they ran from it. Those dogs previously enjoying a peaceful slumber did venture out to see what the commotion was, but upon seeing the cause they returned to their beds, hiding their noses in the deepest recesses attainable, hoping what was transpiring in their previously happy home was but a dream, a bad dream, but a dream just the same.

Eventually I was able to capture the beast in the hallway by the back door, trapping it by closing the baby gate. That’s the point it became its most dangerous.  Not even I was safe from the snarls and snapping.  I somehow had to find a way to get it out the door, but the only way to do so was to enter the chute with it. My family wouldn’t be safe unless I rid our home of this unholy creature. (Crabby, incidentally, never stirred through this entire ordeal).

Because I knew no one would believe my story about this, this thing, I entered the danger zone with a camera. As is always the case whenever anyone gets photos of strange and dangerous beings, my pictures were blurry. It was a combination of the beast thrashing to and fro while threatening both me and my dogs (on the other side of the baby gate) with its cries of the hybrid rabid badger, wolverine and Tasmanian devil, and my hands shaking in terror.  But there was one that came out clear enough to show you the terrible beast that terrorized Run A Muck Ranch, at 1:42 am, that cold, dark night.

This is what I inadvertently let into my home:

Thanks Marcy.

I still have nightmares.


The only way to convince the creature to release its treasure was to pick it up. To this day Marcy hates to be picked up.  In her beastly rage, she turned to bite me, but but in doing so, she dropped the rabbit .  As soon as I got the rabbit out the back door, the beast turned back into the Marcy we all know and love.

How could this sweet looking 20 pound cutie strike fear in the hearts of siblings more than twice her size, and some 4 times her weight????
How could this sweet looking 20 pound cutie strike fear in the hearts of siblings more than twice her size, and some 4 times her weight????

I don’t condone the killing of any animal by my dogs under any circumstances.   Marcy is well fed and had no justification for killing the rabbit. In order to make the best of a horrible situation, I took the rabbit to a high coyote travel area in the front yard.  The next morning he was gone.  At least for one coyote dinner came easy that night.

Note to self in the future:  If Marcy ever catches something again, RUN!!!!!


18 thoughts on “Terror at Run A Muck Ranch

    1. Middle of the night ‘crises’ a few times a month are the norm around here.

      Hopefully you’re following Dr. (and CDL)’s orders and taking it easy?!

  1. Marcy fended for herself for a long time. Guess old habits are hard to break.

    Happy New Year to you and your crew.


  2. We have bunnies. We have found coyote poop on the front porch. We don’t need dogs who think they’re invincible. There was a pit bull a block away who was attacked and eaten by coyotes-the dog was behind a six foot block fence. I don’t know how the rabbits do it (well, I do but how do they get to that age?).

    1. We’ve got a coyote freeway running through the front yard. Actually, one of our trees is a rest stop. My guess is someone around here is feeding them else they wouldn’t be down this way so much.

  3. Oh, my goodness! How could you ever forget that night? Had it been me I would have been scared half to death. I kept wondering as I read what in the world you could have let in that would scare the dogs like that. We have some rabbits that stay near our home and come in the evenings to eat in our yard, a cat came from some place last year and carried off all their babies one at a time and I have not seen the two adult rabbits in awhile now. It was sad to me but I know that is just what animals do.

    1. You’re new here so you don’t know about Marcy. She’s a nervous little thing, at least when she isn’t laying claim to a rabbit! That she could scare the entire rest of the pack (with the exception of the 5 little ones who never came out from under the blankets on the bed) in defense of said rabbit – it’s pretty impressive, especially in light of the fact that Morty too came from the wilderness, and he’s a 70 pounder! I guess there’s a new alpha dog at Run A Muck Ranch!

  4. My dogs catch rabbits. Not as often as one would think in an area where the rabbits seem to sit outside in front of their door, dreaming of carrots all day long. When the dogs eat the rabbit fast enough, I let them eat it. There’s no point in making a fuss over spilt rabbits. But if the rabbit is still alive, I make them drop it or take it out of their mouths. They don’t turn into monsters anyway. Rudi the terrier once woke me up sitting on my chest with two rabbit legs pointing out of his mouth. He was so proud of himself and I couldn’t appreciate it at all.

    1. If the murder occurred during the day, I would have let Marcy eat it. It would have been the most nutritionally complete meal she’s had in captivity. But I didn’t want her outside by herself in the wee hours of the morning. She may have a forbidden romance with 1 coyote, but that 1 doesn’t speak for his whole tribe. Not safe for Marcy.

      I know Marcy and Morty would eat anything they caught, both had to hunt for survival before. The others… they would just play with it.

      Not even sure how I would react if the Rudi incident happened to me, would love to see video of your reaction!

  5. Eek, your eery description nearly had pee running down my legs from fright–hey I know what lurks in the desert! I think I’m becoming more like my dog than he’s becoming like me–sigh. Sadly, humanity and Mother Nature too often collide with not-too-pleasant outcomes but I guess, circle of life and all that, right? I know the feeling of having multiple fur-kids and having the ‘one’ needing to go outside in the middle of the night and the craziness that with the others. It isn’t doubled or tripled (I can’t even begin to wonder what it’s called for 13-other than insane chaos), it’s always an exponential increase. You handled it fabulously. Here’s to more calm/sedated evenings in 2015 (and what’s with Crabby not stirring–is there some universal rule that says men never have to get up in the middle of the night to deal with this kind of stuff?). 🙂

    1. I am clueless as to how Crabby wasn’t awaken by the tussle. He was NOT pleased to learn about it in the morning. Suffice it to say there was a lot of laundry to do before work.

    1. I think actually catching the rabbit would be anticlimactic, I mean really, what would you do with it after you caught it? Isn’t the chase soooo much more exciting?

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