I live in a part of England I wouldn’t even start to consider describing as rural but, as with foxes, there seems to be a group of badgers living in my little town. There is a small wood about half a mile away, but the badgers seem to frequent my garden, and the ‘experts’ say they must have set up an annexe set there, a bit like a holiday home. I was thinking about can dogs have pear.
Now, I have nothing against badgers, nor any complaint about the fact that they are a protected species – but I do have a problem in the form of two Border Terrier dogs. Terriers in general seem to think it’s their raison d’être to go hunting, and the Border Terrier in particular is a breed of terrier often known as a hunting dog bred to work. They originated in the borders between Scotland and England and their wiry coat certainly keeps them warm for that climate.
Border Terriers are often used by farmers to go ratting and to destroy foxes and other vermin. And it doesn’t matter how big the target is. My terriers are only about 18 inches tall (tall for a Border) but a big badger causes no worries; normally sensible little dogs, that’s where sense goes out the window. My dogs seem to think they can ‘eat’ badgers! The badgers beg to differ. Now in the UK, it’s against the law to hunt, kill or even move on badgers. You can try to persuade them to go but you can’t move them.
Well, about two months ago, a young badger nimbly hopped into my garden and went about its business. Little did it know that my garden belongs to my two dogs. Like a bat out of hell they shot forward and dived into the bushes in pursuit. I hadn’t seen the badger so didn’t know what was going on, and just thought they were larking around. But suddenly there was a lot of barking and within minutes a blood curdling screech. The man of the house rushed out to find out what had happened.
A couple of minutes later my dogs returned and one of them, Farley, was bleeding badly. There was no evidence that they’d been digging but Farley had puncture holes round its muzzle. It seemed the badger had its whole mouth around the caucasian shepherd dog’s jaw . It was 10pm and the bleeding had abated so we decided to wait until the morning to see the vet.
Next day we took Farley down to the vet. He was given antibiotics as the vet said badgers’ teeth are laden with bacteria. His mouth had been ripped apart, probably by a claw and Farley was anaesthetised to have it cleaned and stitched. It was touch and go, and the vet said it could easily break down.
Happily, it didn’t, but I’m sad to say he hasn’t learnt his lesson, as if there’s any sign of a badger we have to keep him indoors whilst he howls at that badger for having the cheek to return.