22 April 2009

Cadaver or SAR dog?

Miska should really be a cadaver or SAR (search and rescue) dog because she is always finding body parts in various sizes, shapes, species and in varying states of condition in and around our property and in the woods where I walk her and our other dogs. So far, all parts have been animal (or so I believe and hope), killed mainly by coyotes and the occasional fox.

The past 2 months (only March & April since we returned from Arizona) have been a record for her - a deer leg, various deer bones, 2 wings & thorax of a Canada Goose, deer antlers, a tail hide from a white-tailed deer, and a few unrecognizable body parts, pelts and bones. This stuff used to go into our garbage but now it goes into our municipal 'green' bin, except for the antlers which I gave to Miska's field trainer, Mike Wilshire, to add to his 'rack' collection.

So this morning, I wasn't surprised (although I was a little disturbed) when she brought me something that didn't resemble a body part. This time, it was a live calico coloured pussy cat in her mouth!!! It was thin, wet, and muddy and not looking or smelling very good. We are surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods with no close neighbours so heaven knows how far it had wandered or how long it had been living or lost in the woods.

There were no puncture wounds from Miska's teeth, thank goodness, but there still could have been some internal injuries from her jaws. After all, Miska is a keen hunter and she found this pussy outdoors this morning while accompanied by her 'pack' - our other 3 dogs. And when there is a pack hunting, there is competition so she may not have been as gentle with it as she would have when alone. Anyway, I pried it from Miska's mouth and immediately took it to a vet. There was no collar on it and I don't know if it was microchipped. I couldn't keep a cat. It certainly needed medical attention but it probably will be humanely euthanised because it didn't look well. Sometimes I wish Miska wasn't quite so keen on hunting and finding me bodies or body parts but if she is ever needed as a cadaver or SAR dog, I'm confident she'd do an excellent job!


  1. OMG, what a shock about the cat. Miska certainly has a great nose

  2. This sounds familiar. Our dogs (a Wire-haired Vizsla and a Deutsch Drahthaar) are always bringing me dead legless lizards and bits of wild boar, deer and other goodies left by the foxes and hunters in the local woods. No cats yet, thank God. Both of them are actually rather fond of cats.