If this have been a tabloid, the headline would learn: 100-year-old goes on killing spree. The trigger will shock you.

A be aware earlier than I start, expensive pals: In case you’re in any respect squeamish about lack of yard wildlife or circle-of-life tales, this one’s not for you. Come again one other time or peruse this previous, previous publish about gratitude for my quirky previous canine.

A white-faced and tan Am Staff mix sits against a plain white background. His mouth hangs open with a pink tongue sticking out. He's wearing a green and blue flower patterned collar.

Cooper turned 13 this summer season. The women threw him a celebration, full with particular squeaky toys, treats, and a birthday crown.

As he ages, Cooper’s physique is–after all–altering.

The primary large change we observed was his eyesight. Cooper has evening blindness. So, we’re cautious about lighting at evening, particularly when he goes exterior to go to the toilet earlier than mattress. After we activate the floodlights, he goes to the toilet throughout the circle of sunshine–regardless that meaning proper on the sting of the patio/grass the place he typically goes extra on the patio than the grass. We will clear the mess. No large deal. (Or so we thought…)

The second large change is his listening to. Cooper’s reached the age after I can open a bag of chips within the kitchen and he doesn’t come working. He’s reached the age after I can open the storage door, pull the automotive in, come inside the home, and he’s nonetheless snoozing soundly–and startles when he realizes we’re dwelling.

{Apart: I have to revisit this publish, What to Do if Your Canine Is Shedding His Listening to. It’s from means again in 2016, however I bear in mind Bernard shared some superb suggestions from elevating a home stuffed with deaf canine.}

The third large change, and one I wrote about months in the past, is his degenerative disc illness. I want to jot down an up to date publish as a result of additional testing confirmed a doable/possible totally different analysis (see: Find out how to get a second opinion from a vet), however the gist is that his again hips are failing him. He has a weak hind finish, and this former runner has morphed right into a slow-pick-his-way-er.

Restricted sight. Restricted listening to. Restricted mobility.

Oh, and he has to go to the toilet each single evening–at the least as soon as–between 1 and three am. Typically twice.

He normally will get up, rings his bells, and we let him out to go to the toilet. Then he comes again in and all of us fall again to sleep.

A pair nights in the past, John let him out simply after 2 AM then went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. By the window, he witnessed one thing startling.

Think about our full and utter shock to find that low-vision, no-hearing, slow-walking Cooper caught a child bunny at 2 within the morning. However, he did.

This, from the canine who permits the mama bunny to eat all of the greens in our backyard whereas he meanders close by.

I imply… how?

For actual. How?

Opinions have been assorted.

Maybe he stepped on the bunny nest by chance then reacted to what popped out as an alternative of truly chasing one down?

Perhaps it was already lifeless and he merely found/investigated the physique?

What if he mistook it for considered one of his squeaky toys?

No matter occurred occurred, so the subsequent morning I searched the yard for the nest. Positive sufficient, it’s precisely the place the patio and grass meet, precisely the place he goes to the toilet each evening and very first thing within the morning as a result of it’s within the circle of sunshine from our floodlight.

There was a second child no larger than my fist within the nest.

So, I obtained some backyard fencing and surrounded the nest, leaving small openings on either side for the mother to return and go. For a number of nights, I positioned two sticks in a x-shape over the nest to observe whether or not or not the mother was nonetheless coming. For a number of nights, the sticks have been moved.

Then, the yard man got here to mow. It scared the ever-living pants off the newborn, who really left the nest and was attempting to bip and bop its means throughout the yard. We alerted the yard man. John and I gloved up. We caught the newborn and returned him to the nest.

I don’t know if that have addled the bunny’s mind, however… he left the nest once more. In broad daylight. Actually whereas Cooper was going to the toilet, and yeah. It appeared to hop proper for him, and Cooper caught it. I yelled, “DROP IT!” And he did, instantly. However the injury was carried out. It seemed like Cooper would possibly’ve damaged the bunny’s little leg, however the bunny wedged himself beneath a cat mint bush. I went and obtained my gloves to maneuver him again to his nest, however he by some means slipped away.

John and I seemed in every single place however by no means discovered him, and I think he both died of his accidents or was predated as a result of he by no means returned to the nest.

I felt terrible. Genuinely horrible.

As a result of the primary one was, I feel, a fluke. The second… sigh. I ought to’ve been extra cautious. I ought to’ve checked to make sure he was both in his nest or gone gone earlier than I let Coop out as a result of that’s the spot the place he all the time goes to the toilet, even blocked by backyard fencing.

Cooper is about 96 human years previous. How on earth is his terrier gene solely now changing into activated? Though, it’s not. Not likely. The mama bunny nonetheless lives in our yard, nonetheless eats our greens, and he doesn’t trouble her.

Regardless, why is my virtually 100-year-old canine occurring a killing spree for the primary time in his life?

Or is he simply in search of a passion to maintain him busy in retirement…

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