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The groundhog incident

I feel like it is time to write about Tully. Oh Tully….what is there to say about Tully??? This dog is the most ridiculous, yet loveable, dog I have ever met. He was the dog we didn’t know we needed in our lives, who came at a time where I really needed him in my life. He is a goofy white pitty mix with the most expressive face and quirky personality who busted into Camp Mehaffey last fall and never left. I have lots of stories about Tully, but the one I would like to share today is one we affectionately refer to as ‘the groundhog incident’.

Every summer we get groundhogs in the yard. They especially like to live under the barn, and for some reason feel that a den of wolves is an excellent place in which to raise a family. Our dogs have a grand time every spring and summer tearing ass through the yard to the barn to chase the groundhogs back under the barn, or scurrying off into the woods. This activity is one that all dogs at Camp Mehaffey come to embrace, and Tully was no exception. Tearing gleefully through the yard, probably not even really knowing what he is chasing, is something he truly enjoys as a summer pastime.

This summer there was an especially dumb group of groundhogs that took up residence under the barn. They were not good at running away, and we saw several close calls early on in the season. It started with a barking frenzy one day and we ran out to find a standoff between what I can assume was the father groundhog and Croi. Killian and Tully were just leaping around barking, but Croi was dead set on taking this intruder down, and had already gotten in a few hits. The poor groundhog limped off when we intervened, but we found him a few days later in the garden, and unfortunately, he did not make it. Fastfoward a couple days, Tom looks out the window to see Tully prancing in the yard with something in his mouth that looked like a stuffed toy – flopping it around in the breeze, and having a grand old time with this super fun and furry toy. (I’m sure you can ALL see where this is going…) He goes out to check, and sure enough, it’s a dead baby groundhog. That day he disposed of dead mom and 2 dead babies. There’s no telling how they died (awkward silence….), but only that they were in fact, deceased. I know this is getting dark….I promise there is a horrifying laugh coming.

Now that we have established that my adorable dogs are also stone-cold killers, here comes the best part. That evening we are lying in bed watching TV – Tom, Connor, and I - with our furry adorable companions snuggled in around us. Tom lets them out to go potty, and a few minutes later as he lets them in, he yells, ‘Tully wait! (which of course, Tully does not wait), and then to me – ‘He’s got something!’

Now, I’m going to pause here for a minute to say something. I am generally a fairly calm person. I don’t easily get flustered or rattled by dead animals or blood, but when Tully came barreling into our room, leapt onto the bed at my feet, and joyfully dropped the HEAD of a baby groundhog ON MY FEET, blood all over his gleeful face as he showed me his prize…..I FREAKED THE HELL OUT. Screaming. Lots of screaming – clutching to my 11 year old son, as I screamed at the top of my lungs and tried to pull myself into the tiniest ball on top of my pillow. Meanwhile, Tully is leaping around wondering what the fuss is all about, the other dogs keep jumping on and off the bed in confusion, Connor is trying to climb away from my clutches, Tom is hysterically laughing from the door, and the groundhog head? Continues to be dead, and ON MY BED. It was solidly the most horrifying moment with my dogs that I have ever had. After Tom disposed of it, and convinced me we didn’t need to burn down the bed and we cleaned everything up, including scrubbing the fur practically off Tully’s face…I can look back and laugh. But dang, I don’t feel the need to ever be in that situation again. I know dogs will be dogs…but could they keep the dead animals out of my bed? I feel like that is a reasonable request. Until next time…#LifewithTully continues.

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