Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thor and Iggy

Before moving to the island Kevin and I didn’t have a lot of time to look for places to live, so we took the first decent house we could find.  However, after a year in our old place, we agreed that we wanted a change.  So, we searched around for a new place for several months before finding a house that we loved, only 4 doors down from our old house. 

The new house is great, and we really couldn’t ask for anything more.  In particular, the yard is pretty spectacular.  It’s set up on the side of a hill, overlooking the ocean and other islands.  In addition, it’s full of coconut trees, mango trees, banana trees, bougainvillea and hibiscus.  It seems like every time we wake up in the morning we find a new plant blooming and blossoming.  Also, the house has a pool with a nice, open pool deck to lay in the sun during any given breezy tropical afternoon.  To top it off, there’s an empty lot next to our house that provides for lots of privacy.  It truly is a tropical haven (stick with me, here).

Since the yard and the lot next to the house are fenced in, we’ve been letting our dogs roam around to explore freely for the first time in their lives.  Initially, the dogs stayed relatively close to us, perusing the yard.  Oakley had some fun chewing on coconuts and obsessively bugging us to the throw the ball for him, and Thor simply smelled around a bit and chewed up every one of Oakley’s balls that he could get a hold of. 

However, as time went on, Thor got more and more confident with his surroundings, and he realized that there is a whole other world to explore back in that empty, thickly wooded and viney lot next to us.  Ya, know…the one providing all of that privacy for our tropical wonderland? 

So, after a couple of months of walking the perimeter of the woods, Thor decided to further explore.  At first he stayed at the edge of the woods where we could see him, sniffing around for whatever dogs sniff for.  Then, he started obsessively barking up at the trees.  We had no clue what he was barking at, but he was convincingly barking at something up there.  Afraid that he would alienate the neighbors, we’d walk back and grab him and put him back inside.  As a side, it’s not that easy to simply walk back and get him.  Even when on the perimeter of the woods, you have to put on shoes (not flip-flops) with socks and long pants.  This, of course, meant going into the house to change because I never wear shoes and socks anymore.  It’s a pain in the ass, but otherwise I’ll break out with some sort of rash and/or get stung by a bee, or (in Kevin’s case) several bees.  And, EVERYTHING has thorns on it down here.

Regardless of our efforts, Thor crept back further and further into the woods, and his barking continued.  He was on to something, and he wasn’t going to quit until he got whatever he was after.  So, we wound up letting him go back there on his own.  We’d hear him barking and if we had the time and energy, we’d go get him.  Otherwise, we’d wait him out and call him to come in when we could. 
At first when we called for him, he would come home covered in dirt and grime.  Then, he would come home with a swollen eye…then, 2 swollen eyes.  Sometimes, he looked like his feet and/or legs were bothering him.  Many times, his nose would be all scraped up and bleeding.  Since we couldn’t see him back there, we had no idea how any of this happened, but he proved that he wasn’t going to let any of it stop him because the next day he’d be right back out there, barking and carrying on. 

Then, last week while I was out of town with some girlfriends, Kevin sent me this picture…


Saying that Thor brought this over to him, and dropped it in front of him with a big smile on this face.  I think that smile looked something like this…

Then, shortly thereafter he brought Kevin another one, for good measure…


Yeah.  Apparently, we aren’t alone in our beloved tropical paradise of a yard.  All of those fruit trees and lovely flowers are an Iguana’s dream come true.  In addition, like us, they enjoy a nice day of sun-bathing on the warmth that our pool deck provides.  So, I’m not convinced that our killer dog is going to deter them from sticking around, especially since the mango season is only a few short months away.  Isn’t that nice?!

Anyway, Kevin had nothing but pride for Thor, but I couldn’t help thinking about what I was going to do when I got home and had to deal with a dead iguana carcass, or several while Kevin is away for 2 weeks.  Gross.

So, the day after getting home from my most excellent party weekend with the ladies, I let the dogs outside.  Thor immediately made a run for the woods and started to frantically dig.  I watched in horror while an iguana, in all out panic-mode, ran out of the woods, across the yard and straight for our pool.  Without any hesitation, he dove right in, swam to the bottom and stayed there…all day.  That’s right, this thing took “The Plunge” right into my pool! 

At this point, I know Thor will never dive down to get this little bastard, so I let Thor have his fun with him, barking and swimming around him.  Even Oakley, who apparently doesn’t have any killer instinct whatsoever, chimed in from time to time.  Then, I made the dogs come in and took them for a ride in the car, assuming that the iguana would take off at his first opportunity. 

When we got home, the dumb iguana was still at the bottom of the pool in the same place he was when we left.  I quickly Googled how long an iguana can stay under water and found that it can be anywhere from 28 minutes to a couple of days, depending on the breed.  Not really wanting to learn anything more in this department, I gave up on my search and called in the dogs for the night. 

I woke up the next morning without any doubt that our Iggy friend would be gone.  I let the dogs outside and poured myself a cup of coffee.  And…on cue, there was Thor barking and barking.  Oakley was barking, too, which wasn’t a good sign.  I came down to the pool, and there was the iguana…face up, floating at the top, not moving – dead.  It looked like this...


The iguana had literally drowned itself overnight and it’s 10 lb dead body was floating in our pool.  Now what?!  I text Kevin, who tells me (like it’s no big deal) that I need to use the pool net to get it out and put it in a heavy duty garbage bag and take it down to the dumpsters. 

Okay, where are my ladies at?!  Ya know when you know you have to do something that your husband (or whatever) would typically do, but he’s not there.  So, you feel like you really have to suck it up and do this nasty thing that he would normally do for you.  And, you really, really, really don’t want to do it, but if you don’t, then you’ll feel like a total girl about it, and you’re way too proud to call someone to do it for you.  So, you pump yourself up to get this absolutely repulsive thing over with, and you kind of want to cry while you’re doing it because it is thee #1 most disgusting thing you’ve EVER had to do. 

You know that feeling?  I do.

So, the iguana is gone and Thor is now on heavy duty, full-on, four-alarm lock-down.  I mean house arrest like one could only compare to LinLo, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Martha Stewart.  I’m not taking my eye off that dog until Kevin gets home next weekend. 

To make matters worse, a few days after this episode happened, I met a couple of friends at the beach with our dogs to run them down and catch up.  I laughingly told them about the dead iguana in our pool, and my friend, in a very cavalier way, told me, ‘Oh, yeah, you have to take the iguana out of the pool while it’s still alive because they can’t find their own way out’. 

Okay, wait.  The iguana died because of me? 

Hold up.  I should have taken a living, 10-15 lb lizard/rodent out of my pool in order to save it? 

Clearly, I have mixed feelings about this whole situation.  However, if faced with the same situation again, knowing what I now know, I’m not sure that I would have handled it any differently.  I mean, what’s worse than having to take a dead iguana out of my pool?  I’ll tell ya - taking a living iguana out of my pool.  That’s just not going to happen.

So, RIP Mr. Dead-Iguana-In-My-Pool, or Mr. Future-Dead-Iguana-In-My-Pool.  Sometimes things aren’t as they seem, so stop eating my fruit and my flowers and move on out of here because Thor isn’t giving up, and I can’t help you. 


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