Mooch the Hog Chaser

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by CJ Mouser

Every now and then you come across a dog that just cannot be broken from a bad habit. Mooch is such a dog, because if ever there was a natural wild hog catching dog, she’s it.

Since the day she walked on the property as a puppy she’s been chasing the domestic pigs, and once she starts chasing, she gets every dog in the immediate vicinity involved. She’s a bad influence, and this afternoon, she proved just how bad an influence.

For the last two months there has been a big old black and white sow wandering the property with her seven piglets. They’re hardly piglets any more, as they have surpassed a hundred pounds by now, and Mooch gets no end of enjoyment out of chasing and catching them.

I’ve been watching her, and over the last few weeks every time she even looked at one of the hogs I fussed at her. The right tone of voice would stop her in her tracks, but… I’m not always around. The only other thing that would stop her was the mama sow who was never far away, and the second those pigs went to squawking she would come on the run and drive Mooch away.

This was great insurance for the piglets, but this old sow is an escape artist, which is why she was roaming free to begin with. She has been penned in and broken out of just about every enclosure on the place, and it finally became clear that there was only one way to control her, and Fred nailed it.

“Now that she’s weaned those pigs, I want to see her escape from the freezer.” He said, and locked her into a stock trailer in preparation to take her to the butcher.

So, there was the mama sow locked up nice and convenient, and all the humans in the house. Mooch, not being one to let such an opportunity pass her by, decided to go on the warpath with a little gilt about a hundred and fifty pounds.

Now, a pig will scream bloody murder if you so much as brush up against them unexpectedly, just imagine the kind of ruckus they will raise when they have a forty pound dog hanging from one ear. Suffice it to say it’s the kind of ruckus that will alert an entire household of people and bring them on the run, which is exactly what happened.

By the time we got out there, all the dogs were in on the chase and they were halfway down the dirt road, with the squalling pig in the middle of the mix. Per normal, the other dogs were just offering moral support, but Mooch was dangling from that pig’s ear like a big, fat, furry, earring, and the pig was none too happy about it. We finally caught Mooch and the pig ran home, grunting her disappointment at this heinous attack. There I was, holding a panting dog in my arms, and wondering with dismay just exactly how the heck I could fix the situation.

I carried her all the way back to the house, and once I hit the front yard, a plan began to formulate in my mind. Without a second thought, I carried Mooch over to the stock trailer and tossed her inside with the five-hundred pound sow she has been aggravating for the last few months, and if I hadn’t known firsthand what was going on, I would have sworn that hell had opened up and unleashed an army of demons into that stock trailer.

The trailer went to rocking, swaying, and squeaking, and the sow was grunting and barking, and Mooch was barking and yelping, and just about the time that I decided that I had screwed up royally, a kind of tentative peace settled over the trailer. I stood on tiptoe, trembling, and peeked through a crack in the door.

The sow had flopped down on her bed of hay, and Mooch was sitting bolt upright in the corner at the far end of the trailer looking like she suspected she was dead and just hadn’t fallen over yet. I knew that the old sow wouldn’t give any worse then she got; pigs are basically lazy and only a boar will go looking for a fight. The old sow just wanted to make sure Mooch knew that she wasn’t going to put up with any nonsense, and after she made her point, she went back to business as usual.

I left the dog locked up with the sow, effectively solving two problems with one trailer, and Wednesday when the sow goes off to the butcher I will hopefully have found a new home for Mooch with someone who not only wants her, but will reward her for chasing hogs.

© C.J. Mouser, used with permission.

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