traps

Last week there were some big surprises around these parts.

Thursday night I was walking the poodles on the atv trail at the bottom of our driveway. I was almost to Mason, so I could see people’s houses from the trail. All of a sudden I heard an odd noise and then Klue start screaming. REally, screaming is the only way to describe it. It’s that noise she (and some other dogs, though not Nitsa) makes when you step on her paw. Only it was neverending. I thought: shit. porcupine. Then I turned around and worked on processing what I saw. Which was this:

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Someone smart asked me to point out how to release a trap in case it happens to someone else. Okay, the part that snaps down is the top two bars that you’re looking down on. What you can’t see well in this photo is two pieces of metal that are snapped up perpendicular to the trap part of the trap. When it is closed (like around her paw), you step on the two side pieces, which open the trap. It would be hard for a lot of people to do it with their hands, but it is possible. The DNR officer trained me in on this. Side note: Klue is okay because the trap was not the sharp, sawtoothed kind). This is a legal coyote trap.

So, Klue’s paw was stuck in trap and she was howling and dragging it. I stopped her and huddled over her. I looked at the trap to see if I could figure out how to get it off, but I wasn’t sure. When I got close to it, she bit me (don’t blame her). I was afraid to try to remove it in case I hurt her more.

Bryan didn’t answer, so I called the ER vet. Answering machine. I huddled over and her and talked to her and then started just screaming for help. I called Matt, in case he was close by or knew how to remove it. I was sure she was going to lose her leg and I couldn’t do anything. I just kept screaming and she just screaming and Nitsa played with her frisbee and thanked her lucky stars it wasn’t per paw that stepped on the evil metal thing.

Finally I saw a jeep coming down the trail. I waved and waved him forward, but instead he stopped and put his dog in his car and waited. I kept yelling and waving and finally he pulled forward, got out and removed it from her paw. I was sobbing and asked for a ride to the end of the trail so I could take her to the vet. He hesitated and said, “Let’s just see if she can walk it off.” Odd, but he did have a dog in the car. Perhaps it was unfriendly. She did walk it off and appeared to be fine, I guess because she had pulled it so it was just on her toes. The guy kept apologizing for stopping and not coming to help sooner. I just kept repeating, “Who the fuck would do that, put it right on the trail like that?” He grabbed the trap from the ground and I decided I wanted to take it. He gave it to me and asked if I was going to call the police or DNR or anything. I said I thought so. He said, “Well, if you aren’t going to, I can take care of that trap for you.” So I decided that it was coming home with me. He asked if I was okay and I headed out, with both dogs on taut leashes so they’d stay in the middle of the trail, and with a big, heavy trap dangling from my hands. When I got to the porch, I just sobbed, feeling so bad I couldn’t help Klue.

Long story a little bit shorter, a conservation officer came out to the house, inspected and took the trap, and said, “Welcome to the U.P.” Evidently that trap was legal and it was legal to put it there. Now we do not walk there and I put up a sign to warn others. I called Tim, our neighbor, who lives right by where it went off, since his dog, Finley, runs around up there.

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