Rats! It’s Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving day was an eventful time at Fort Doberdale.

The main thing I wanted to do was to get my director’s chairs out of the storage shed. When I opened that shed’s doors, OmG! There were rats. It seemed like they were everywhere. So I shut the door and wondered if I could pretend what just happened, didn’t.


I called a friend to ask her what she’d do if she wanted her chairs and was suddenly in the middle of the movie Ben. She said she would flush out the Bens and get Ben poison. OK, well, I can’t do the poison thing for the sake of my children, but I could do the Ben traps in little boxes so all I have to do is take the boxes away when they are done.

I wanted my darn chairs, though, and was getting irritated that those rats were in MY shed in the first place. I thought I had gotten rid of them a year ago when they ate all my wonderful and favorite rolling type of luggage. All that wonderful luggage chewed up by those beasts. Now I was really mad.

So I let the dogs come with me and I opened the doors thinking all the rats would be gone in a minute. Uh huh. We had generations of rats living in here. Not likely.

My director’s chairs are on top of those shelves.

There was even a petrified rat, which is where Raven’s adventure into ratting started and ended. We didn’t see much of her after this picture. She is more into shoving toys into my flesh than doing anything purposeful, like keeping our home safe from predators.

Raven - not a ratter

The mama rat was protecting her nest. Note the white vertical blind which goes down from the top story to the next. I watched a rat slide down that blind, right in front of my dogs! They missed it due to looking elsewhere. The sliding rat ran under the shed, but the dogs did follow. Well, up until the point where they couldn’t fit under the shed. These rats set up that whole shed for their complete comfort. The mama rat is peeking out from under one of my director’s chairs.

Rat Mother Peeking Out From Atop of MY stuff

Next, we have the nest itself. Let me make it clear that an unused director’s chair is in that messed up stinking devoured box. I was the one who had to pull that box off the top of the shelves, and it was not till the point where the first rat in that nest jumped out and across my shoes did I yell.

Nest itself.

I’m in south Florida. Do you think anyone so much as blinked an eye or asked “Are you OK over there?” when the woman next door was screaming bloody murder? Nope. Nada. No.

Well, thank goodness for my Rat Posse Inspectors. They got busy checking out all parts of the shed looking for the rats.


Inspector Pippin is the bravest Dobergirl. Really, she is. I’ve seen her swinging a snake by its neck – a snake as long as she! She is probably a German Pinscher. She’s a little – no A LOT – fiestier and hyper about hunting than the average Dobermann. And she’s the smallest Dobie in the Posse.

The brave and powerful Pippin Shitz takes a closer look.

Here she is with her nose in the nest!

Pippin’s nose in nest.

Meanwhile, all my director’s chairs were ruined. I was especially fond of one I had purchased at the Dalmatian Specialty in Anaheim way back in the 80’s. It was ruined, too! It had a Dalmatian type canvas. Oh well. I would have shared a picture, but I didn’t take one due to the fact I was appalled.

Would you look at this one? Some amphibian used it to lay and hatch eggs, for crying out loud! Does the insult ever end?

Hatched eggs of some sort

That’s my stuff! These wild creatures have a whole yard to use. Yet, they have to invade my space and my stuff? That’s what the shrubs, trees, and plants are for.

Listen, I can say that I have a pretty big open space in my heart for wildlife, but this bunch have really gone too far. So when I saw what Bouchard had, well, let’s say I didn’t shed a tear. I took some pictures instead.

Bouchard holds one rat in his mouth.

I rather doubt the Frenchmann was the Posse member who did the beast in, but he is first in line for capturing these things once they are dead. And rather proudly boasts about being the possessor of these trophies.

Proud Bouchard

Once Bouchard started to chomp it, though, I asked him if I could have a piece, and when he said, “Mais oui,” I scooped it all into the doo-dee bag instead of tasting it. I’m not fond of rat breath. Are you?

Then I removed the nest and whoever else was inhabiting it to the front yard under the ficus hedge. I figure the neighborhood cats have a good ol’ time peesing on my bushes, so let them do some work for that privilege,

Who’s there?

and guess what she said when I went out to the front yard to take a photo of the moon?


What else would a cat say? But she’s right on the job. Magnets…rats are cat magnets, I say! I’d have a cat or two except for the obvious reason why I cannot.

Meanwhile, inside the house, at the time I finished fixing everyone’s dinners, we all were quiet and I said Grace. When I say we all were quiet, that’s true. Even Raven! Then an even more amazing thing happened. As I said Grace, on the radio, Judy Collins sang, so beautifully, one song I never hear enough. Amazing Grace. It was such a beautiful moment. And Judy sang throughout the entire time I served dinners…and thensome.

Thereafter, the Queen Mother rested from the exertion. Even when she’s resting, she looks like a super model. Look at this will you? It’s as if there is a breeze passing over her beautiful self.

Baby, DoberDiva

And Pippin? She will never fill the Queen Mother’s shoes, nor should she. However, she is the resident pip, which is a very important position to hold.

Pippin Shitz

Here is the gorgeous Fort Doberdale Thanksgiving sky…

Fort Doberdale’s beautiful TG sky

…and the Thanksgiving moon. Ahhh.

Thanksgiving Moon

We at Fort Doberdale hope your Thanksgiving day was full of Ahhhs, too.

About Helen

I’m a Southern California living in South Florida. I’ve been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I’m a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don’t understand. So I’m an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.

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2 Responses to Rats! It’s Thanksgiving.

  1. Linda says:

    Goes to show you that you don’t need a man to do the job…you need a doberman.lol
    We went to my parents in Cooper City, and of course Lucas came to see grandma and grandpa. Grandpa always has stuffed animals (we call them his puppies) for Lucas. Grandpa also likes to feed Lucas from the table, which is a no no, but Grandpa loves Lucas so we let is slide. Lucas has become quite the scouter around the table when we eat. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Helen says:

    I like the way your Grandpa thinks! We should all be so lucky to have one like him. I think he’d like one of those bumper stickers that says “Ask me about my granddog.” I really think he would. Santa should find him one for Christmas from Lucas. 😉

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