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One starry night we were having a romantic dinner by the sea side when suddenly the phone rang. At the other end was our maid Tina who said with an urgent panic voice, "Ibu! Chocolate makan kelelawar!"
Oh, no. Not again. Yeah, our little baby has been known to catch all sorts of strange creatures roaming the garden. But fruit bat is something new. I told Tina to calm down and try to take the bat out of Chocolate's jaw. It's something that we have done routinely - taking live and dead stuff, junks mostly, out of the clench of her strong jaws. Tina said ok and hung up the phone.
A few minutes later we decided to call her and in the background we could hear the commotion - a cacophony of a barking dog, a screeching bat, a screaming maid and a shouting security guard. "Chocolate! Come here!" "I got it. I got it!" "Throw it away! Throw it away!" Apparently the bat was still alive, barely, but still alive. It managed to escape from Chocolate's jaw when she ran around the garden being chased by Tina and the guard. It failed to fly and the guard picked it up and threw it away. Not a pretty scene, I bet, and it must've shaken everyone in the house. But calm was restored and a paranoid Tina kept Chocolate locked in the house, away from the garden that evening.
The bat, which must've been swooping down low to catch some insect near the ground, is only the most recent of a long list of animals Chocolate has sniffed, hunted down, caught and tried to chew. She proudly presented a dead vole to her dad one day. He acted quickly and managed to grab the vole before she could take it away again and bury it somewhere or worse, eat it.
Tina told me that Chocolate had eaten a bird. Apparently one morning there were two little birds playing in the back garden one morning and Tina saw Chocolate eyeing them. A few minutes later she passed the garden again and there were no birds, just Chocolate and lots of feathers on the ground. Tina is convinced Chocolate had eaten at least one of the birds whole: beak, feet and all. I personally think that the birds had gotten away, scared and missing a few feathers, but safe. At least I'd like to think that way.
Other than those there have been a few snails, some geckos and a whole lot of insects. Chocolate had a big party one night when the house was full of flying termites that came to the house after a rain, attracted by the flood of light. She jumped high, caught the insects one by one and ate them, cleaning the house very quickly and very efficiently (see video).
Our little dog is definitely different from her friend Rachel, a Shih Tzu owned by my friend Ucup. Rachel is afraid of cockroaches, and would only bark at one from afar. Chocolate? She kills and swallows cockroaches without second thought.
It's not like she never had any problem with those animals. One day she vomited after eating a snail from the garden. Another time her muzzle was all bloated and swollen from the sting of a huge fire ant. But these hiccups never stop her.
I guess our little dog has quite a strong hunting instinct, and as hard as we pamper her and make her our dear little pet, she is still a hunter at heart, not a lapdog. And she is just being true to her breed. Daschunds or Teckel had for hundreds of years been selectively bred to help human hunt for badgers and other types of burrowing animals (which is why they were bred to have the low yet long body that can fit the burrow and tunnel homes of the badgers). Kennel clubs included Daschunds in the hound group, dogs which were used for hunting. Daschunds, like many other hounds, have acute scenting power to follow trails. Chocolate surely uses her scenting ability a lot, sniffing around looking for things and creatures in the garden.
"Don't you feel sorry for the animals killed by Chocolate?" asked a friend. Well, I do. As a matter of fact I couldn't bear to look and had to run away when one day I spotted her jumped up and caught a gecko off the wall. Or when she tried to catch a butterfly (she failed luckily, the beauty flew away). Of course I feel sorry for them. But every time I see or hear about her hunting adventures in the garden my heart is torn in two. Part of me feels sorry for the animals and I do feel worried about Chocolate - what if the animal fights back and hurt her? And of course there's always that yuck feeling - she ate what?!? euuuuuuhhhh! But half of me feel very very proud of her achievements - my little dog is an accomplished hunter, she'd survive anywhere!