We nearly sold Emma to the monkey house recently.
Those of you unfamiliar with the terrier breed of dog should know that terriers are independent, single-minded, and obstinate. Then there's the Jack Russell terrier (JRT), a small dog who thinks he is a big dog. JRTs believe they can do anything. And they were specifically bred to hunt underground; they follow their prey down a tunnel or dig down to them. Keep this in mind as I spin out the tale of Emma and the armadillo.
One fine evening in the the near past (last weekend), DH and I were about ready to go to bed when Emma jumped up off her bed, barked, and ran out of the house through her dog door. We soon heard her barking and thumping around under the house (we have a pier and beam foundation) in the crawl space, which is about 18 inches high. We hollered at her to come and she didn't. We hollered more. She ignored us.
By following the sounds of the thumping noises and her barking, we determined that Emma was under the corner of the house beneath the utility room, which is under renovation. DH has part of the flooring up to do some plumbing work, but has the hole covered with plywood. We could hear Emma and her prey directly under the plywood, so we decided to pull up the plywood and grab her. DH pulled up the plywood and it spooked the prey which ran over about five feet and huddled under a plumbing pipe. Emma, of course, followed and was completely out of reach.
She resisted all our calling and cajoling. We were able to see her by using a flashlight to see under the house from the outside, but we could not reach her. We determined that her prey was an armadillo. It was holed up under the plumbing pipe and curled in a ball. It was not moving and neither was Emma, who was barking at it constantly and pawing and nibbling on it. (Don't worry, armadillos have a tough, leathery hide which is resistant to gnawing by JRTs.)
THREE HOURS LATER, after non-stop barking and pawing, at 1:00 a.m. in the morning, Emma finally gave up and came in the house for a drink of water. She was covered in dirt and mud and was filthy. Her humans were not amused. I ended up giving her a bath right then. DH dried her off with a towel, closed her dog door, and put her to bed. We went to bed.
Do you know what happens to your upper lip under your nose if you rub it repeatedly on an armadillo? You rub it raw and give yourself the neon pink upper lip effect (which is healing nicely and will soon be back to normal). Silly dog.