… on security training

Watching a movie (Blaze doesn’t like the scary parts)

First, I want to thank each and every one of you who commented here, or on Facebook, or who messaged me privately with incredible empathy and sympathy surrounding Templeton-the-rat’s visit last week.

Those of you who laughed at me are also still welcome here, which is probably a good thing because I laughed at me quite a bit. Rest assured, all, that my deluxe cast metal Certified Wildlife Habitat sign is now in place (not yet augmented with the word ‘selective’ in front of ‘wildlife’).


When I was talking to the ShepHerds about Templeton’s visit, they expressed a strong desire to guard against, and even directly challenge Temp (we call him ‘Temp’ now because even one visit from a rat makes you feel not only kind of dirty, but also kind of familiar (in a way you never wanted to be).

So I was thinking some training might be necessary.

Kind of like Mr. Miyagi with Daniel-son, but with fewer routines requiring thumbs.

We headed out to the back yard and that was when we told Marshal he would be playing the part of Temp. You know. The rat.

He was… er… not happy.

But, hey, someone had to do it.

So Blaze was going to be playing the role of the guard ShepHerd.

We explained to Marshal that he could not be totally and completely wHimpy because rats are not. He had to pretend that Blaze found him under the bird feeder and that he would not easily give up his birdseed.

Marshal stated, rather emphatically, that he did not like birdseed at all and so why would he defend it.

Then we explained that ‘birdseed’ to a rat was the equivalent of a piece of cheese to a Marshal Dillon Dingle. This, he understood.

So Blaze approached.

And Marshal defended his make-believe piece of cheese.

I was very complimentary to Blaze at this point, because she was being very careful of the fake-Templeton’s bite-y parts, and not just going in for the kill (I mean ‘catch-and-release’, which is for sure what we were training for here. We would never advocate rat-i-cide within the Dingle Certified Wildlife Habitat (the lawyers made me say that)).

So this seemed to be going well.

All the way up until I accidentally referred to rats as ‘pests’, and Marshal – who said something about method acting – embraced the ‘pest’ part… with vigor.

And I could tell that Blaze was kind of wHispering to him to tone it down a little bit…

So then she tried to give him the message with the famous Royal Side-Eye…

But the little sucker still didn’t get the message. And, at that point, Blaze went all method herself. Marshal Dillon Dingle was a RAT, and he had to be eradicated from her yard right then and there and that was it. The Princess released her inner kraken right then and there…


Do not fret, all you fans of Marshal Dillon Dingle. The little scamp walked away from the encounter just fine (though with a healthy respect for the fact that highlighting the ‘pest-y’ side of the rodent role was probably not his best decision (and maybe heeding Blaze’s side eye is always be a good idea)).

That being said, I am wicked happy.

Because, when Blaze went all nuclear, Marshal didn’t posture or threaten or even attempt to negotiate.

The kid dropped like a rock.

As would…

I imagine…

An actual rat.

I feel safer already.

Thanks for readin’.

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