We gotta get rid of this gopher now

Last-ditch attempt for humane trap.

Last-ditch attempt for humane trap.

All those cute and funny names you offered for the backyard gopher my dear wife Karen have been attempting to lure into our humane trap so I can drive it away to a better life?

I refuse to call it by a single one of them.

I’m in no mood for cute, nor funny.

X%$&@?!%^# gopher!

Thursday, just when I was preparing to bring Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle inside so I could leave for my golf game with KP, I heard her panicked bark. I ran through the porch, down the steps, and found her again face-to-face with the gopher, this time several feet outside the fence that sets off the butterfly garden.

The gopher appeared to be advancing, the dog retreating.

I ran as fast as I could, yelling the dog’s name. I grabbed her collar, and the gopher leaped. Forever etched in my mind is the sight of the gopher, swinging from my dear Ellie B’s neck until I shook it off.

I hustled my dog into the house, wet a towel, and went over Ellie B inch-by-inch, whispering, calming outside as she panted, frantic inside as my heart pounded and my eyes searched for any teeth wounds. The only blood came from inside the dog’s mouth. Apparently she bit herself in her barking frenzy.

It did not look like any gopher teeth broke her skin.

Enough. The word humane is fast slipping from my vocabulary.

I’ve repositioned the so-far futile trap, taking it from outside the garden and positioning it immediately in front of where the gopher exits from its hiding spot under our shed.

I’ve placed a call to a professional animal exterminator, and am waiting for my message to be returned so we can get this freaking thing out of our Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood. A call to a different organization with a local number later this morning got me through to a Syracuse city animal expert who refused the job, calling it a “low-success” task for a professional because the raised shed offered the gopher too much wiggle room, so to speak. He said a pro visiting just once a day has little chance compared to a home owner who can more closely monitor the situation.

However, he offered much free advice for different trap bait, and felt confident that keeping the crate so close to the entrance point will catch the critter, though it may take a week or longer.

Ellie B, no worse for wear after her latest gopher brush-up. Thankfully. My gopher club is at left.

Ellie B, no worse for wear after her latest gopher brush-up. Thankfully. My gopher club is at left.

I’ve grabbed an old golf putter and placed it next to the porch door. Every time Ellie B goes out in the yard until the gopher is gone, I’ll be with her, carrying the club.

I will not put out any poison. I don’t want any animal I’m not targeting to get into it.

What would your next step be? No guns. I’m not into guns in a city backyard.

36 thoughts on “We gotta get rid of this gopher now

  1. Oh no! Poor Ellie B! What a brute that #@%*& gofer! Geez! I didn’t know they could be so aggressive. Definitely time for desperate measures. How about a taser gun? I thought my encounter with the mole in my bedroom was bad…


  2. Well, I don’t think the scorched earth policy advocated in “Caddyshack” is the solution. But, yes, it is time for the gopher to move on. I, too, worry about rabies and hope that Ellie B is OK. I’m with you: “No more Mr. Nice Guy.”


  3. I have not gone over all the comments but as far as I know, if you refuse a bit of target practice, then the only alternative is c-4! Of course, you should post notices for any wayward children that explosives are nearby. Hopefully, the children can read and the gopher can not!


  4. OH MARK! My heart was in my throat as soon as I read you started running!!!!! Scared for Ellie B!!! I am so glad she’s okay. I can only imagine your horror. I hope too, that the unnamed gopher is trapped and transported far away. 😦 how scary.


    • I felt a little better after talking to the animal trapping expert on the phone an hour ago, Colleen. No rabies, just a dumb gopher. I’ll keep that golf club/gopher club at the ready. I am sad that I cant let Ellie B just go out by herself into her own yard until we capture the damn thing. Thanks. We all love our sweet dog. The teeth of that gopher are scary, the animal guy confirmed to me.


      • I’ve heard some gopher stories from my country friends. I admire your intention of trying to do this without harming it. I hope we wake up tomorrow to an update that George Gopher is Gone Gopher to some lovely little place far away.


  5. That’s quite the buffet you have laid out there Mark. Maybe I’ll drop by for a snack. Ha! Yes, I feel similarly – when an animal threatens the safety of family or pets, it’s time for serious action. Too bad you aren’t out in the country side – pests and threatening animals can legally be shot. The pest control guy will likely have a solution – I hope he contacts you soon. Good Luck! Oh, can you seal off the area under the shed? With wire or concrete or whatever?


    • I can’t because there is only several inches of clearance between the back of the shed and our rear fence. A real problem for what you speak, which would otherwise be an excellent suggestion, Paul. When I talked to the animal control pro an hour ago, I mentioned poison, and he told me that route is illegal. I never knew that, either.


    • The animal control guy gave me a tip for three new food baits, Mer. I am hoping very much. I can’t shoot it or poison it and I’m not good with a lassoo like a cowboy I don’t think.


  6. My next steps would be to (1) appreciate this post (2) validate your experience, (3) support you in whatever next move you make, and (4) link to this video, just because I like the song.


  7. i’m so relieved your dog is ok…i agree – it’s not cute or funny anymore. The gopher has got to live up to its name – and ‘go’ for it somewhere else.


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