Barking Stink Bugs

Gaige and Tonka are convinced that you all have forgotten about them, due to the apparent perfection of their foster sister. They insisted that I bring to you a story that is all about them. (Well, mainly Gaige, but she is the sassy one of the bunch.)

My dad, an environmental engineer and architect by occupation, raised us to say “Anybody can kill a bug, but only God can make a bug.” He taught us that if there was a bug in the house (which somehow, was very rare) we would transport it to live life in the great outdoors, rather than flushing it down the toilet.

My Daflop 🙂

Then I got married to a big, tough, burly guy… with aracnephobia. Seriously, the man who never hesitates to patrol the house with a gun in pitch-black darkness at the slightest sound outside our bedroom window, cannot bring himself to ‘dispose of’ the creepy-crawlies, be it humanely or violently. And “awhelnaw” could he just let them find their own way out of our home.

A few summers ago, we were on a family vacation at a stunning model home in the Outer Banks, and were getting ready for the day. I was sitting on the bed, probably perusing facebook on my phone, and Jonathan was pulling a T-Shirt on over his head… when I looked up at him in shock, mouth open wide, pointing at his face. Inside, I knew that I needed to keep him from panicking. But. There was a GIANT. SPIDER. ON HIS CHEEK! My greatest regret in life, thus far, is that I didn’t catch his reaction on video. For a muscley, 6′ 3″ tall guy, the limbs were coming from every direction, and the sounds he made… oh, the sounds he made.

Family vacay

While I would probably be described by many as a girly-girl, I must remind you that I did grow up riding horses, so it could actually be argued that I was in fact raised in a barn. Perhaps it is because of this that I have no real aversion to bugs, spiders, snakes, etc. (But birds? Don’t get me started on birds.) More often than not, I am the family member who is elected (what an honor) to dispose of any creatures that enter our home.

The one contribution that Jonathan has made to Gaige’s (limited) “obedience” training? That dog can track down a stink bug. Really, any bug, but I’m sure some of you out there can relate to the stink bug outbreak that plagues Pennsylvania, and many of the other eastern states. In Gaige’s case, she will sit her little butt down on the floor, front-feet prancing, tail wagging furiously, and she will bark ferociously at the offender. If it perilously crawls within her reach, she will nose-jab it, and grab it in her mouth, flinging it through the air to certain death. More often than not, she then swallows it quickly, taking one for the team, as those things cannot possibly taste any better than they smell. What a hero.

The tracking phase

Post-munching… stink bugs are an acquired taste.

More times than I care to count, I have been greeted by Gaige with freshly-munched-stink-bug-breath. Not to fear, we have checked with our vet, and the offending insects pose no threat to our canine companions.

Our dogs protect us from creepy crawlies. What can yours do? (No, seriously! We’d love it if you would share a unique story about your pooch.)