Tsuga, the Yellow Lab, was holding his mouth funny–as if he were about to say something in the way of an explanation, lips not quite together and a little guilty looking.
“What do you have? DROP IT!”
And out popped a spit-covered, perfectly intact inch wide new-hatched Eastern Box Turtle. I think it is the smallest I’ve ever seen.
The dog finds adult Terrapene carolina commonly and at one time in his puppyhood considered them a kind of crunchy delicacy. We scolded him and made him feel guilty of turtle mutiliation, so now he finds the full-grown turtles, he just carries them around in his gaping mouth for a while, then brings them over to us, lowers his head, and gently places them on the ground.
We relocate them while the dog can’t see. He almost always finds them AGAIN. We hide them AGAIN. He finds them AGAIN. You get the picture.