Petri's Place Got A Prairie Dog: How Diggie Smalls Is Adapting

Petri's Place Got A Prairie Dog: How Diggie Smalls Is Adapting


A Journal Entry

Sometimes I don't even know how to stop myself when it comes to these animals. I'm going to need a program one day, I can feel it. 

For some reason, a complete lack of self control sounds about accurate, I agreed to be the forever home to a pet prairie dog. That's right, a prairie dog. Yes, I knew I had too many "pets" already, three of which aren't even mine, but who says no to animals in need? 

So he may not have been in "need" necessarily, BUT he did need a new home and I thought it was a great way to bring an animal into the sanctuary that the public could learn from and that kids would enjoy. 

I do believe I've bit off more than I can chew. Although, this dude has chewed on me a few times. 

Meet Diggie Smalls. 

Diggie Smalls Petri's Place Prairie Dog

Day 1

Diggie moved in on March 2nd. Pretty much things went downhill from there for me. 

When he first arrived, of COURSE he was sweet to his then family. He was a lot smaller than I was expecting, but we all know the deadliest cat in the world is only about eight to ten inches tall. 

This one year old quarter pounder with cheese (okay he's a pound, but I'm bitter) was moved in and was pissed off from that moment on. He literally bowed up to me at one point like an angry kangaroo. 

Did you know prairie dogs chatter their teeth while staring you down waiting to pounce? Well I do now. 

He spent the rest of the day practically growling at me through the bars. Sure, I could give him scratches and little rubs through the cage while his momma was here, but that alllll changed as soon as she left. 

We all know in rehab, that when an animal (especially a wild one raised as a pet) moves from a home it was acclimated to and people he bonded with to another home, there is an adjustment period. I'm sure people will still assume that I was abusing him in some way based on his behavior toward me, but I assure you the abuse was the other way around. 

This little thug literally stalked and lunged at me 

He'd scratch and try to bite me through the cage. Chattering away with his claws in front of his chest as if he were rubbing them together like a villain would. 

Sure, when you'd say DIGGIE!!!! - he replied with an enthusiastic WAHOOO!! - but his beady little eyes were always on me. Waiting for me to slip up. 

Day 2

Diggie 1, Tina 0

Well, it started off with a bang. I was introducing Diggie, the little prince, to a couple of volunteers, cautioning them that he was still acclimating to the sanctuary and although he was allowing me to give him a little belly rub while he held the bars, it was a ploy to initiate his attack. 

The little dude bit my finger through the bars and seemed mighty proud of himself after belting WAHOO, WAHOO. 

I wondered how something so small could be so angry but then I remembered chihuahuas are a breed of perpetual anger that people pay good money for. 

Later that day while he flirted with my dad's motorcycle boots, I took a chance to fix his water dish and he bit me in the leg. 

He literally lept his baked potato little body into the air to monch through my yoga pants and into my flesh. 

I still can't feel the tip of my finger and now I need new leggings. 

Diggie 2, Tina 0

Day 3

I went in prepared. I suited up like a welder with leather gloves that went up almost to my arm pits. 

That little turd was flirting with them. I was however able to grab him easily and move him to a play pen while my mom and I cleaned the disaster he'd made of the enclosure. 

Diggie pitched a royal fit in the play pen until he was picked back up and put into the cage. And naturally, that wasn't the end of it. Not with this guy. 

He kept running toward the door and I'd grab him with the glove and put him back in. After about the third time of literally tossing him into his bed, I realized the dude is enjoying this. He's playing me. 

It was time for Big Poppa to settle down. At this point he has food, water and obviously some sort of leather fetish (should've caught on with the boots), but we had other animals to tend to. 

Still if you hollared DIGGIE - he'd reply with a WAHOO!!! as if he didn't just try to kill you. 

 Diggie Smalls Big Poppa

As the days have gone on Diggie has made friends with my mom and apparently the other free roam animals in the sanctuary. I'm assuming that since no one has been harmed but ME, that this is personal. 

I have no doubt he will one day chill the heck out, but until then he's only getting scritches from me with a telescoping back scratcher I got from my aunt's house. 

There are also zeeerohhhh plans to use this possessed chonk as an ambassador of any kind. 

Run like the wind to your heart's content in your little lime green wheel my friend. You and I are stuck together. One day I'll build you a fortress with dig paths and all the cardboard cat towers your little claws can destroy. Until then, for the love man, TRY to remember I'm the one that feeds you!!!

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