The Carrot Thief

The carrots are disappearing from the garden.

Every year, I try to over-winter a few carrots in the ground. They usually hold pretty well, and we’re eating fresh carrots in early April if they survive. I’m used to losing a few to rabbits and rodents, who will tunnel under the snow and mulch in the coldest part of the winter to feed.

This year is a little different.

We lost all of our snow-cover last week in a string of days in the 40’s. The ground thawed enough to pull a few weeds and inspect the gardens. A whole row of my precious carrots had been decimated! Not typical rodent damage, where the tops are nibbled away. Dug up, pulled out, GONE!

I puzzled over it. Had the deer been sneaking in at night? Possible, but not likely. They don’t get too close to the house because of the dogs. They’d have to be pretty hungry to risk it, and there’s still plenty of other food around. Squirrels? Maybe. Raccoons? That had possibilities. They’re dexterous enough to extract the carrots, and you can’t beat them for boldness. John saw one on the front porch one morning last month that actually came TOWARDS the door when he tapped to get its attention instead of running away.

The mystery was solved one afternoon when I managed to catch the thief red-handed – err..pawed.

Chloe the carrot theif


As I watched from the kitchen window, my sneaky dog  walked to the edge of the bed and looked side-to-side to be sure I wasn’t out there. She then gently pawed the dirt away from the carrot, latched-on with her teeth, gave a mighty TUG, and trotted off  to hide under the dogwood tree and eat her prize.

I was dumbfounded. She’s a food-dog, we’ve always known that. She eats twice a day, regular meals, so she’s not hungry. I guess she likes the taste of vegetables! I think I remember my mom telling a story about a German Shepard she knew who “harvested” all the peaches off his master’s tree. Both of my dogs will eat the apples that fall from the trees. But I have never heard of one that would dig up her own carrots to eat!

How about you? Anyone else ever have a dog do something like this? Or is Chloë uniquely strange?


6 thoughts on “The Carrot Thief

  1. the long short of it is this: I love carrots, so clearly my dog-child would too.

    oh, that and she’s crazy.
    Love you, mama 🙂

  2. This brings two things to mind. ….. Whose dog ate the peaches??? I remember the incident but not who owned the peach thief.

    Also, do you remember when Bandit came on the porch and ate out of the dogs bowls? She would love to have come in the house. She would look through the glass door and survey the entire den and kitchen. I’m sorry that we disturbed the one that was in the old elm tree. Maybe now they won’t wake me by running across the roof!!!

    I gave your link to Beth Kesler Wright. She is very busy so don’t know when or if she will have time to read your stuff. She is writing on her own.

    I enjoy everything you write!!!

  3. Mom,
    I think the dog in question’s name was Chauncy. It’s not someone I ever knew (or maybe was too young to remember). Does that ring any bells?

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