I may have found a solution to the never-ending quest to rid our yard of moles. Only time, and warmer weather, will tell.

The 6-month-old lab puppies have pulled more frozen, dead moles out of the ground than I knew we had. It’s become a game, all of which I don’t want any part of but am being forced to play. While on their leashes we make a mad dash wherever their noses tell us to go. Once they find the spot and do a little digging, one of them comes up with a dead mole in their mouth.

I’m not sure what they intend to do with it, but I can’t take the chance they’re going to eat it as a snack and have mole blood squirting all over the place. These rodents aren’t anything I expected them to look like. The size of hills they produce and length of tunnels, I thought they’d be the size of a rabbit.

If the pups can sniff out the moles when they’re alive and digging their way across the acreage, I will reward them with a delicious ham bone for every mole retrieved. Heck, if they get really good at it, maybe I’ll rent their sniffers out to the neighbors, as I’m hoping the moles realize this isn’t the place to be and move.

Speaking of rabbits – their poop is apparently as addicting to the pups as chocolate chip cookies are for me. They gobble it up so fast it’s hard to pull them away before they’ve ingested it or try to roll in it. I’m beginning to think rabbits poop constantly and with every step. The pups aren’t really picky though. They will eat poop of any kind, except their own, and that my friends is why you should never let a dog lick you on the mouth. Ew!

We have four large bushes in the fenced in backyard and typically at this time of year when the foliage is long gone, they need a trim to get rid of the dead brush. This too has become a game to see which pup can bring in the most sticks. It’s gone on for so long they now proudly bring the stick to us and drop it on the floor so they can watch us pick it up and throw it in the fireplace. At least we’re getting some exercise.

I try to walk the dogs on the 10 acres about an hour after they eat. The strategy is simple. I’m overwhelmed with having so much poop to pick up in the backyard. At first I put them in the house while tending to this chore but it upset them so much I thought they were going to hurt themselves ramming their heads into the shut doggie door.

Thinking I was trying to trick him into this poop party, he didn’t believe me when I said the pups were actually helping me track down the goods. As I fill the bucket they both nonchalantly walk to the next area that needs cleaned. He looked at me as if I had lost my mind.

One of pups thought they’d be a really big helper this morning and brought in a frozen pile of poop.

Guess he believes me now. Ii think we’re going to be in deep doo-doo.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com.