October 20, 2010

Squirrel Hunting

It’s that time of year. The leaves are turning golden and gently falling to the ground. The sun is resting lower in the sky. The morning chill brings in fog followed by blue skies and white, white clouds.

And the squirrels scurry around from tree to tree, limb to limb, fence to fence – dangerously leaping and even more dangerously racing in front of me! It’s true, I have a pretty strong play drive (I am compelled to play, in other words), but I also have a strong prey drive. Not a strong as my friend, Paige, but still, when a squirrel scampers in front of me, I have a difficult time containing my excitement. Even when Gretchen commands me to “leave it” it’s all I can do to hold myself back. And when Gretchen’s walking three of us (or more) and all of us see the squirrel just inches from our noses, it’s all she can do to not get pulled face first down the street.

Each dog we walk has a different reaction to squirrels though each of us shares one characteristic in common — we want to GET ‘EM!

So you can imagine, this time of year is rather treacherous for Gretchen as the squirrels are busily at work storing nuts, burrowing holes, and bouncing from one hiding place to the next and we’re all pulling on the leashes trying to hunt them down!

Such a crazy squirrel hunting squirrel happened today. We picked up Monty first and then headed to get Woobie and along the way, Monty and I watched the branches overhead, the fence lines along our walk, and the telephone wires up ahead for signs for the rascally varmints. Gretchen kept us under control, but when she had three leashes and Woobie was involved, well life got pretty comical.

If it were safe to do so, she’d photograph they squirrel hunting circus, but that would put her expensive camera in danger as the three of us pulled her down the sidewalk racing after one furry tail or another. Instead, she poses us…but we keep a lookout for twitching tails every minute.

Surprisingly, Oshi LOVES squirrels as well. When Gretchen walks the boys – Oshi and Perrito — Perrito walks out front while Oshi drags far behind. He normally just wants to get his business down and then head back to the house, but if a squirrel happens by, hold onto the leash because Oshi is way out front leading the charge. You can imagine the humorous scene as Gretchen (who walked Oshi and Perrito with Woobie today) has one large, hairy dog pulling her down the street with two little whipper-snappers way out front straining against their harnesses.

I know, today’s photographs don’t really do the descriptions justice.

We found out today that even Gertie likes squirrels and as we walked through her neighborhood she jumped up and raced forward every time the wily critters popped up. Of course, she also jumped when she saw this…

I jumped a bit, too, but Monty? Nope, he thought the spider and all the webs were mighty curious. It took some time, but eventually he convinced us that sitting in front of the ginormous spider web was safe. Notice Monty is the only one smiling!

All that self control is hard to maintain so when we had a moment in the sun, I did my typical roll around while Gertie and Monty looked on.

Of course, Monty saw this as a perfect opportunity to sniff Gertie and she didn’t seem to mind.

Surprisingly, Rosie didn’t mind Monty’s intrusive habit either. That’s right! Monty and I both got to walk with Rosie today and everyone was very thrilled about it all..perhaps Monty most of all. He jumped  up and bounded as we walked hoping to get as close to Rosie as he possibly could. Gretchen kept them sort of apart though because she didn’t want to overwhelm Rosie. I walked next to Rosie instead and protected her from the overly-enthusiastic Monty!

We saw squirrels on our walk as well, but luckily, they never got close enough to themselves or Gretchen in danger!

The biggest hunter of squirrels is Gemma — bred for such hunting and hard-wired with all the instincts of an expert huntress. On their way to the tennis courts, Gretchen had to brace against the leash as Gemma spun and twirled in desperate hope to catch one of the scurrying creatures. Then, at the courts, Saber and Gemma let off some steam and it was a good thing because Gemma was pretty frustrated she couldn’t go squirrel hunting!

Of course, once they blew of some energetic steam, the rested in the cool grass and let the sun warm them. Good thing no squirrels scampered by!

We took Monty home in the early afternoon and then I went with my other mom and laid under her massage table as she received a much-needed massage. There I slept and dreamt about quivering tails and twitching noses and the taste of squirrel filling my mouth!

Until tomorrow,


Leave a Reply