Monday, October 26, 2009

Silence of the squirrels

Squirrels are great little sprinters and it's always impressive when a dog can catch one. After the catch ... maybe not so much fun. Definitely no fun for the squirrel.

Yesterday I was out with my three, and I guess I had a moment of inattention because Tally lunged for a squirrel and her leash just jumped right out of my hand. At first I thought "No biggie. She'll tree it then stand barking at the base of the tree and I'll go get her." I was a little flabbergasted that she caught it with absolutely no problem. She's an amazingly fast little dog.

For a second it looked like the squirrel would get away, because Tally released it ... no, then she caught it again, wounding it this time. She kept catching it, releasing it and catching it again like a cat would, and I couldn't stand to watch. So I let go of Lucy and Pinky, knowing that Lucy would go straight for the kill and end the poor squirrel's suffering. She did, with one quick bite.

So then I had three dogs playing tug-of-war with a dead squirrel, and I was hoping to creep in and grab their leashes before ... too late. Tally gained control of the squirrel and took off with the other two in pursuit. I became the crazy dog lady running down the street screaming her dog's names in vain. It was a nice day and neighbors were out, too.

Lucky for me Tally wanted to enjoy her prize on her home turf. She led us all straight home and when I caught up I only had to open the gate to the back yard and everyone ran in. Tally proceeded to take victory laps around the yard with her treasure while the other two chased her.

I didn't want to have to go searching for the squirrel or its bits later (when it was likely to start stinking) so I needed to get Tally to drop it. A while back I got Pinky to drop a dead rat (killed by Lucy) by throwing cheese at her, so I went in to get some food. I grabbed some meatballs--perfect for throwing! I also grabbed the camera, and here's what followed:



And no matter how many times I do it, I can never get over my squeamishness and revulsion at having to pick up a dead critter ...

In other news, Tally is adorable, if occasionally annoying:

6 comments:

team small dog said...

Wow I randomly thought, I wonder if she is back blogging, click on over, and then there is this, the BEST DOG RELATED VIDEO EVER of a squirrel meatball fiesta in your yard.

I think I liked it so much because it was like a deja vu of exact words that have come out of my mouth before. Like it sort of freaked me out to see this.

This is Laura with all the small black dogs in California and I think that if you ever come to California with all your dogs you need to look me up and we would have one helluva dogwalk.

Lisa B. said...

Hi Laura! Yes, I'm trying to be a good blogger again and actually write blog posts.

I think the video almost summarizes my life. Like, if someone said "So what kind of things do you do in your spare time?" I would show them this video ...

I would love to take a dogwalk with you and the small dogs! Plus I think Tally and Gustavo would make a cute couple.

Thanks for stopping by!

Christopher said...

May I suggest a flea bath for the dearies after their close encounter with the squirrel kind?

Since all mine are current on their vaccinations, I didn't think there was much to worry about the squirrels and rabbits they catch, but after a bout of squirrel fleas (my vet says it's pretty rare to see them in dogs!) and worms! I've learned better.

We have apple trees in the middle of the yard and the squirrels have to make a run for it on the ground, and sure enough the dogs catch a few every year.

I've never had a dog before that got worms or fleas, so it was rather embarrassing when the fecal smear came back positive for a worm that can only be contracted by eating another animal lower in the food chain, and later a squirrel flea infestation.

So take in a poop sample next vet visit, and a good flea bath and vacuum might be in order.

Lisa B. said...

Squirrel fleas? And this is a type of flea that my monthly Advantix won't repel/kill?

Christopher said...

I doubt Squirrel fleas are special, although I'm pretty sure Worms are not handled by topical treatments.

It's just that until the recent "climate change" has made parts of CO more wet and warm than usual, most of us didn't use monthly Flea treatments.

We're in the lowest density area for flea infestations in the country.

http://www.petparents.com/images/pr_flea_map.gif

Even things like Heartworm were not very common here (although I imagine this is changing).

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/images/articles/ill_heartworm_map.gif

Lisa B. said...

Ah ... make sense. Most people do year-round flea and heartworm protection here in NC.

Heartgard is good against a lot of parasites, but I'll ask the vet what she thinks. Thanks for the heads up!s