The Squirrel Wars

Ahhh… lovely, lovely luxury of a second brew of coffee (guatemala antigua in stovetop espresso), late morning at home.  Just came in from a long walk with Gus in the drizzling rain, but was invigorated rather than annoyed by it.  Amazing what a difference 20 degrees makes!

Walking with Gus– reminds me I have to tell you about the latest chapter of the squirrel wars.  Some of you may have been reading my nonsense long enough now to vaguely recall something about a squirrel dive-bombing Quinn and I during an evening walk last summer?  Even before that, back at the Humphrey St. house, we had Nutty the Squirrel, who flung himself at the kitchen door when he smelled brownies baking.

Well I guess another member of this squirrel mafia has turned up near our house.  And this one’s a heckler.  His nest must be somewhere above the garage, because one day last week Chloe came downstairs saying she’d heard a chicken out her open window.  Upon further investigation, it was this crazy squirrel squawking at her.  Now, for some months I’ve noted that a particular squirrel likes to taunt Gus– delights, actually, in running right across the deck while the dog is *innocently* lying on the sunroom floor just on the other side of the big sliding door.  Now that the weather has changed and Gus is outside more, the squirrel has apparently decided to take it a step further.  The other day he leaped across the yard, not 15 ft away from Gus the coonhound, who watched at strict attention… then pounced.  I happened to see it from the window and I thought, “Oh no, poor squirrel!” Gus actually had him in his mouth and was winding up for the big prey shake.  Then I heard a small yelp and the squirrel was staggering up the nearest tree, having bitten Guster on the snout and secured his release.

Yes, of course I called the vet to be sure he wouldn’t get rabies or something.  I’ve called the vet more in the 3 months we’ve had the dog than I’ve called the pediatrician in 16 years with kids!  (Kids are easier to figure out than dogs… but that’s a different blog).

Guster is fine, and he seems undeterred in his pursuit of squirrels, birds and, of course, coons.  I suppose we are something of a disappointment to him, as he routinely trees critters of the sort one might hunt (and serve?) in the deep south where he was bred; and not once have we shot ‘em down, toted ‘em home, and cooked ‘em up!  Life’s tough for a Louisiana dog in Massachusetts (and I thought it was hard for an Ohio girl!).

As for the squirrel, I assume he made it.  I think he is licking his wounds and, even now, plotting his revenge.

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