June 29th 2014 11:27 am
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Humans don't realize what all pups know, squirrels are evil, but do you know, fellow pups, that they are also vain? The trees surrounding my territory were full of them and while they were wise enough to stay beyond my reach, they did visit the bird feeders that hang where my pack of cats hold court. Observing cats to be lazy creatures, the squirrels showed them little respect and one especially vain squirrel realized he could gain the admiration of his fellow squirrels by teasing the cats in an outrageous way doing a jig under the bird feeder. When the cats were finally insulted enough to go after him he would finish his jig with an obscene flip of his tail dashing up the the tree to chatter his derision at the frustrated cats, while the less courageous squirrels lavished admiration on his daring upset of the natural order of predator and prey. This I observed as spring stretched into summer.
There is very little not dulled by repetition and eventually the squirrels grew less impressed by watching him tease the cats, who - and this tells you something about cats, never did succeed in formulating a successful strategy for catching him. However the vain squirrel had become addicted to admiration. He was unwilling to return being just another squirrel in trees full of squirrels. Desperation to remain celebrated drove him to do what no sane squirrel would consider. He decided to raise the stakes and do his teasing dance in front of a dog. In front of ME.
Carefully and in the disciplined way of a dog I thought through how I would answer this vain and wicked squirrel. A strategy began to form, but it would require every bit of my doggie self-control and renowned doggie focus. The squirrel knew a dog is a more formidable force than a cat so he proceeded with caution. His first attempt was little more than a quick jump and two-step at the base of the tree. I gave him a cool glance and that was all. Slowly he became bolder, including a slide and series of kicks. I watched him but feigned disinterest. Oh how hard that was. My doggie blood was boiling, but I remembered the humiliation the cats suffered and resolved to follow the strategy I had carefully planned. As the squirrel became bolder his audience returned to him, chattering with glee. Their cheers drove him to greater extravagance and risks. Soon his quick jigs turned into pirouettes, slides and jumps, dancing with abandon before me, a DOG, heir to the mighty wolf, appointed by Mother Nature herself to rule over forest and field. As his audience cheered him on his attention shifted from watching me to enjoying their applause. He shimmied and I carefully pulled myself into position. He shook his tail in time to the cheers and I tensed my legs, eyes fixed on my prey. He wiggled and pranced I leaped into a full gallop. He saw me too late and fell under my fangs and I did some shaking and dancing of my own. The squirrels in the trees gasped. He was mine and the dignity and rule of dogs was made manifest for all to see. Chastened the squirrels crept away in silence, my victory absolute.
After inspecting my squirrel, sniffing him from point to point and examining every part, by triumphant tour began. I went to visit my pack of cats. They all came to see the squirrel who had defied them hanging from my mouth, limp and defeated. Their eyes grew large and they sniffed the air deeply, oh how they wanted to grab the squirrel and taste his flesh, but a low growl reminded them he was my prize. Cats are known for being inscrutable, but there was no mistaking the respect in their eyes, seeing undeniable proof of why I lead the pack. Then I went to visit the neighboring dogs. With pride I swaggered with my squirrel, laying him next to the fence just long enough for the other dogs to get a sniff before grabbing him back with a fierce growl. Large dogs like to think their size entitles them to leadership, but it was I and not they who slay this most wicked squirrel and ended his defiant rebellion against Nature's order. Finally I visited each of my human neighbors, reliving with gusto my triumph over the evil squirrel while my Mom beamed with pride and the neighbor dogs were admonished to follow MY example. It was a truly wonderful day.
As evening overtook my wonderful day, worry overtook my joy. I was well aware Mom did not allow dead critters in the house. Crazy, I know, but it was a firm house rule and while she should rightly make an exception for my squirrel, there was no guarantee that she would. Humans, even loving ones, are painfully stubborn and eccentric. My heart filled with dread at the thought of leaving my squirrel outside unguarded overnight. My squirrel was the envy of all and it struck me like blows that they were all plotting and waiting for an opportunity to steal him away. Unbearable, purely unbearable the thought of my squirrel being in the possession of anyone but me. I contained mounting panic and forced myself to think. I had the cunning to catch the squirrel and I had the cunning to keep him. Slowly my plan took shape. Mom called me to come to bed. I did not budge. She waited a while and called me again. Again I did not go. Finally I could tell by the tone of her voice that the moment of truth had come. I lowered my head, grasping my squirrel tight in my jaws and ran as fast as I could go through the door and back to my bed. Throwing the squirrel under me I hopped in my bed - nothing to see here, when Mom came in to wish me goodnight. She patted and stroked me and reaffirmed what a totally pawsome dog I am. There also seemed to be a twinkle in her eye as she wished me sweet dreams, however if she saw my squirrel, she did not make any attempt to take him away. Sweet dreams I had too, reliving my triumph over and over, with the squirrel there to sniff and lick making the dreams nearly as good as real life. It was the wonderful night I so richly deserved.
It is an unbreakable tradition among all canines, whether wolf or dog, that in the morning they give an accounting of themselves so each respective territory is known to remain under their control and in good order. When the roll-call sounded I answered the ancient command and ran outside to affirm my continuing rule over my territory, briefly forgetting my wonderful squirrel. No sooner had the roll call ended than it rushed back into my mind, my squirrel was unguarded. I ran back to my bed and my worst fears were realized. My squirrel was gone.
I gathered up all my doggie determination, pushed down my rage and began a methodical search for my property. My first suspects were the cats, having both motive and access. I held down each one of them in turn ignoring their bitter protests as I sniffed carefully for any lingering whiff of squirrel that might reveal the thief, but no scent did I detect. Moving on I made a thorough search of the house and then the yard, going from fence to fence sniffing deeply for any hint of who might have absconded with my squirrel. With mounting dread I visited the neighboring humans sniffing them for some tell-tale scent of squirrel, but there was none. Finally, almost ashamed to have to consider the possibility, I went to my Mom. Surely she could not have done something so treacherous, but I had to know. Being my Mom, however I had to sniff discretely. Again the wonderful scent of my squirrel was absent. Relief that my Mom had not committed the theft was overwhelmed by frustration, where oh where was my squirrel. Gone. Gone without a trace.
These many years later I still ponder the disappearance of my squirrel. Still turn over in my mind the events and characters that surrounded my triumph and loss. My victory can never be taken from me, but what twists and turns fate can take, what tricks it will pull on even the best of pups. Here then is my advice: savor your victories while you can fellow pups, squirrels, even dead ones, have a way of disappearing.
March 12th 2013 8:54 pm
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What a wonderful surprise! We came home from feeding the homeless cats at the park, well Mom feeds and I chase off the raccoons who want to steal the kitties food. Kitties don't have the pupitude to intimidate the raccoons, you know. So after a busy evening of chasing and yes! getting in a couple good nips!! The perfect end to a grand evening . . . finding out I'm the Dogster 'Dog of the Day'!!! What an honor! I am still blushing under my fur. As the Dog of the Day I promise to uphold the honor of puppers everywhere by chasing lesser beasties whenever I encounter them, guarding my territory against all invaders, leading my pack of (sigh)cats with a firm but fair, well mostly, paw and keeping my human's priorities straight - appreciating me, of course, and making sure my doggie needs are met. I am the Dog of the Day after all. Thanks to all who sent me rosettes, pawmail and friend requests. The pups on Dogster are the best!
September 10th 2009 2:57 pm
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Hello fellow pups!
During my latest jaunt in the park I met a groundhog. Ho-hum you say - well not so. This particular groundhog was incredibly fat. Of course, he ran before my clear doggy superiority, but being a fattie he couldn’t run too fast. I had no trouble catching up to him and the sight of that fat butt trundling along was just too tempting. I did what I believe any dog in that situation would do; I started nipping his big butt. Well after the fourth or fifth nip that nasty groundhog turned and snarled at me! Like it's my fault he can't run fast enough to avoid being nipped!! What a rude groundhog, he deserved every nip I gave him!!!
This however was something new, no lesser beastie I had chased ever had the brass to snarl at me before. A wise pup carefully considers her options, lesser beasties they may be, but lesser beasties also have sharp teeth and that oaf of a groundhog had already demonstrated a wicked disposition. Should I be gracious and allow him to withdraw from the field of honor? After all I was the nipper and he was the nippee, there was no need to turn it into a brawl. And he was running to escape my wrath, so my superiority was not in question. Generously and without further harassment I allowed him to flee to his wretched burrow to nurse his sore butt and lost dignity. However when I passed by where he disappeared into the thicket, I growled menacingly so he would know not to be so bold again. Obviously he got the message for not a whisker did he dare to show. I left the park with my head held high and my little butt free of teeth marks. So bite em when you can, fellow pups, but know when to walk away.