Come, Mommy

Friday, June 02, 2006

Those Pesky Squirrels

If you have birdfeeders, like us, you have no doubt tried your share of "squirrel-proof" feeders. After much trial and error, we finally settled on one of these and one of these. They are not the easiest things to clean, but the birds love them, and the squirrels are left to gather the seeds that fall to the ground.

Even so, every morning there are a few hopeful squirrels who try to invade the feeders. They hang by the top of the feeder with their hind feet, paws desperately scrabbling just inside the caging in the hopes that today will be the day that they reach the seed-containing tube inside. It hasn't worked yet, but they keep on trying.

Our intrepid mutt, Casey, fancies himself quite the mighty squirrel hunter. Every morning as the squirrels gather, he begs to go out and begin the hunt. The squirrels are wise to him, and as he shoots out the door, they jump to the trees a few feet above his head, wait for him to fly off the deck, and then they go back to the feeders. There is one squirrel (nicknamed Bluto) we know by sight because he is huge. He's a gray squirrel, and he looks like he's taking growth hormones and working out at the gym when he's not assaulting the feeders. He's not particularly fast or nimble, so his tactic concerning Casey is to shriek at him in a rather shrill tone of voice. Casey has been known to get close enough to Bluto that he could conceivably catch the squirrel, but he hasn't really tried. Instead, Casey growls, Bluto shrieks, and the two retreat to opposite corners of the deck to stare at each other until one or the other gets bored and wanders off.

I've often wondered what would happen if Casey met up with a more aggressive gray squirrel like this guy. After contemplating the issue, I've decided it's best I don't find out. We're in and out of the vet's office often enough with strange ferret maladies. I don't need to come in with a 70 pound dog who was bested by a two pound squirrel.


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