Monday, October 12, 2009

Thinking about Jake



Fall was Jake's favorite season. I know because he always perked up as soon as fall's cool weather arrived. Fall was hunting season as far as Jake was concerned, and though I never allowed him to actually kill a squirrel I did indulge his need to stalk and charge. Dogs are social predators; hunting was a scratch that needed itching for my dog, especially during the fall. I made up a chant to keep myself occupied while he hunkered down and slowly approached first one squirrel and then another:

Hunt and stalk
Hunt and stalk
I prefer it to a walk.
Eviscerate, eviscerate
Hunting squirrels is just my fate


I wish I could sing the chant for you. It's better with a melody.

Needless to say, as soon as squirrels noticed Jake, they ran like hell up the nearest tree. For Jake this was not a disappointment in any way. He would simply shift his focus to the next squirrel, hunker, and stalk. If dogs wore bumper stickers, Jake's would have said "I'd rather be hunting."

This fall the squirrels don't give a rat's ass about my presence. Without Jake by my side, I am no threat. On days when I'm really missing Jake, sometimes I shout Scram you little rodent! just to get them riled a little bit. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. DC squirrels are mighty cheeky.

Yesterday there was nothing I could do to convince this squirrel that he should abandon his pumpkin lunch. Oh well.

25 comments:

Lynne said...

How about a vid with sound only to go with your chant? We'd love to hear your rendition!

That is exactly what happened to my pumpkins used as ornamentation on my front porch last year! He looks quite happy with his feast!

Bless Jake.

Joanne said...

Would you look at that squirrel hunkered into that pumpkin!! That picture's a keeper. He's having himself a whole latte pumpkin seeds, for sure!

ewix said...

Majorly cool photo of Fatty at lunch.
Squirrels are Buster's nemesis (see ewix2.blogspot.com)
He has devoured his stuffed one but never quite managed to glom on to a real one.
It's good that you can now recall all the good memories about Jake and all the cool dog things he did.

Barry said...

There are few things in life Lindsay would rather do than chase squirrels.

Well, maybe I misstated that. Let me try again:

There is nothing Lindsay would rather do than chase squirrels!

JC said...

You need to get yourself a new puppy ...

Just me said...

My B-dog loved the cooler weather too. For a boxer it was not too hot to breathe but not so cold that she needed more insulation than her short coat provided.

That said, I think every change in season will remind me of something about her. As will most things... :(

California Girl said...

I shall feel exactly the same way when my cat, Maggie, goes. She hunts anything that moves and usually wins. Our dogs, on the other hand, are disinterested in the many chipmunks who live in our woods. They chase the crows who gather on the lawn and they LOVE the wild turkeys who travel across the property once a week. But they really don't hunt. Just chase.

Cute photo of a very sassy squirrel.

debra said...

We use safflower see in the feeders since the squirrels don't like it, and niger in the finch feeders. They are quite acrobatic qhwn it comes to the suet, though.

Linda Sue said...

Brilliant prize winner of a photo! I wonder if spirit squirrels still run from spirit Jake? Spirit world must be VERY active!

Nancy said...

That squirrel is very happy with his find! Lucy loves to chase squirrels, too. And it is next to impossible to hold her back. Labs are very strong, just as I'm sure Jake was. He looked strong.

Barbara Martin said...

Wonderful poetry you penned for the hunt, Reya. It has rhythm in the words.

Dogs are best fed dry kibble or cooked meat. Any raw meat sets their instincts in gear and then you have to watch them everytime on the walks. I had Dobermans years ago on a farm that killed gophers and soon my farm cats were gone.

The squirrel doesn't see you as any threat to his feasting.

There are squirrels near where I live who boldly approach thinking I might have food or nuts for them. Its rare that I have anything with me, though I do like watching the wee beasties. Probably they recognize my scent as I put my birds' discarded seed out the side door under the bushes.

Steve said...

I guess a pumpkin is probably pretty sweet to a hungry squirrel!

Isn't it funny how animals get so absorbed in the task at hand, apparently without even focusing on the results? When they're doing something, they really DO it, without appearing to think about how it might turn out, you know? Very Zen!

Joanna said...

That squirrel looks so happy with his feast. There seem to be a lot more of them around now than there were a few years ago. A pestilence of squirrels? Of course my dog Geordie thinks it's great. He stands in the back yard gazing over the rooftop to the cedars on the other side. Whenever he spots one he goes into his shake-and-kill mode. It's all happening in his imagination though.

Peaches said...

My dogs love to hunt...bugs, lizards, snakes, and squirrels...in the large fenced in back yard that is their home. If I'm not around to run interference they catch what they hunt. I wish my dogs were not so offended by snakes in their territory. Snakes keep the nice down, so I like having them around. I currently have a low squirrel population due to having lots of owls in the neighborhood for the past couple of years. The owls have moved on now so I expect to see a regrowth of squirrels.
My pups eat the squirrels they get. But the snakes, they hide those until they are very ripe and roll on them....doggy perfume.

madtexter said...

That squirrel is doing some damage. I wonder if you drew a face on a pumpkin, the squirrel could eat between the lines. That would save a lot of time with that pumpkin carving stuff.

The Bug said...

The whole concept of hunting & killing is one that keeps me from wanting a pet. When we first moved into our house, the cat from next door left us a gift of a dead bird. Sigh. BUT it's very entertaining to hear about Jake's squirrel hunting efforts. And I love the picture of the squirrel!

k-brow said...

Neither of my dogs are good at silent stalking. They launch after any "prey" with a series of barks that render the hunt unsuccessful. I'm using the hunting instinct to teach Cricket patience; he has to sit and wait before he's released to scare off the squirrel.

That's a great pic of Mr. Squirrel.

ellen abbott said...

Incredible picture and I love the chant.

Janelle said...

that is one GIANT squirrel! yikes. xxx j

lakeviewer said...

Oh no! The dastarly critter is shameless! Great picture.

John Hayes said...

I love the chant even without music. & those are wonderful pix!

glnroz said...

somedays I, for enjoyment I just sit,,,today I smiled while I sat. thnx, interesing....

Kerry said...

Ah Reya, this may be my favorite post ever.

tam said...

Ha, this pic reminds me of the time my neighbour's kid's hamster escaped into my house just hours before I went away on vacation, and then survived for two weeks on a melon that had fortuitously rolled onto the floor unnoticed by me. Heheh, such abundance for a wee squirrel. There's an award for you at mine. xxx

Phoenix said...

In spite of the nuisance they've caused for you... this psquirrel looks absolutely adorable.. it seems to be posing for you as it relishes its pumpkin feast :)