I swear. I even heard the *Ta-WANG*!
For seven years and two months I have been training my dogs to ignore stupid city squirrels. I moved to this graceful southern city with a pack of dogs who had bagged a minimum of a squirrel or two per week in their country digs. Killed 'em dead and ate their heads first. We moved here and there were more squirrels than ever, but no chance for off-lead murders. Oh lordy our walks were loud. Dangerous. Awful.
The country squirrels had been bad enough. (On several occasions, the dogs encountered Suicide Bomber Squirrels. Having chased a squirrel up a tree, six whippets and a big black lab would surround said tree, screaming, leaping, slinging spit, gnashing teeth. I would watch in abject horror as the stupid squirrel, instead of sitting in the tree counting his many fortunes, would run back down that tree into the Jumping Jaws of Death. Hello??? Darwin calling!)
But these city squirrels. They spend hours on the telephone wires over the yard blowing raspberries at the dogs. They even bomb the dogs with walnut shells. On our walks they sit just beyond the lengths of the leashes, flicking their turpitudinous tails in contempt. Smacking their lips around their abominable buck teeth. Oh, they are vile, vile.
And after seven years, having employed every trick in the book and more, I had finally trained the dogs to look to me for a treat when they saw a squirrel, instead of caterwauling to raise the dead, or biting each other as the next best thing. Our walks were peaceful at last.
All bets were off when Easy arrived. At eleven and a half, an expert squirrel dispatcher in his own right, he spends his walks scouting the heavens for the brutes. He barks his fool head off when he sees one - every twenty feet or so - and wonders what the hell is the matter with his silent buddies, Mama Pajama and Fat Charlie. The barking irritates the cancer growing in his throat and he gags and wretches.
Oh, I hate those rodent bastards.
Yesterday I was finishing my last walk. I had met up with sweet Deb. Deb is peace personified. A beautiful, gentle soul. Sammy, Lindy Loo, and Swede William were quite thrilled when she joined us. We got to the last block. William started his oh-I-see-one dance. The dogs turned to me for their treat. The squirrel looked at us with disdain.
It was the same squirrel that had tortured Easy every day last week. I would know those beady black squinty eyes anywhere.
"Uh oh," said Deb. "Shew, Mr. Squirrel."
That's when I snapped. I saw every Bad Thing that has happened in the last ten months in the mockery of that rodent's pointy face. A sense of purpose enveloped me. I was Possessed. Maybe the spirits of Maria, Giacomino and Spice took control of my right hand. I watched that hand reach down and slip Sammy's lead over his head. I watched as Sammy - now a whippet bullet - shot across the twenty yards of grass dead aiming for the little sucker.
"Oh," said Deb.
"Git him!" said whatever possessed my mouth. (Normally, I'm almost a vegetarian.)
I watched the squirrel sit there. You know the old cartoons on Saturday mornings when a character's eyes would pop out on springs: boing oing oing? That's what Mr. Squirrel's eyes did. As Sammy's jaws started to crunch him into eternity, his little bucktooth mouth said, clear as day, "Oh Thit!!! Thith ith not good!" and he beat feet up the damn tree.
Sammy skidded in the mud - a perfect base-stealing slide on his butt - and leaped up the tree trunk, just like the good old days.
Lindy Loo and William cursed their misfortune and their servant, at the top of their lungs. Sammy thought that, deprived of his squirrel, he should perhaps come back and bite the brats.
"No, Sam," I said.
"Can I help?" offered dear Deb.
The murderous demon left me, and I said, "Sam come." He did. He is such a good dog.
This morning Sam, William, Lindy Loo, and I encountered a black cat and a squirrel within ten feet of each other and us.
They went wild. And I laughed like the fool that I am. What's seven years?
hug your hounds
What would you have done?
3 hours ago