The Rip Van Wrinkler, XXI, Issue 3, August 2017

Page 4 < previous page > <next page>

The "Squirrels!!!!. . ."
Lisa Marshall photo

contest winners are:

Squirrel for three - Joe Stewart photo.

Uschi Grewe

Peaceful sunny afternnon – I thought…..

....and that it was time to give my orchids new soil. I was standing on the terrace, planting and watching AJ and Lela who where sniffing around in the garden.

Suddenly I saw something running – was so fast that at first I did not realize it was a squirrel (!!)  and AJ and Lela right behind!! Oh my G*d, I was screaming out very loud to stop them but of course, no success! I thought, 'they will catch it and ???" Our garden ist not big and the distance was not that far from the fence to he maple tree.

The squirrel was luckily fast enough to climb on the maple tree and looked down to them. I called Friedhelm to get the dogs inside, but before he came out the squirrel decided to make a big leap from the maple tree into our neighbours garden. It was safe, but my heart was thumping, and the Basenjis ecxcitement lasted the whole day, and even in the evening they where watching from inside, to see if the squirrel would maybe return.

My name is Oisin and I'm an Australian Shepherd who just turned one year old. Our friend Susan asked to share my tales of my squirrel encounters with you .

I had been practicing my herding skills last fall, but then white fluffy stuff fell, and a lot I would say. So, I needed to find something new to herd over the winter .

On day 1, I went out with Mom after a big storm. She fills the bird feeders daily. What did I see? Oh my! A big grey thing on the feeder. I heard her say, "leave it," but me I couldn't resist. It jumped off the feeder to the tree. I kept a steady eye no matter what she said. It jumped and I was looking up; big mistake, I landed in snow up to my neck.

As the week wore on I was starting to figure it out. I could teach myself to herd this big grey squirrel and I would eventually win. He also seemed to know I was coming and take off as soon as I saw him. I continued to land in my neck in the snow as Mom would laugh and say, "I told you silly puppy - snow is too deep".

Well, this particular day, I spotted him on the feeder and put my learned herding skills to the test (Mom had not seen him till it was too late). I did a down as I had been taught, and then burst into action. It worked! He was on the move. He jumped from the magnolia to the cherry tree with all his might, and he almost fell to my delight.

She said Oisin, "that will do," and I looked back and said, "but I've got this," and continued my task. It continued down the row of maples to large gap it had to jump. I kept my eye above which was a difficult task, but the path in the snow was such a help. I jumped a little to move him on, and he leapt and did a face plant into the deep snow. Not knowing any better, I did my auto down, as I thought I had pushed a little to hard. Mom as this point was laughing really hard, as she had never seen a squirrel do a face plant before. Through her laughter she was telling me to return. It shook itself off and ran away. The pines ahead where just too high, I lost sight of it and had to return to her side. tsk.

Oisin, on to summer things. Linda Butterworth photo

Mike Reed's Ella

As you know, we adopted Ella through BRAT last September. She is a
wonderful dog, very loving and playful. She likes people more than other
dogs, so we decided not to add a puppy to the mix as we had originally
planned. She had to have a surgery last fall to remove a calcium growth on
her elbow - probably a legacy of when she was kept confined in a pet store
cage earlier in her life. She has recovered completely from that and is
in great health and getting faster all the time.

She finally caught up with
one of the squirrels in our backyard last week!

I've attached a couple of pictures showing her in repose and in play in her
new life. I wasn't present when the picture was shot of her on the boogie
board, but I did witness her climbing on it today completely on her own
while we were at the other end of the pool. She may not be a swimming
Basenji, but apparently she wants to be a surfer!!!

Ella Reed & famiy.

Barbara Narehood

Hi Sue,
An excited call of "Squirrel Time!" was a way to entice all of our Basenjis, Ziggy, Bandi, and Indy, into the fenced yard when we lived in a NJ suburb east of Philadelphia where there were lots of squirrels to chase. Since we moved to the coastal area, squirrels are rare and our Basenjis don't understand. Calling Swans! Ducks! or Geese! just don't have the same effect for Zuri or Stari who never see those furry rats with PR tails.

Karla Schreiber

Oh, little squirrel.
You zigged instead of zagging.
Now you are no more.

Game-winning point scored by Portia. MVP goes to Magenta. The assist goes to Eddie for quick thinking directional assistance... sigh.

Jo Thompson I love to watch the coordinated effort from our pack. They clearly are communicating at a level I do not interpret. It is impressive.

Karla Schreiber It was fast, but quite impressive. Especially Eddie swerving off and pushing the squirrel right back into the girls before it could reach the fruit trees! Magenta grabbed first, Portia took care of the "sent to its heavenly rest" part....

Jackie Dering We don't have success with squirrels. Too many accessible trees. Rabbits are our specialty. (And groundhogs, unfortunately)

Sally Wuornos We had a squirrel make a wrong turn here 2 weeks ago.

Jo Thompson Natural selection. Alas.

Karla Schreiber It was definitely a youngster. The older, bigger squirrels that frequent the trees in and around my yard know the escape routes and are experts at staying out of harm's way. This little guy apparently hadn't learned the drill yet. I am grateful that the dogs allowed me to dispose of it without wrestling and wrangling! Once the thrill of the hunt was over none of them seemed to feel particularly territorial about it.

Jackie Dering I find it's easier to remove the dog from the prey than the prey from the dog.

Sally Wuornos Our little red squirrels like to use the rail on our wrap around deck to get from the trees in the front yard to the trees in the back yard. Beemer runs around the house whining to be let out to get them.

Lisa Marshall Congratulations to the hunters!

Brenda Phillips:

When I lived on Long Island, the squirrels tortured Lucy, Nike,and bouncing Border Terrier Captain! One warm fall morning while I was getting ready for work, and the dogs were coming and going from the yard playing as usual. Suddenly there was an odd noise from the back yard - Lucy's collar jangling differently some how. Captain and Nike heard it too and came racing out of the house ahead of me, down the steps and around to a side of the yard I couldn't see. Me in my half-dressed-not-yet-ready for work peeking around the corner the three dogs come racing back my way --- carrying together with them a still very much alive squirrel! Chaos ensued, both funny (in a keystone-cops sort of way) and horrifying at the same time.

We moved back to Seattle the next week, where we now have similar adventures with possum - but that is a story for another issue!

< previous page > <next page>