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Squirrel?

4 Sep

Our dog has never seen a squirrel before we moved her here.

Needless to say, she is now obsessed with protecting the household from these nefarious creatures, alerting us every time she spots one of them dares to enter her sightlines, no matter what time of day it is.  Six in the morning?  Not a problem for her.  She is always on the watch.

And lucky us, we got the house with all the windows.  It’s a multi-level house, which allows our Great Protector to race from front window to side window to back window to sliding door, up the stairs again to back window, back through the kitchen and down the stairs to sliding door, back up to the front window to see if the Bushy Tailed Creatures of Doom are attacking from the front again, and so on, and so forth, world without end, amen.

Needless to say, her constant state of high alert and squirrel-induced anxiety has gotten old.

My husband started throwing balled up socks at her one day.  I couldn’t find any socks today, so started hurling flip fops in her general direction (not AT her…just near her…).  She will stand, quiet, at the alert – then suddenly start barking loudly at the creatures.  We’re trying to discourage this behavior because it’s causing US stress.  Every time she starts with that bark, Maura jumps, startled.

It is never ending.

Seriously.

Every. Single. Day.

Even better?  Now when she starts to bark, the teens yell her name a second later.

Yeah.  That helps.

This is all beginning to drive me to a special place of Batty that I didn’t know existed.

Meanwhile, the squirrels are not impressed.  One actually climbed into the planter box right in front of our big picture window.  The dog left a face print on the window, she ran at the squirrel so fast.

Okay, that was funny.  And she hasn’t gone face first into the window again.

Otherwise – I am over this.

She’s not though.

She may never be.

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7 Responses to “Squirrel?”

  1. jodiaw90 September 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    I absolutely love reading all of your posts!!!!!!!!!

  2. Pat Chesley September 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    There are cures for dogs who keep barking at squirrels. Communicate to the dog that it is a good dog to warn you about the aliens that may invade. Then bring it to your side so you can gently close its muzzle and tell it shhh when it tries to bark again. Keep it beside you for awhile. This is a kind, gentle method, but it will take awhile. There are probably good animal people in your area who could find a trainer to work with you. (I’m a “retired” service dog puppy raiser. I know a former guide dog raiser in Enumclaw who might be able to recommend someone.)

    I have really enjoyed your blog.

  3. AllThoseThingsILove™ (@ThoseThingsILov) September 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    Yes, my dog has a squirrel friend, too. Lovely at dawn — makes a great alarm clock.
    But, even worse, my other dog can pick out animals in commercials. Even cartoon bees (Nasonex) and logos (Hartford Insurance).
    He even remembers the music/sounds in the commercial, so when it starts, even from another room, he barks. The IKEA commercial, “Time Out Leo” is one example….argh

  4. Sharon Hoover Weidemann September 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    That’s hilarious…for me, not you. We have an Aussie too. She’s also deemed that the squirrels are her life job. She chases them every day. She actually will sit and hide behind a tree just to get one who may not be so smart… Aaah, the life with dogs. Good luck, I have no words of wisdom, just enjoy your perspective on your life. It makes me smile. I could use some of those right now.

  5. saracvt September 5, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    “My. Name. Is. Doug. I. LOVE. You.” Sorry, I have no words of wisdom to offer, just jokes. I heard this voice immediately in my head–perhaps she has ADD?

    To de-stress, you might try reading Dave Barry’s take on the subject. He’s far more hilarious than I could ever be, and he has concluded that most dogs are morons, his even more so.

  6. Sara September 5, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    Oh that sounds like a nightmare but you can easily fix it. If your dog can follow a simple command like ‘come’ then for a few days have some treats handy. When your dog starts to back quietly call him to you, make him sit without barking and give the treat. Calmly tell the dog everything is ok and pet him etc. Performing the command should distract the dog from the squirrel. It might take a few days, maybe even weeks but in the end the dog will stop. My dog is really barky and loud too but positive reenforcement training works much better than throwing things at them. Throwing things scares and confuses them.

  7. Amy S. September 5, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    This cracked me up! Especially after an long stormy night with our dog doing something quite similar every time it thundered!

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