Squirrel Shenanigans and a Great Dane Adventure..

Never rest your head on throw pillows

The squirrels are up to no good. You know I like squirrels and you know Chester does not. They have decided in their small-brain wisdom that it’s fun to play in our backyard. We started knocking on the door before letting him out, but they are getting bold and don’t even care. Especially when I have just put out a cylinder in the bird feeder. Note I said bird, not squirrel feeder.

In my quest to support small businesses I go to the Willoughby Wild Bird store. I buy these cylinders of bird food. Because I am physically and spiritually unable go into a store and come out with only what I went in for, I have obtained a bag of peanuts and ears of corn. The peanuts are for the blue jays who literally sit outside the window and squawk until I throw some out. The corn cobs are for the squirrels. I don’t understand why they ravish the cobs but ignore the already removed corn on the patio. I guess they don’t like that the corn has touched some other bird food. Like my grandkids.

this has been there at least a week

Anyway, I toss out an ear of corn and one minute it’s there, the next it isn’t. Where do the cobs go? My husband has found a couple while mowing the lawn, but I blame the neighbor’s squirrels. I suspect the neighbors pay them. A couple days ago I tossed one out and it was gone in an hour. I thought maybe a fox or racoon took it, but then I saw something in the tree. I couldn’t figure it out. It was yellow. Guess what?

Yep, somebody put the corn in the tree. I guess sharing is not a concept squirrels embrace.

Chester and I had quite the adventure! We were enjoying the nice day on our usual walk when I heard a kid yelling. I couldn’t figure out what it was, but when we walked by the Great Danes’ house I saw one of the Danes out in the yard jumping around. When you have dogs, your house is known as  “the grey dog’s house” or “Jackson and Brutus’ House” or “Macy’s House” or “Chester’s House.”   The Great Dane’s live on our usual route. I stopped because something seemed off. They are usually extremely well behaved. Then I realized the Dane had a racoon trapped and I went into action mode. You know the fight or flight reflex? And moms lifting cars off of kids? I get it! I have never met the two Great Danes in person, but a dog is a dog. I took Chester up on the patio and asked the kid if he needed help. He explained that the Great Dane, Ozzie, had slipped out of his collar in his quest for the racoon.  I called Ozzie, thinking he’d want to see Chester. He didn’t care about Chester. Chester was too busy sniffing their grill to be much help. I got excited and in my best “oh boy isn’t this great” voice, like Flounder in Animal House I started calling Ozzie and clapping.

The racoon was hissing and spitting. Ozzie looked up like he was interested, came toward me, but when the racoon tried to leave he decided it would be more fun to chase it. He was play bowing, lunging and happily dancing around. The poor racoon couldn’t catch a break. The kid asked me “should I get treats?” and I responded “YES.” Meanwhile Chester was enjoying the patio smells.

When the racoon decided to play dead for a minute, I called Ozzie in my mom voice. You know the one. He didn’t have a choice when he heard that. “Ozzie, come.” He came, tongue hanging out and I swear he was smiling. He looked so happy to have played with the fluffy thing. He glanced at Chester who was still mesmerized by the grill. I kind of laid across Ozzie and held on. I didn’t have to bend over much. The kid opened the door and offered treats, wisely backing into the house with each one. Apparently Ozzie is food motivated like Chester because he didn’t hesitate. It was like Hansel and Gretl dropping pieces of bread.  Ozzie couldn’t resist. Once the door was shut, Chester and I left, Chester oblivious to the racoon. As we started home, I watched the racoon for a minute to make sure it was OK. (what was I going to do if it wasn’t? sheesh) It seemed ok, just scared, and kind of shocked. I felt bad but Chester and I continued our walk. Now whenever we walk by there he slows down to see what’s going on. So far, nothing else, but I really want to know what they grilled! It must have been spectacular!

Before any of you dear people lecture me on dangers, I am a grown-ass woman (as my friend says) and I know the risks. But when an animal is likely to get hurt, I just automatically act. Internally I knew what to do, I mean I didn’t grab the racoon!  It comes from years of dog ownership. You would have done the same thing.

It’s funny, my husband has quick reflexes, much quicker than mine. Once we were somewhere with the boys when they were little, maybe 3 and 5. They started to get up in this fake covered wagon. My husband leapt up the step and grabbed them, pulling them out. There were wasps inside the wagon. I didn’t even see them and stood there like a log while he was a hero. I don’t have quick reflexes but I guess I’m better at it than I thought at least when it comes to dogs.

ready to go!

I haven’t seen Ozzie since, but I’d like to, he was a nice boy. Chester was a wonderful boy! He thought it was an adventure too, new smells galore. We are going to take him to a new (for him) park today and let him explore the Grand River. No grill to sniff but maybe he’ll catch a fish! Have a great week!

Bob Ross trees and cheeky squirrels…

The rain has been steady here which is expected I guess for the cold, rainy season aka fall. Tuesday morning (it was still dark) Chester saw a bunny in the yard and chased it under the shed. The bunny was perfectly safe under there, in fact the bunny, unlike the hound, was out of the rain. Chester, possibly thinking he could facilitate bonding with bunny, did his best to crawl under the shed from all four sides. He wasn’t satisfied to go around one time, no he spent minimally 15-20 minutes out there running around to the different sides, belly crawling and pushing his snoot under the shed. He looked like a soldier going under barbed wire in basic training. Now stop and think for a minute…about a dog attempting to crawl under a shed when it had rained for awhile and under the shed is mostly mud.

I cannot describe the mud and the smell of the mud that emerged from his little escapade. He stood patiently while I used two beach towels and a bath towel on him. It didn’t work. He still was muddy, smelly and happy as could be. Nothing existed in his world except the joy of the bunny chase. He was really tired too. I tried to redirect him (if you are in social services you know that means drag him into another room while telling him he wants to go there) but he jumped on the bed anyway. Those bunnies exhaust him. They are just the highlight of his day/week/year.

The squirrels on the other hand are somewhat entertaining but do not intrigue him at the same level. Our neighbor feeds them and they are fat, mostly friendly squirrels. Running away from Chester is the only exercise they get. They go halfway up the tree and cluck at him while he bounces around below. They seem to know just how high he can jump. The neighbor brought over a giant sunflower head for the squirrels. I know what she’s up to…she’s trying to get them to bother us instead of them. The squirrels actually go into their garage and try to open the squirrel feed containers.  They are getting a little cheeky; there is a fat one who’s pretty aggressive. That one’s the ringleader. I picture them in little black leather jackets.

During a break in the rain I was walking Chester, and the color in the leaves was just overwhelming. It occurred to me that it was like Joseph’s amazing technicolor dreamcoat spread out over the land. We performed that musical three times and I still remember the song, red and yellow and green and gold and ochre and peach and ruby and violet and…etc. If these leaves are what the coat was made of, I see why the brothers were jealous!  One of the homes has two significant trees; a maple and a blue spruce. I call them my “Bob Ross Trees”. There’s something about the colors that makes me picture Bob Ross painting them. They do seem to be happy little trees. The pine is blue and when the maple is green it’s nice, and when the leaves are gone it’s OK, but when the leaves are orange/red the blue just pops.

While I am sitting here typing and trying to find words my cat is eating the plant. He will probably puke shortly. But I digress…

When the weather is grey I feel like my eyes are deprived. When I see beautiful colors I just stare to fill them up again. It’s like when we go to the art museum, I feel like I need to fill up on beauty. I stare at the paintings and feel the joy coming in. My ears feel like that too. Sometimes in the fall I listen to fantasy football radio more than usual to try to find the sleeper of the century, and then I turn on music and my ears have to fill up. There’s only so much fantasy I can take when my team, The Killer Tomatoes, is so dreadfully awful. How bad is it? It’s as bad as this joke:

Why don’t helicopters fly in the morning? Twirly.

 I feel myself rambling today and talking about basically nothing. COVID, politics, natural disasters, crime are all swirling around me and I’m talking about squirrels and leaves. I feel like I am in the eye of the hurricane with my mud puppy. It’s calm in my world, at least. Unfocused but calm.  I hope you can feel  peaceful vibes coming your way covered in leaves, smelling better than mud, and as beautiful as Monet. Fill up and have a good weekend!

The sunflower head
just nice color
the Bob Ross trees