Tag Archives: hunter

The Triumphant Adventures of Sparky the Squirrel: Part Three

Sparky Triumphant

Sparky Triumphant

This adventure happened a while back when I had three dogs; Madam, TJ and Little Monkey. My daughters and I were out in the back garden, when suddenly there was a commotion at the corner of the house. The three dogs were excitedly going for something on the grass there.

When we got to them we found they had pinned down a little grey squirrel against the wall. The poor thing was small and thin, with long arms and legs in comparison to its body size, and a sparse tail. It was a teenager, that had foolishly wandered down from the safety of the trees, to the domain of the wolves!

I pulled the nearest dog off and handed it to a daughter, then grabbed the next dog. The dogs were so excited, that they kept getting away from my girls’ grasp and launching back into the attack again.

Throughout all this, little Sparky kept fighting for his life. He was on his back, shrieking loudly and striking out at the wolves with his tiny paws. (Sparky strikes back!) But it was enough to keep the wolves mostly at bay, and prevent them from grabbing him in their teeth.

Eventually we managed to get all the dogs under control and frog-march them to the house and shut them in. None of us was bitten by our dogs, nor ever expected to be; it was just instinct on their part to attack prey.

Poor Sparky was a bit soggy round the middle from a few dog mouths, and obviously very shaken, but he had survived to fight another day. He scampered to the corner by the stoep and just froze there.

We put a shelter round him, and gave him water and raw nuts and just left him alone to recover. The next time we checked, he had gone. Hopefully a little wiser for the encounter!

Sparky is invincible!


The Further Adventures of Sparky the Squirrel: Part Two

Sparky the Squirrel

As I said yesterday, training your dog to listen to you could save its life one day. It certainly saved the life of Sparky the squirrel.

One afternoon I was in the drive way by the garage, when I suddenly saw my old dog Lady racing across the front lawn. Now this old rescued dog had arthritis and never ran; she just plodded. So I knew something was going on. I stepped forward and saw Lady had her nose right on a squirrel’s tail as they hared across the lawn together.

I bellowed, “STOP THAT!” And lady locked her front legs and skidded to a halt on the grass. The squirrel just kept right on full speed towards the small white wall, and straight over it through the railings, without a pause – to safety.

Lady, still standing there frozen, watched the squirrel disappear, then looked at me and her expression said, “What did you do that for? Now it’s got away!”

Naturally, Lady got lots of praise and attention and a biscuit.

So, having routine and discipline, along with, obviously, love, makes a well balanced dog – and saves Sparky the squirrel.

post script: This will never work with Little Monkey, as she is too much the hunter. With her, if I am quick enough, I have to intervene in person, or with the garden rake, if it is to hand, for extra reach. Even so, the squirrels have wisely learnt to stay out of the garden when the dogs are around!



My dog, the hunter

Loves chasing squirrels up trees

Rhinos are too big


Post Script: Everyone seems to be writing a haiku these days; so here’s mine, in the traditional 5-7-5 form. According to wiki, a haiku uses a few words to tell a story, and a good haiku reveals about 70% of its subject. So here, the scene is set in the first two lines, but what are rhinos too big for? – Being chased by the dog, climbing trees, or fitting in a taxi? You decide. Happy Friday!

Miss Tinkerbell is down to Eight

I always let my dogs out in the garden at night, before putting them to bed. Every dog I’ve had would quickly relieve themselves and come back in again.

When I first got Little Monkey, I assumed she was doing the same thing; only to find large puddles on the kitchen floor in the morning. As she was such a young dog (only eighteen months) I was rather surprised that she would have a bladder problem, but had her urine checked anyway. It was fine, which meant maybe she had a physical problem, so she was put on oestrogen tablets. This made no difference at all.

I finally realised, that she had no problem what-so-ever. When I let her out to go to the loo, apparently she thought it was a great game, and ran around playing the whole time, till I called her in again; totally missing the point.

One night, I had just let her out, when she made a dash for the bushes. Next thing, she was chasing something along the wall, right on its tail. It was pitch black and I couldn’t see a thing. The scene played out before me in audio only; pattering of paws, crashing through undergrowth.

And I heard the rapid tinkling of the cat bell, as Miss Tinkerbell barely made it to the corner and over the wall to safety. She definitely lost one of her nine lives that night!