Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cold Blooded Killers

So now, here’s what happened with the squirrel, as told by MissMuddyPaws (aka Lydia):

Milly saw a squirrel in some underbrush and chased it up a tree. Having always loved chasing and treeing squirrels, and having never caught one, I used this as the perfect opportunity to snap some pictures and watch her play. I’m not sure if something was wrong with the squirrel, or if it had weak nails, or just picked the wrong tree – but while Milly was attempting to climb the tree/barking at squirrel I noticed the squirrel was only half way up the tree trunk. This is a really tall pine – probably 70 feet or higher – and the branches are not until the very top, so the squirrel is clinging to the side of the trunk. The next thing I notice, the squirrel has gone around to the other side of the trunk, Milly and Hush follow, at which point I think to myself what the hell is going through this squirrel’s mind? Why doesn’t he just climb the tree. I decide maybe the squirrel is tried and scared, call the dogs to me, and we head down towards the creek. The next thing I know, both dogs have taken off and are back at the squirrel tree. Then, I see the squirrel. It was like in his little brain he decided the only way out was down, and he could run sideways and fast, and leap into the tree beside the one he was in for better coverage.

At this point, everything goes into slow motion – like I’m watching some predator show on the Discovery Channel and they are slowing down the antelope being attacked by the Mountain Lion.

As if on the count of 3, the squirrel leaps to the ground and starts high tailing (no pun intended) away. Had it just been Milly, he probably could have gotten away. But it was 2 against 1. Once again, like it was some Discovery Channel predator moment, Hush and Milly team up – they move as one. While one chases, the other corners, while one blocks the front, the other closes in on the rear. It was the most natural, effortless, and graceful thing I have ever witnessed. With no way out, Milly pounced onto the squirrel, grabbing him in her mouth on the first try. Proudly she flings her head about, like Miss America immediately after crowning, she has tried for this moment her entire life, and never thought she would be here. Meanwhile, a tear is trickling down my face. I start franticly yelling, “Milly, Drop it!”

I know Milly, and I know she has a soft mouth. This squirrel is alive and alright, as long as she drops it. The next thing I see was heartbreaking. Hush playfully grabs onto the other half of the squirrel, and they begin tossing it about, playing tug of war with it. I want to vomit, and I’m praying they’ve broken its neck. The situation has gone from surreal Discovery Channel to horrifying murder.

Hush wins the tug of war, and they drop the squirrel, but continue to ignore me. I suddenly remember the one surefire way to get a solid recall out of them is to walk away, making them think I am leaving them. I head down the hill towards the creek and dog park, if I can just get them far enough away from this squirrel they will be distracted by the creek. I turn around to see Hush running full-steam ahead right at me… the squirrel hanging from her mouth. I know at this point I should have stood my ground. I should have called her over, made her sit, and removed the squirrel from her mouth. But, I didn’t. I couldn’t.

Instead, I run the opposite direction, flailing my arms about, as she playfully prances behind me flaunting her new possession. My heart is racing. I want to cry and vomit simultaneously. Luckily, Hush has a short attention span – she drops the squirrel and bounds over to people playing in the creek. At this point, Milly is at my side, I grab her collar, and walk her to the creek. The squirrel seemed to be dropped on the edge of the woods, it looked dead in Hush’s mouth; we’ll just leave it there.

That would have been find, had the lab that was playing in the creek with Milly and Hush, yes, the one keeping their minds off the squirrel, not taken off running. A game of chase started, but Milly made a b-line for the squirrel, now the lab is chasing Milly. I look up to see something hanging from her mouth. I yell, “Milly, DROP IT!” And, somehow, SHE LISTENS. The squirrel tumbles from her mouth and she obediently trots over to me. It isn’t moving, I sigh in relief knowing it is dead, and hope it has been dead this whole time.

At this point, the lab’s owner has gotten to his dog; the squirrel is in the lab’s jaws of steel. I grab my dogs’ collars, and head in the opposite direction, putting on their leashes. The dead squirrel now becomes the lab owner’s problem.

We amble away, and I look down and notice blood on Milly’s muzzle. I think it is blood from the squirrel, because Milly is completely un-phased... so I walk down to the creek and let her splash about in it. There is now more blood. Crap.

I wipe the drool off of her muzzle and see two small puncture wounds. My mind starts racing as I think when her last rabies vaccine was, and whether or not I’ve heard of squirrels carrying diseases. I know she isn’t due for rabies for over a year, but draw a blank on illnesses. We head back home, I use the hose outside to lightly rinse the area, head inside, clean it with betadine and e-mail the vet.

“Apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Clean it with Betadine. Keep an eye on it, and if there are puncture wounds she may need to come in for antibiotics.” $$$$’s, The Vet.

I've continued to clean the wound. The swelling is gone, and I'm keeping an eye on the way it looks (and smells)... so far, it is healing nicely, so hopefully a trip to the vet will not be necessary.


  1. I know that feeling. Both my of my miniature dachshunds and my cocker spaniel are experienced hunters. In a way, I'm proud that they can work as a pack...but I'm also horrified.

  2. What an experience and one which we bet you don't want to ever be repeated!!! Sure hope she continues to heal nicely! Scary huh?

  3. I've had a Golden do the exact same thing, and we did exactly as you have done. All healed up well, but not before I became a nervous wreck over it all!! We send healing thoughts that it continues to be 'okay!'

  4. Oh my!! That had to be scary!! I hope she continues to heal very quick!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  5. Yikes! Both my pups got into trouble last weekend at my friend's pup's birthday party. It is disheartening to see your dogs do something that you never expected like this. I am glad Milly and Hush are okay! Good luck! xoxo

  6. What is it they always say? A wolf is hidden deep in every dogs heart? It's still not something you want to see!


  7. Hey dud! what happen to you? Hope your still fine this day! ^_^

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