(Jacob Threatt, Squirrel Hunter - it's hard to believe that
such an innocent-looking shepherd has such a vicious side)
Hunters have deer season and turkey season. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck have duck season and wabbit season. Here in Washington, D.C., we have squirrel season. There is a very interesting article in today's Washington Post about how squirrels were once nonexistent in our nation's capital, but the inhabitants of the city missed the little critters and actually went out of their way to import some. For reasons that soon will become clear, I think that my dog Jacob may have been one of these squirrel importers in a previous life.
The squirrels here are exceptionally active in September and October as they bustle about collecting their winter stashes. During this time, when my dogs are off leash at Congressional Cemetery, I can count on them to chase squirrels for an entire hour without stopping. I walk about 2 to 3 miles, and they probably run at least 10 in their constant pursuit of the eastern grey. This phenomenon has prompted me to compose a goofy dog song about the squirrel hunting antics of my dog Jacob. It's set to the tune of Danny Boy and goes something like this-
Oh, Jakie Boy, the squirrels the squirrels are calling
From tree to tree, all through the cem-uh-ter-y
The summer's gone, and all the acorns fallen
'Tis you, 'tis you, must chase and they must flee
Oh run ye fast, my golden squirrel crusader
Capturing squirrels upon the ground before they know
That they're about to go and meet their maker
Oh Jakie Boy, my Jakie Boy, oh what a show
The cemetery squirrels are never safe while my Jakie Boy is around, and today he captured and killed his first squirrel of the season. I didn't witness the moment of capture because I was gabbing with my friends K and S. It wasn't until I heard another dog owner screaming in horror as her dog and Jacob took turns parading around with the dead squirrel that I took note. Many thanks to S for slyly tricking Jacob into dropping his felled prey - without S's assistance I would probably still be in the graveyard politely asking Jacob to "drop it." As for the poor squirrel - sorry that you had such a tough exit, buddy, and hope that you will have a better go of it your next time around. In the meantime may you rest in peace.
P.S. This likely will be my last pet post for a while. I've been doing a lot of thinking this weekend and plan to return to more philosophical topics for a while.