Friday, October 15, 2010

She's No Boots. In Fact, I'm Not Sure She's Really A Dog

When I was growing up, we had a dog named Boots. She hated squirrels. We had a big silver maple tree in the back yard and the squirrels used to sit up in that tree and taunt her. She'd sit at the bottom of the tree and bark and carry on at those squirrels.

Sometimes, when we were in the house, we would look at Boots and say "Get that squirrel!" and she would run barking to the window or door. The thing is, we didn't even have to say those words to make her crazy. We could say something like "Hit that girl!" or "Knit and purl!" and she would lose her mind. This was big entertainment for us.

Now I have Tilly. Of all the dogs I've ever owned, Tilly is the most, um...special. I would never say this in front of her for fear of giving her a complex, but I don't think she's the sharpest knife in the drawer. Okay. You caught me. I would totally say it in front of her and she would look at me with a blank stare because what she would be hearing is "Tilly blah, blah, blah. Tilly blah, blah."

The other day when I was out in the back yard with her, she was sniffing along the treeline and we heard a frantic chirruping at us. I was looking around trying to spy what was chattering at us and suddenly I saw this about three feet away:

It was decidedly unhappy with our presence and it was not holding back. I kept saying "Squirrel! Tilly! Squirrel!" and pointing it out to her, but she just couldn't find it. She was sniffing excitedly on the ground but when I would point up to the tree rat squirrel, she just looked at me with a quizzical expression. There was no doubt that she was excited; her ears were pricked up, her tail was up and wagging, she was on full alert. She just didn't know what she was on alert for.

Meanwhile, Mr. Squirrel finished bawling me out and then scampered up the tree and jumped from branch to branch, tree to tree. Tilly, nose to the ground, sniffed in circles and missed it all.

I swear I heard that squirrel laughing at her as he scampered away. If she were still here, Boots would disavow her as a member of the species. Shameful, really.

Dumb dog.

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