Wednesday, 26 January 2011


I haven't had a proper dog since my ex-husband took mine (a beautiful Alsatian named Jezebel) in the divorce; of course, we have since owned the much-loved and missed Maximus Pratticus, but he was a stately old gent who, when outdoors, was occupied with sniffing and creating scents above all other things.

Not so Sebastian. Sebastian is a fiend for a ball. He doesn't give them back, of course, but will drop it within a 10 foot radius or so if one is sneaky enough to have brought another ball to distract him with - otherwise he goes off a ways and chews it to rubbery smithereens.

Sebastian did not used to see the squirrels, the grey ones that plague the park: he was focussed too much on his ball. Until early last week, when a dozy one didn't move quite fast enough and was in the path to the ball. Sebastian gave chase and - much to both my surprise, and his - caught it. Never having had a mouthful of warm mobile fur before, he dropped it almost instantaneously, in shock. It scrambled desperately up the nearest tree while Sebastian circled the base regretting his accidental act of mercy.

Ever since, he makes sure to give a good snout to all the squirrel-laden trees in that section of the park, but has not managed to get anywhere near to another live squirrel. Note the word 'live'.

Because while Mini Diva, her friend L., Destructo Boy and I were out walking the dog in the park on the weekend, some other canine predator had managed to capture and kill a squirrel. The other dog's owner had generously left the spoils of their successful Alpha for someone else to find - and deal with. Oh joy.

Persuading a stubborn dog who has learned his lesson all too well from his earlier mistake, to drop a succulent mouthful of still-warm bleeding prey is absolutely impossible. Sebastian only had the bottom half - who knows where the rest was - and that was bad, bad, bad, since even the most stoic amongst us, ie. me, blenched at the sight of squirrel guts draped all over the undeservedly proud dog's muzzle.

It seemed that my predicament attracted almost every other dog owner in the park - except for the perpetrator's owner. Or maybe they also returned to the scene of the crime just to quietly snigger up their sleeve. We received much sympathy, and comfort in the form of 'don't worry, the park-keepers like it because the squirrels are such vermin' as well as undeserved congratulations for our shameless dog who is obviously a cad amongst dogs, happy to garner a hunter's reputation from someone else's work.

Seeing as how I hadn't brought my phone, DH was in blissful ignorance of the havoc, which meant I had to choose the lesser of two evils: let the dog carry the bloody remnants home through the streets or somehow prise him from it. We found a secluded corner, and I straddled the dog, forced his jaws apart just enough for the squirrel carcass to plop wetly onto the path, while I screamed like a fishwife at Mini Diva to pull the damned dog away as hard and fast as possible.

I haven't seen L's Mum to talk to since, and I will totally blame any mental trauma that may be suffered by L on DH: it's his fault because he should have been there; he also should have reminded me that now we own a proactive young carnivore, not an soft old cushion of a dog.


  1. LOL. If it's any help, in my experience a quick flick on the end of the snout will make a GSD sneeze and therefore drop anything it's reluctant to relinquish :D

  2. And now that he's got the taste of squirrel blood.....oo-er. :-)

  3. What a wonderful, terrible story. I hope this behaviour can be trained out of Sebastian.

  4. Oh dear - once they get the taste for it, it can be very difficult to stop them from wanting more. Cos they're dogs, that's what they do.

    Water pistol in your pocket maybe? Pepper?

    Ali x

  5. Oh.My.Word.

    I used to think our old cuddly dog was a bit dull. I was wrong. She's exciting enough.

  6. Ugggggghhh. I've had to pry a couple of dead birds out of our boy's mouth. The first time, I flung it away and waved my hands and screamed like a girl; now I've sadly gotten used to it...


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