Squirrel-ing Around: Dog – 1 v. Squirrel – 0

Dog and squirrels are nefarious foes that drive each other crazy. Dogs chase them up trees and bark at them until they disappear. Squirrels chuck nuts at them and click their teeth in irritation at them. You can find this portal of their relationship even in the movie. Remember Doug from Up and his line, “Squirrel!” It is a love- hate that is old as time. However, Belle brought this to the next level.

If you don’t know or remember me talking about Belle previously, Belle is my 10-pound dog that loves to be Captain Chaos. So while I was at lectures, I had left Belle with my mom so she could keep my mom occupied while she was partial laid up since she was recovering from foot surgery. My mom got tired of laying around and decide to clean out the garage. Belle followed her. The door to the house was left open while my mom was going back and forth. Belle was following her until she saw something under the car and took off after it like a streak of red lightening.

My mom hobbles after my excited puppy who has now parked herself in front of the stove and is wagging her tail like crazy. One thing led to another and my mom ends up sending me a text with a simple message, “You need to come home.”

2 hours later, I am greeted by an overly excited Belle and my mom trying not to laugh while explaining the giant piece of plywood now sitting in front of the stove. After explaining to me what she thinks happened, that some critter had taken refuge under the stove after Belle had chased it into the house. My mom being in a boot couldn’t fully lie on the floor and see what critter it was (I was thinking it was the bunny from the burrow next door) but she got a photo. After brandishing the photo, did my heart sink. It was a juvenile squirrel.

There is one thing that terrifies me in the world. It makes me scream like the victims in the horror films, and possibly cry like a baby. I have a horrible fear of rodents. I can’t stand them. In my personal opinion, squirrels are just fluffy rats with rabies and can stay away from me. However, thanks to Belle me, and my foe were going to have a battle of wills.

After placing Belle in a back bedroom and out of the view of the terrified squirrel did Operation: Save The Squirrel start. Grabbing a discarded packing box, rubber gloves for safety, brooms, and tongs was I able to finally lay on the floor and see what I was dealing with. Sure enough, there was the squirrel pressed against the back wall and hiding behind wires and hoses. There was no way I could reach him with my hands. The poor juvenile squirrel was so scared that he was like a statue and wasn’t moving. I gently poked him with a broom handle to start moving him toward the front of the stove where the box was. He just ran to the other end of the stove and pressed himself further into the wall. This kept going on for 20 minutes until finally I was able cox him to the front. What happens next send these next events into a blurry collage of emotions, actions, and chaos.

The squirrel broke out of the box trap I had set by pushing on the flaps of the box and was now out of the stove and right in front of me. I screamed. I really screamed, and took off. I had no desire to be scratched or bitten. I can hear my mom scrambling for the door outside so he could make an escape. I kind of don’t remember what happened next other than me and my mom yelling at each other to get it or chase it. Next thing I know is I am holding Belle in my arms for protection while my mom is trying to flush it out. However, the dummy squirrel decide to take off away from the door and toward me with the dog. I did my best impersonation of a horror movie victim while taking off with my wiggly dog. My mom was trying hard not to laugh at me since she knows how much I hate rodents. Mr. Squirrel upon hearing my scream turned around and took off toward the garage. Once he made it out the door, we slammed it shut so he couldn’t get back into the house.

However, the worst thing happened. We lost him in the garage. We seriously did. We had to find him since he still need to make it out of the garage, but he up and disappeared. Then my mom had a lightbulb moment as I am tentatively checking behind equipment, Belle found the squirrel in the first place therefore she could easily do it again. So Belle joined our searching ranks and checked the nooks and crannies we couldn’t. Next thing we know out of no where, a streak of brown takes off and behind it my little red fuzz ball. She chased him until the end of the property before turning around and preening with satisfaction as she made her way back to us.

I collapsed on the driveway. I felt like I had sweated 30 pounds. My voice cracked with scratchy-ness from my staring debut in my personal horror movie. My mom cracked up laughing and almost peed her pants. Belle carried herself like a Prima Donna and searched for more hidden prizes within the crevices of the house. My dad, who was traveling at the time, only jokes that we should  have record these events in order to submit it to America’s Funniest Home Videos. I can laugh about this now only because it was over. But I may just collapse in agony if Belle ever chases a squirrel toward the house vs. away from it again.

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