Monday, December 21, 2015


I have a good view of the bird feeder from our breakfast nook.  A professional, rather costly, anti-squirrel bird feeder. I put a lot of faith in that feeder. Bird seed is expensive. There he sits, eating that expensive bird seed. Bird seed. The company guarantees my feeder against such intrusions. Obviously they did not take into account flying squirrels. He climbs up the trunk of a pine tree about 15 feet away, to the height of about 30 ft. and leaps. I wish I had that kind of faith. He doesn’t hesitate. He doesn’t overthink it. He jumps. He hits the feeder at about ten miles per hour. Seed goes airborne in every direction, falling to the ground for later consumption by him and his friends. He hangs on. It is a feat worthy of the circus. I could put something sharp there, but I can’t bring myself to such barbaric methods. Although I think about it.  My dog hates squirrels. Maybe he can read my mind. He barks behind the window. The squirrel panics. A ten feet jump to the ground, and he’s gone. As for as the dog can tell, he just vanishes.  Some people say a squirrel is akin to a rat. I don’t know, but I’ve never seen a rat on my feeder. The dog also doesn’t like armadillos. We see them less often. An armadillo is a weird creature. One of God’s creations that you have to wonder about. At least he can’t climb the bird feeder. He uproots the flowers, looking for grubs. He needs to eat, but I wish he would go elsewhere for his culinary pursuits. Like to the neighbors. The dog does his usual thing. He barks. The armadillo scurries off into the woods, determined to return later. I’m sure. The dog likes deer. He’ll stand in the window and silently watch them approach. They are also looking for a free handout. He tilts his head, as though he’s trying to read their minds. I think it is their freedom that he is enamored with. He is always on a leash. When he breaks free, he won’t immediately come back. He tastes that freedom. He wants to bask in it. He rolls on the grass. Runs around crazily. No restraints. No tug at the neck. He runs like those deer run. Fast. Free. Unrestrained. When he tastes that freedom, he prefers it. I don’t blame him. So do I. Another squirrel on the feeder. I’m going to call the company. This is out of hand.

Dogs are good for the soul. Dogs know a whole lot more about what’s going on than we give them credit for. Dogs know when you’re happy. When you’re sad. When you are lonely. When you are so low you can look the dog straight in his eyes. There he’ll be, staring at you. Wondering what’s wrong. How best he can cheer you up. Can he lick you? Sit up like a poodle. Scoot his butt on the couch and sit there, next to you, watching television. He prefers the dog channel, which costs extra.  Look with you out the window, trying to help you forget about yourself. Your pains. Your shortcomings. You can talk to a dog. He never talks back, although he might look at you funny. I like my dog. He never complains, even if I feed him late. If I make him hold it a little too long before a relieving walk. I might forget to change his water for several days. He smells everything outside, especially after a rain. I don’t know why. Squirrels, armadillos, deer, possum, raccoon, coyotes, fox, other dogs. He sometimes forgets why we are outside. He gets a little slow to do his business. He’s particular about a spot. A certain spot. Who knows what he’s thinking. He is a good watchdog. He barks whenever anyone comes to the house. Some people see that as undesirable. I see it as cheaper than an alarm system. I think. Anyway, he’s a good dog. Of all creation, you can hardly beat a dog. I think this one is divine, mainly because we think alike. We both hate those pesky squirrels. Although probably for different reasons.

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