… something involving a certain small brown dog, who goes by the name of Briar.
Briar, like many of the local canine population, has one objective in mind when she is taken to the park.
The squirrel tree!
We call it the squirrel tree because a number of people leave food for squirrels at the base. There is a park bench nearby, and it is a lovely place to sit and watch the squirrels and birds. It’s amazing how much wildlife you can see it a town centre park just by sitting and watching for a while.
Trouble is, one of Briar’s core policies is:
“If it’s smaller than me, and if it moves, I chase it.”
Well, she is a terrier!
I usually get to watch Briar chasing squirrels back up trees, and squirrels teasing her by hanging off the tree just out of her reach.
And Briar sitting patiently at the foot of the tree, hoping that a squirrel will appear ages. It has been known, when the weather is fine and we have time to spare, for me to take a book and get quite a bit of reading done!
Today though things went a little differently. We arrived just after somebody had passed by and left food. We settled in, sure that at least one squirrel would be trying to come down to eat.
Briar was focused on the job in hand, but for a moment she was distracted by a noise on the other side of the park. She turned her head, and at that very moment a squirrel ran down the tree and started inspecting the nuts that had been left.
I was expecting Briar to turn around and chase the squirrel back up the tree, but she didn’t. She leaned forward, and watched intently as the squirrel ate his breakfast.
The picture isn’t too clear – I’m still using a camera-phone and pretty much everything was grey or brown – but that’s Briar leaning as far forward as she can on the right-hand side of the picture, and hopefully you can pick up the squirrel at the base of the tree.
She went on sitting and watching as the squirrel ate several nuts and then retreated a few feet up the tree. He came back, ate and retreated three times before he disappeared back up the tree.
He had been gone some time before Briar moved, and I decided it was time we moved along.
It was lovely to watch.
I suspect though that Briar hasn’t changed her policy on squirrels, and that she was simply taken aback by the confidence of one particular animal.
Time will tell!
Our terrier (a Jack Russell) has pretty much stopped chasing things too, but she’s almost 16 now and can’t hear.
awww dear Briar! Impeccable manners: never chase anything when it’s having its breakfast. Esme is not so polite. She has been known to tree the squirrels and to eat their crusts as though making a point.
I love the way Briar is leaning forward. I recently saw a squirrel chasing a cat! I think Edinburgh squirrels must be quite tough.