I'm so sad......

catherinet(5 IN)June 20, 2006

I've learned to make alot of noise before I let the dog out, so the squirrels have a chance to climb the fence and get away. But today, I forgot. I was on my way out to grab a few photos of my water lily. Within 5 seconds of letting my dog out, I heard a squeal. I ran towards her yelling.......she had a small squirrel in her mouth. I screamed like crazy and she dropped it. I picked it up and it was gasping. I sat on the deck with it in my lap, as it slipped away. I think it was probably from the nest I have been watching for awhile.

I know my dog was just doing it's natural thing, but I'm so mad at her, I could almost give her away right now. And I'm so disappointed in myself for not doing what I should have done.

I'm just so darned sad.

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I'm sorry this happened, I can understand how you feel as I have had similiar things happen in my life. Try to remember how much your dog loves you and that she was only doing what dogs do. I have to remember the same thing about the squirrels as we have so many and I can't tell you how many things they have done to my garden, stealing and eating and such.
But I am sorry that you had this happen.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 1:44PM
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I feel for you too. The same thing happened to me when a friend of mine came over once and left the front door open by mistake (??!!!--- he is no longer a friend). The worse thing about it was that there were two guys driving by in a pick-up truck that witnessed the whole thing. They stopped and got out of the truck, exclaiming to me the entire time I was tackling my dog, "That's one of the coolest things I have EVER seen..." Anyway, the squirrel in this case was not dead either and I also had to witness his dying breath. I was in tears and those two guys were like, "That was soooo cool..." UGH!! You'll probably never forget again, but how about tying some jingle bells to the outside doorknob? They would jingle as you turned the handle, and, by the time the door was opened, the squirrels would be notified... So sorry this had to happen...


    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 10:21PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Kiki and Jenny,

Jenny.....that's awful, how those boys acted!
I just can't seem to shake the experience. I feel so responsible.
I'm sure part of the problem was that this young little squirrel just hadn't learned the ropes of moving really fast yet. The suggestion about the bells on the doorknob is a really good one, and I'll do that.
My dog knew she had done something terribly wrong. She slinked around all day. Unfortunately, I'm not sure she understands exactly what it was.
My back yard curves around to the side, and I can't see the whole yard from the door. Hopefully, the bells will give any little critters a few seconds more to scoot away.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 11:28PM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

What a horrible, familiar feeling it is when your actions inadvertently cause harm to something. Been there, done that. In fact I so hate the thought that I might smash a frog or toad at night on the road that I have taken up carrying a minnow bucket in the passenger side floorboard just in case I need to relocate a few of the little dears. It's the stuff you feel you could have avoided that really gets to you the worst. You didn't let Suzi out to purposely kill the poor thing, and she certainly can't be expected to act like anything other than the dog she is. I think you need to know that what's important here is that you are honestly affected by what took place, but in a positive way. I see you taking steps and making the effort to insure that it doesn't happen again, or at least as seldom as possible. On the other hand, you COULD have reacted like the young men did that Jenny mentioned, which at least was indifference to the loss of life and at worst a macabre fascination with it. I hate to get caught over-generalizing here, but my first thought was, well , that's young boys for ya. Too much @$%#@!!! X-BOX.

But isn't Suzi a stray that you took in?? See, there you go....you try to do what seems right and you still have moments where things just get crazy and confusing. At least you still made a positive difference in her life by giving her a home....I still say it all comes down to Chaos...if you hadn't taken her in, she'd likely be who knows where, maybe dead in an alley somewhere, but she wouldn't have caught the young squirrel. But possibly Suzi, in being a potential predator to the other squirrels, is keeping them on their toes and alert to danger, and in doing so is providing them with better survival skills.
Or maybe it's late and I'm not making a lick of sense....

Cathy, we know from your posts that you always try to do right by all living things, so don't bang your head over something you couldn't possibly have forseen. A bunch of jingle bells on the door that you use to let her out will do the trick nicely...they do learn. If you still aren't sure and you have the time, maybe you could do a walk-about and check for stragglers.

It's hard sometimes......

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 1:10AM
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dg has many good points, and i will also echo that the faster squirrels had a valuable experience.

please forgive your pup. likely, the skulking is a reaction to your emotional state. she doesn't understand but knows something is wrong. when people are angry they tend to narrow their eyes and direct stare. dogs interpret this at least as a challenge, and with passive dogs will submit or skulk and hide.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 6:04AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks so much Dirtgirl and fairy toadmother.
Sometimes it's just so hard to deal with innocents being harmed.
We have so much property, I don't know why these little guys pick our back yard. Maybe they're getting a drink from my watergarden. When we got Suzi (the dog), I did have big concerns over all the wildlife in the back yard. I could confine her somehow in the back yard, but then her life wouldn't be as nice. It took me forever to train her in the house, and we've made progress. But once she's outside..........all bets are off! She seems to lose her hearing outside, and just goes into "hunter" mode.
It's a good thing for her that she's so darned cute.
I really appreciate everyone's support! This has affected me alot.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 6:56AM
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hmmmm, will a motion activated sprinkler work to keep them from a danger zone? or deter pup? then of course, critters would have to be in the right area for deterence/protection.

i wonder, if she were on a leash while outdoors and critters were in the yard- leash for control and protecting critters, would giving the command "sit-stay" and rewarding for good behavior, or anytime she showed no interest rewarding for behavior, would it make a difference? does she have a fave squeaky toy to distract her attention from the critters and she could only have it when outside? if she gives attention to the critters, give the toy a squeak. she looks away to the toy and gets rewarded. would that help, i wonder. well, as long as there is no sight hound in there!
just some thoughts.

your welcome, catherinet. i know i would feel just awful, as well.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:21AM
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Would bells on her collar work, like cat collars? Or is she too fast for it to help?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 10:03AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Suzi is faster than lightening!
She was a stray from several years ago, and we're just happy to have her fairly well trained indoors.....which we began to think was impossible. I've started working harder on training her at the door, and on the deck. But once she sees an animal, she's like any other child with ADHD!
Here's a pic of her. You can see why it's hard to stay mad at her for too long!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 1:42PM
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oh my goodness!!!!!!! *smooch*

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 11:08PM
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