20 March 2011


I sound the alarm!
Sneaky squirrel on our fence,
Come to kill us all!


It's quite a sound. I can't really describe it. The first time I heard it, I thought one of the dogs was in great physical distress; perhaps being disemboweled. Now I know that's not it. It's more like, "I need to be someplace and I'm going as fast as I can, but it's not fast enough."


A moment before, the ever-vigilant whippets might've been perched on the couch, ceaselessly scanning the horizon for intruders. From this vantage point, they can maintain surveillance through both the dining room and living room windows. Although these dogs typically have the attention span of a gnat on crack, they will carry out this visual patrol for hours at a stretch, on the alert for the least glimpse of a tiny paw, or nose, or the flash of a tail.


When one of them spots their quarry, or thinks they do, their legs are scrambling at maximum speed before they even touch the ground. It takes a moment before their flailing limbs gain purchase on the hardwood floor. Imagine Wile E. Coyote, taking off across the desert in a cloud of dust. It's like that. They're here, then they're both heading for the door at maximum whippet speed, which is really very fast. It's like watching a flock of birds, or a school of fish. How do they all turn at the same time like that, without running into each other? It's like two dogs with one brain. Pretty impressive in one way, but in another way, maybe not so much. I mean, two dogs, with half a brain each?


They drift sideways as they take the turn from the dining room into the kitchen, scrabbling for traction on the much-abused hardwood. Imagine the Doppler effect on their doggy siren as they negotiate the chicane through the kitchen and laundry room, and jostle for position as they approach the (narrow) dog door. Not being able to keep up with a whippet I never actually see this part of the pursuit, but Jasmine, being at a significant weight disadvantage, probably gets bumped out of the way. The slap of the door flap, and they take off across the deck.


By the time the whippets race the length of the house, yowling the whole way, the squirrel is long gone. I haven't actually heard the squirrels snicker and chortle from their place safely beyond whippet reach, but I'm sure they do.

A couple of minutes later our tireless guardians trot back inside, hop back up on their perch, and the whole thing starts again.

And there's the male robin who, impelled by his annual case of testosterone poisoning, is determined to drive his reflection in our kitchen window away from the territory he has claimed. Every time the dogs hear him bonk against the window, they go streaking outside to keep us safe from robins. Since the robin starts bonking against the window as soon as it's light enough for him to see the evil interloper, the ever-vigilant whippets begin the day by tearing outside, taking the sheets and blankets from the bed with them.

Ah, spring.

*Apologies for the riff on Doggy haiku


  1. I laughed out loud while reading this. It's so dog typical. I have a Morkie that patrols for squirrels as well. Shoter legs, but the same action.

  2. Funny that you blogged about your dog today, I just did also?? Maybe they are a big part of our lives....besides MS?
    ps Found you at Grace2wheel

  3. LOL I love the way tell a story. I can see the Whippets now.

    We had a cat that did the squirrel hunt as we called it - every day - day in and day out.

    Glad that the Whippets are keeping you safe from the critters lurking.

    Giggling away here . ...

  4. Hilarious - cat girl here can still imagine the side-ways slip and struggle for hardwood traction.

    Nice to know that you're being protected.

  5. Thanks for making me laugh today! =)