Rescue dog: Dogs will be dogs. Squirrels beware!(Read article summary)
Rescue dog Albie reveals his hunting instinct. Neither rain nor snow nor ... steak would stay this Lab from his appointed prey – a poor little squirrel.
The other day, Albie, our half yellow Lab, half Golden Retriever rescue dog, spotted a baby squirrel trying to make its way up a tree in our front yard. Albie circled the tree frantically, occasionally putting his paws on the trunk and stretching as far as he possibly could to try to get at the little creature who remained just beyond his reach. Eventually, the squirrel managed to get to a branch well out of range and remained there for a long while, still as a photograph, while Albie continued his exercise in futility. Nothing, not even a steak, could have distracted Albie from his mission.
Then I noticed this tiny squirrel’s hind legs were dangling awkwardly, and it appeared he’d been crippled, either from birth or in some previous, unfortunate encounter. Since we were outside with Albie the whole time, we knew he hadn’t inflicted the injury. But as long as that squirrel stayed in that tree, Albie was going to be there hoping for a lucky break (for him, not the squirrel).
The standoff continued for well over an hour until the squirrel made an ill-advised decision to try to make it down the tree, clinging to the bark with his front claws, his hind legs dangling uselessly. When he reached the point where I feared Albie might reach him, it was time to intervene. I grabbed an old fishing net, reached up, and easily got the little guy inside. As Judy dragged Albie into the house, no small feat, I released the squirrel in a wooded area behind a neighbor’s house. I don’t know how he’s going to make it on his own, but I really didn’t know what else to do.