Chipmunk as Shot by Will (with a camera)
We have very, very few chipmunks and no squirrels on our farm – as far as I can tell. Chipmunks are cute… and also make delightful dog snacks. There are squirrels about a mile down the valley but they are outside our dog’s range. There might be two or three chipmunks within the area the dogs patrol.
The dogs work in teams on small prey, one waiting at the back door and the other flushing. In the field we’ll often see dogs skyhopping, coming down on mice and voles and then tossing them up in the air to swallow. The game of catch is far older than rubber balls.
Even some birds are foolish enough to tempt the dogs. I once saw a sparrow darting around Hagrid. He finally lifted his head off the ground and inhaled. One snap of those long jaws and the silly bird was no more.
Then there are the crows. Kita never liked them. Perhaps because she suspected them of doing dastardly deeds on the piglets she guarded. She was right, of course. For years she would track the big black birds from the earth making sure they didn’t land. Then she developed a new technique. Kita bait them down to the ground where she would nab them. Trapping like this with bait is a behavior I’ve never seen in any other dog.
Bite sized morsels like this fellow make up a goodly part of a canines’s diet. In addition to learning to herd pigs and chickens the puppies are learning how to hunt small prey. They’ve caught up with Katya.
This particular chipmunk has been taunting from the safety of the tree. If he stays up there he may live to see another day.
Outdoors: 65°F/43°F Mostly Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/69°F
Daily Spark: Muzzletov to you and your dog.
I must say my dogs (and cats) are pretty hard on the squirrel and rabbit population around here. The dogs even like the raccoons, opossums, and skunks.
Good dogs and cats! We have removed the natural predators (wolves, coyotes, foxes) so we need to deal with the ballooning population of munchkins, er, I mean rodents and other critters. Our dogs also eliminated the coon and skunks. The one they can’t seem to handle is the porcupines. I have tried to convince the dogs that they need to use sharp pointy sticks.
I’ve gotten rid of quite a few rodents around here this year. Stay in the woods and I root for them. Come into my garden or workshop and I’ll trap them, and no livetraps either. I’m always somewhat conflicted, thinking these guys want to live just as I do. But then I remind myself that we are all hardwired to want to live. And anyway, I cannot afford to have them ruin my food crops that we need to live thru the winter. Nature is not a Walt Disney production.
Long time no puppy pictures! Those three must be huge by now…
They’re the size of Hope now and bigger than Katya and getting to be as big as their mother Lili already. See today’s post (10/13) for a photo of puppies and Hope on pasture.
I love this photo and your story to go with it. Good dogs!