My terrier is broken?

I absolutely have to tell you this amusing story.. it is a true story.

This past weekend a friend, my American Staffordshire Terrier (Justice) and I went to the cottage. We arrived late Saturday night very tired. After carrying all our stuff in we sat down in the living room to enjoy the peace and quiet of Muskoka.

I heard a “rustling” noise several times that seemed to come from the vicinity of the kitchen. We both heard the noise, but Justice didn't seem to give it a second thought so that was good enough for me. It isn't odd to hear animals outside on the wrap around deck frolicking in the night.

At about 1:30 I went to bed. I fell asleep quite quickly but was awakened to the sound of my friend yelling “Lori!!! There is a squirrel in here!!!”

You know what it is like when you wake up from a dead sleep. I was rather stunned but yelled back, “I'll let Justice out of my room!”

I opened the door and the next thing I saw was a little squirrel running past the bookshelf with Justice trotting behind it. Neither the squirrel or Justice were moving very fast; at least not by what I would consider hunting speed. The squirrel disappeared somewhere behind the TV.

I turned to ask my friend what transpired. He said he was playing a game on his cell phone when a cheeky squirrel ran out and crossed the living room, darting in and out of furniture. At one point it ran across the room and banged into the sliding glass door. My friend opened the door and screen and tried to chase the little guy out but the squirrel didn't seem able to find his way back to the great outdoors.

We looked for several minutes but there was no sign of the squirrel so I suggested we go back to bed, close the bedroom doors and deal with the squirrel in the morning.

I quickly fell back to sleep but was awakened again by Justice jumping off the bed. I heard a scratch, scratch… on the floor. I woke up much quicker this time! I realized the squirrel is now in my bedroom! I had a lamp by my bedside so I turned it on without getting out of bed. Much to my amazement, here was a little squirrel, the size of a chipmunk, sitting huddled in the corner of my bedroom with Justice staring him down. Justice's nose was about a foot and a half away from the squirrel with his head hung low I could see Justice's nose moving as he sniffed. I managed a weak “get it!”, but Justice made no move toward the squirrel. The squirrel had huge black eyes and seemed rather stunned. Once he saw that this rather huge by comparison dog was not making a move to kill, the squirrel ran past Justice and jumped on the chair in the corner of the room underneath the window.

I now made my move to open the bedroom door and yell at my friend, “the squirrel is in my bedroom!!!!”

My friend now came to the doorway of my room and I grabbed the phone to call my aunt and uncle who have the cottage next door. I am not sure what I expected them to do at (now 4:00am). My aunt said to close the bedroom door and deal with it in the morning.. Meanwhile back in my bedroom I was getting a running commentary from my friend telling me the squirrel was on my bed, on my pillow, on the chair, jumping all around my bedroom. I appeared back in my bedroom doorway to see the squirrel jump onto the blind and try to escape out the window, however the screen was preventing his escape from Alcatraz. While this commotion was happening, Justice was hanging out in the living room! Yes, my terrier is ~BROKEN~ WHAT THE HELL? AREN'T DOGS NATURALLY SUPPOSED TO CHASE AND KILL SMALL MOVING ANIMALS?

There is a shelf above the window that has books stacked on top so it is quite near the ceiling. The squirrel climbed up the wall and found a temporary safe haven on top of the books above the window.

My friend decided it was a good idea to take the broom and “encourage” the squirrel to find its way to the now open window and embrace freedom. The squirrel was hiding his head in his own fur trying the old trick, if I can't see them… they can't see me? The closer my friend got with the broom, the more nervous the squirrel became. It was now moving back and forth across the books. I was standing behind my friend while he began throwing books at the squirrel.

All of a sudden the squirrel launched himself at my friend! It was a flying squirrel!

My friend squealed like a girl and I ducked out of the way but saw the squirrel fly into the bedroom across the hall. I quickly closed the door with the squirrel contained in the other bedroom. All I could think of was Chevy Chase at that moment. A Griswold weekend at the cottage was shaping up quite nicely.

My friend, now traumatized, grabbed a towel, throw rug, cooler and a box to secure the little 2 oz squirrel. He saw to it there would be NO escape from this room. Once the squirrel was secured, my friend realized his cell phone was with the squirrel.

I finally went back to bed. It was now 4:30am. I woke up the next morning to a cell phone ringing repeatedly. I guess the squirrel wasn't answering?

In the morning my aunt and uncle arrived with pest control paraphernalia in hand. They brought a laundry basket (with lid) and gloves. My aunt announced she was “going in”. She began hunting around the room for the nocturnal squirrel but out of the corner of her eye she spotted the little squirrel laying dead on the floor.

Not sure how the poor little fella died. Maybe he had a heart attack after a 75 pound American Staffordshire Terrier turned him down as a snack and 2 humans squealed and chased him with a broom.

The moral of the story is, don't assume your terrier will protect your ass from wild animals. They surely don't necessarily answer the call of what they were “bred” to do… 


  1. Been there…so right. A coon kicked Maggie's butt one night. She just wasn't cut out for putting those things in her mouth.

  2. *falling from side to side laughing* Poor little beastie, I guess he died of a heart attack (I've seen mice do that), but your story is hilarious!!!! I love the “jaws of death” hanging out in the living room while all this goes on!!!

  3. Not dog-related, but wanted to share… :-)
    My beloved 11-year-old Dane passed away this past June. (…stupid cancer) So I'm dogless for the first time in awhile. …Not that she would've made a lick of difference in the story I'm about to tell. (She was singly the most diffident, nervous dog I ever worked with, in 30 years training dogs.)
    My 20-year-old cat is, however, still alive and kicking. So it was just the two of us who spent the summer at my cottage this year. (My husband joined us mostly on weekends.)
    Years past, I've marvelled at how brave the red squirrels are. They're notoriously fearless as it is. But I own an island, which means they really have no reason to come in contact with humans to any extent and, thus (I think), are that much bolder. They simply don't seem to fear humans or even Great Danes, apparently. My Dane used to delight in chasing them (the only place on earth where I'd allow her to chase other living things). But the red squirrel(s) would decide when the game would end simply by turning and facing her. They seemed completely at ease.
    This summer, I named one of the red squirrels “Hamilton”, after the frenetic, red squirrel in the movie, “Over the Hedge”. (He's called “Hammy” throughout most of the film. But, just once, the raccoon character calls him “Hamilton”…and I was smitten with the name.) Little 'Hamilton' developed kind of a friendship with me, this summer. He'd walk right up to me, and generally wanted to be where I was. I made a semi-regular habit of reading on a lounger while listening to music on the lower deck, overlooking our closed bay, in the afternoon. Hamilton would perch on a tiny, four inch branch stump overlooking me, and fall asleep while I was there.
    Several years ago, though, I remember coming back to the cottage after going to the mainland for a short period, to find several squirrels had gotten in somehow, and were making off with the last of an entire bag of apples left on the table, just as we opened the door.
    Anyway…my story isn't actually about squirrels.
    I was delighted when another creature graced the interior of my cottage for the first time ever. Oh, we've had deer, porcupines (they swim????), a raccoon, and even the occasional black bear on the island. Darn beaver took one of my favourite trees just last week! We built the deck around it, it was so cherished. Now there's just a stump. (Speaking of deer, though. I'll never forget looking up from my laptop and seeing my darling girl chasing a tiny, adorable, little, spotted fawn, probably a third her size, across the island. I could see the delight on her face! I ran for my camera, knowing the little thing would high tail it to the water, and would likely beat me there. But I so desperately wanted to capture that moment forever. Alas, my memory will have to do.)
    Geez…still straying from my story… (blushing)
    Well, it was late one night. I was watching some random show on televsion. (I only get two channels.) I heard my cat make a fuss about something in the hallway.
    Now to give you a bit of background, this cat is more human than animal…or so we like to jest. I jokingly refer to him as being like a very small, very hairy, middle-aged, single man, who's a roommate. …Totally self-sufficient. …Doesn't do many “cat” things. We occasionally have mice inside the cottage (which I catch using live traps, and release on a nearby island that is crown land). I have witnessed my cat watch a mouse run across the cottage floor, right in front of him, with barely a glance. They're completely and wholly irrelevant to him. That said, he's been an indoor cat his entire life, so he's puzzled by many things most animals take in stride.
    So, when I heard my cat in the hallway, behaving as though he was startled, I naturally concluded there must be a mouse, and it was frightening him somehow. I turned on the hall light, but didn't see anything. I turned the light back off, and returned to the sofa to continue watching the show.
    About ten minutes later, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted movement. Moving along the wall, towards the television, was a metre-long snake. (Looked like an Eastern Milk Snake to me.)
    Now, I love snakes. (All creatures, actually.) And we have our fair share of water snakes, garter snakes, and these gorgeous, emerald-green, grass snakes that I can't seem to restrain myself from catching, whenever I come across them. But I'd only ever seen baby milk snakes on the island, and there'd never been a snake, of any kind, inside the cottage before.
    I realized it had probably found its way inside via a small gap that had somehow developed at the bottom of the side screen door, which I'd made a mental note to address in the coming days. Then it was simply a matter of it travelling down the hall and into the living room. Some point along the way, my cat clearly encountered it.
    I knew it would make a bee line for the front door (which was open a bit), and I didn't want it to get away before I could snap some pictures for my husband. (He always misses all the cool stuff.) But I also knew that movement might scare the snake into either bolting for the door or getting itself tucked into some corner. So I slowly fetched my camera and managed to snap a couple of shots just as it was slithering out the front door, and onto the front deck.
    It was exhilirating! A metre-long snake INSIDE my cottage!
    Alas, my cat was TOTALLY freaked out for at least a few days afterwards. He kept checking the furniture along the path the snake probably took. His eyes were still huge the next day. …Poor thing.
    Well, that's my 'wild faunae in the cottage' story. ;-)

  4. Wow Marjorie.. that is a little too wild kingdom-like for me..
    It is cool to see all the “wildlife” up north but I much prefer to see them outdoors and from a healthy distance.
    I am sorry to hear about your dog. 11 is a fantastic age for a GD however there is never a “good” age for them to go.
    I was rather paranoid while at the cottage this time too. I had just spent the day with fellow DLCC people working a CGN day, just before going to the cottage. One of the girls was telling us about someone she knew had their dog ripped up really bad by an animal. They suspected a Fisher. I looked them up on the internet and that was enough to freak me out past dark. I kept Justice pretty close.

  5. Yeah…I've only ever heard of fishers. …Never seen one.
    Eleven isn't “so” fantastic for Danes. I, personally, have known 15-year-old Danes; known of 16-year-old Danes, and even met a woman recently who claimed her relative's Dane lived to 19 (albeit anecdotal). My girl easily could have made it several more years, given that she was free of any serious health problems prior to developing an unusually-located osteosarcoma. (That isn't actually what killed her. She developed pneumonia while recovering from the amputation surgery; still awaiting the start of chemotherapy. While in the hospital, she developed a pneumothorax, and…well…lots of discussion later and taking into consideration the state she was in, we felt it best to euthanize. So while it was the cancer that led to her death, it was actually complications and my decision to euthanize, that ultimately ended her life.) Right up until the osteosarcma diagnosis, the most common question I was asked while out on walks was, “How old is your puppy?” When I answered 7, 8, 9, and 10, the person invariably assumed I meant months. I'd have to clarify that I meant years. They'd always be dumbfounded. Again… …Stupid cancer. :-(
    I do have to say I love/respect all living things, in one way or another. Thanks to my mother's fearlessness (I guess), I can't think of anything I'm afraid of. We know a couple who have never visited our cottage because they're terrified of everything…even mosquitoes. I shudder to think how they'd have reacted to the snake in the living room. :-)

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