I like squirrels. I know some people can't stand them, but that's cool, their loss. I protect and house and feed my little tree rats, and they in turn get fat, sassy, and make little tree rats for me to enjoy.
And they harass my dog.
If you haven't spotted the aggressor in this photo, don't look at the big blond Borzoi standing at the bottom of that pecan tree, she's the victim. She's been thwarted you see. And when the picture was taken, she was being scolded roundly. Just above her head is the real attacker in this photo. A red squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus brassus testiculus.
We've got many squirrels that live around here, but two always had names: Le Tree Rat Noir, who used to be our only solid black squirrel, who fathered Le Tree Rat Noir Jr., our second fully black critter. Then, today, another of that august species earned a personal nom de plume for himself, with a daring face-to-face confrontation with a prey-driven gazehound.
Poor Belle was simply doing what dogs do in muddy back yards--making a mess, of both herself and the yard. She had been romping and playing for a while, and finally noticed in the midst of her puppy enthusiasm that she was being watched by not one but two squirrels, one of which had the sheer temerity to stand at the bottom of the pecan tree IN HER YARD. The other, if you look closely, is le Tree Rat Noir, who is safely on the other side of the fence, to her rear. This other squirrel, however, was intent on facing down this 67 pound interloper on his turf. And did so, up until the time that Belle charged, fully intent on a tree rat appetizer. The fuzzy-tail got up the tree in plenty of time, but then had the sheer brass cojones to get just above Belle's head and start scolding her with every ounce of his not insignificant weight (they get sassy AND fat around here.) Poor Belle stood there and took it, but not without a hearty oath to devour the next squirrel in her yard, and a slow sink into depression.
After a few minutes of tongue-lashing the squirrel decided to go on about his day, using the extensive branches as it is wont to do, and crossed the back yard with that eerie grace that all squirrels are blessed with. Though how he managed this feat without once tripping over his gigantic brass balls I'll never know. Belle heaved a great sigh and went back to her dirt-dogging, but we all knew that this overweight sqwack had earned an official Name for himself, a feat rarely managed amongst his diverse brethren.
His new name?