In Which Rugby Learns That Trees Really Do Poop Squirrels

This is one of my very favorite Rugby stories!  I could never have made this up in a million years, and it honestly really did happen!!

In our previous house, we had three large pine trees which were in a straight line from the corner of our house to the edge of the property line.  The squirrels would frequent those trees especially in the fall and Winter, eating the pine cones down to the nubbins!

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Rugby had a funny habit first thing in the morning, and that was to charge out of the open back door the moment he heard his release command.  He would bark wildly, racing toward the pine trees, because on occasion, there was an errant squirrel at the base of one of those trees, and Rugby got a quick game of “chase the squirrel!”  What a great way for him to start his day with a big adrenaline rush!

On occasion, Rugby would stand at the base of one of the trees, paws up against the tree, and bark when he managed to chase a squirrel up the tree, like he thought he was a Treeing Coonhound!  The squirrel would be long gone, but Rugby was just convinced that if he barked up at the tree, he could, in fact, cause the tree to poop a squirrel for him!

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Day after day, I had to remind him that squirrels were simply random events in his life, and that no matter how loudly or how long he barked at a tree, he could not make said tree poop a squirrel for him!  Rugby never listened.  And being a dog, his little dogger heart was chock full of hope and faith, and he refused to give up on his quest.

Well….if a dog could have been praying through his barking, I’m just sure that Rugby’s barking prayers were answered one fateful day!  He happened out the door, into his usual barkfest, and low and behold, there were two young squirrels at the base of the closest tree, so Rugby was in dog heaven!  He had hit the dog lottery with two squirrels at one time!!

So off he ran, barking like a crazy dog, and the two squirrels scampered up the tree, leaving Rugby breathing hard, and fully exhilarated from the chase.  To show off a bit, the two squirrels played a game of chase each other around the tree, which both delighted and frustrated Rugby to no end.  He continued to bark, which fueled their game, I’m sure!

At some point in time, the two squirrels tired of their game, so up the tree they went.  One of the two quickly jumped from the tree to the roof of our house, and scampered off to seek a new adventure.  The remaining squirrel, climbed higher in the tree, and found a perch on a broken branch, where he continued to tease Rugby with squirrel abandon!

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As luck would have it, he lost his footing, and believe it or not, he actually fell out of the tree!  And where did he land?  Inches from a very surprised speckled and spotted dog whose mouth fell open as he quickly looked heavenward in surprise!  For all the world, it honestly looked like he was saying, “Thanks, God!”

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And that was just enough time for the startled squirrel to shake the shock from his conscious, and scamper right back up the tree, leaving Rugby’s tongue hanging out, and a look of surprise on his face!  The little squirrel made a clean get-away and lived to tease Rugby another day.

However, as my husband so quickly pointed out when I relayed the story to him with excitement….”You’ll never again be able to tell Rugby that his barking will not make a tree poop a squirrel for him, because clearly, it works!”

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Comments

  1. Jil says

    Rugby, I'm glad you didn't catch that squirrel. I have had numerous squirrel fatalities in my yard. We have a big maple tree right in the middle of the yard, and my previous herding dog caught one or two. I have another herding dog now, and she has caught several...for awhile, I thought I might have to put a little squirrel cemetery in the corner of the yard 🙁 She is older now, and not quite as fast. I try hard to make sure the squirrels are up the tree before I loose the hounds.

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    • Sally says

      Well, Mama Jil....I never can get out there quick enuff to catch a Skirrel, Chippymunk or Bunny, but I always try it real hard anyhow! Mostly I just likesa bark and run!! 😀

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  2. says

    Oh, I love this story! My first dog loved to chase squirrels, too, but he'd run back and forth down the row of trees while staring straight up to watch the "tree rats" doing Tarzan imitations from branch to branch. One time he actually ran head-on into a tree. Never caught a squirrel but never gave up, either.

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    • Sally says

      Thanks, Amy for reading and taking time to comment! I had to giggle a bit at the image of a dog running head-long into a tree! And yes, those "tree rats" DO look a bit like Tarzan when they leap from branch to branch! Dogs are the image of hope...never give up....never surrender!! 😀

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  3. Kelly says

    I feel like I'm reading the story of Miss Edie's life! We have 3 very large pine trees in our back yard and Edie does exactly the same thing when she goes out - straight to the base of the tree making sure those pesky squirrels know just who's garden it is! Unlike Rugby, Edie's prayers have not been answered and she has not had a squirrel drop down for the branches, but she has had a few pine cones thrown at her 😉

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    • Sally says

      Kelly, part of the fun in writing this story was knowing how many dog owners would connect with the scene: squirrels and a dog! We've all been there and done that I think, so this was a story I knew would make my readers smile as they thought of their own favorite "squirrel stories." Tell Edie not to give up! Apparently trees really DO poop squirrels! 😀

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    • Sally says

      It happened several years ago, Ruth, and I still giggle as I remember the absolutely shocked look on Rugby's face when that squirrel dropped right out of the tree inches from his face!! It was so fun to share this story!! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    • Sally says

      Perseverance does indeed pay off!! So glad you enjoyed the story! Thanks so much for reading and taking time to comment!

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    • Sally says

      Well, honestly, I wonder if they aren't trying to make a game out of it! We had a squirrel years ago who really seemed to enjoy chasing our Corgi round and round a big tree in our yard. He came every day at the same time, for about a week, and it was really fun for our dog Happi who seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself!

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    • Sally says

      And just when you thought that you had heard it all, right? 😉 I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it, as it was so much fun to write and share! I'm sure Rugby dreams of that happening again, and of course, there's no way he will believe me if I tell him it was only a fluke and a clumsy squirrel!! Thanks so much for reading and taking time to comment! 😀

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  4. Miss Molly Says says

    Poor Rugby LOL! We have a few of these allusive squirrels here too. The pups never tire of trying to catch them!

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    • Sally says

      Dogs are just the epitome of hope, aren't they? They never give up.....and never surrender!! I just wish I could have captured the shocked look on Rugby's face!!

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    • Sally says

      Well, I'm pretty sure that the squirrels think of Rugby as the "barking menace" of the neighborhood! I'm sure that they think he gets what he deserves! I just tell them to hang on to the tree and don't get cocky! 😉 Thanks for reading and taking time to comment! 😀

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    • Sally says

      Thank you! It was so much fun to write!! I've often wondered how many white hairs that squirrel got from his experience that day!! Thanks for reading and for your kind comment!! 😀

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    • Sally says

      Thanks Carol! I don't know how I managed to capture that photo of Rugby with that grin on his face! It's a real favorite of mine, and I'd been waiting for the perfect blog to feature it, and this was perfect! Many of the other photos were stock photos that I found. I wish I could say I'm a terrific photographer, but it's a work in progress! Rugby LOVES to bunny chase every chance he gets....and he loves the fact that they stay on the ground!! Thanks for reading and for your sweet comments!! 😀

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  5. says

    That is a great story and photos! My dogs are always chasing squirrels and my Maltese barks up the wrong tree quite often. They don't have Rugby's tenacity though and give up after a short time.

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    • Sally says

      Thanks, Beth! You have to give your little Maltese props for trying! My goodness, the squirrels are almost the same size as a Maltese, and that must feel a bit intimidating to your pooch! Rugby's motto: Never give up....never surrender!! Thanks for reading and for your kind comments! So glad you liked the post! 😀

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    • Sally says

      I'm just sure that's exactly what Rugby thought....a magical squirrel pooping tree!! Hahaha!! I just wish I could have captured the shocked look on his face because it truly was just priceless!! Thanks so much for reading and for your comment! 😀

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  6. says

    So funny I am laughing as Kilo would have had exactly the same reaction. It took him a while to realize they went up trees and he barks up at them now. One in particular loves tormenting him.

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    • Sally says

      I honestly think just about all dog owners can relate to this story and that's partly why it was so much fun to write! I just knew every reader was imagining their own dog in this story! Rugby had been a die-hard bunny chaser for a good long while, and when he saw his first squirrel, he didn't realize that they ran up trees either. I remember that he looked around frantically to figure out what happened to that critter! He's got a keen eye for a squirrel these days, and just delights in checking out the trees to see where they are!! Thanks so much for reading, and I'm really glad you enjoyed the post!

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