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!
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!
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!
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!”
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!”