A to Z Challenge: S is for Squirrel

We talked about QQ’s great love in the post for O here. Today, we will talk about Chyler’s great obsession.

S is for Squirrels! Unfortunately, I have no photos of Chyler or Squirrels in action because I’m usually too busy trying to calm her down. Also, photos will all be blurry anyway.

Before we got QQ, we thought QQ had a pretty strong prey drive. When he sees the occasional bird or duck, or a squirrel, he’s first instinct is usually to give chase. He doesn’t do it all the time.  I would say it’s about maybe 70% of the time. There’s the few times when he doesn’t seem all that bothered.

In the first 2-3 months we got Chyler, she paid no attention to the random bird, duck or squirrel. When we let her off leash, she stays extremely close to us, always two steps behind our heels. We thought she was the perfect dog.

A couple months later, I think she knew we were fully committed to her. And it’s safe to show us what she’s really like. If I thought QQ had a prey drive, then I have no idea what Chyler has. Chyler is the daintiest little lady dog 80% of the time. She doesn’t play with other dogs excepting QQ, and even him she only plays with rarely. She doesn’t like to get her paws wet, so she doesn’t go near the water and doesn’t walk on wet grass. She doesn’t go out when it rains. When we go to the beach, QQ comes back covered in dirt and sand. She barely has a speck on her. She’s extremely quiet and almost never barks. She barely even acknowledge any human outside of the husband and I. She’s like a aloof little princess. Until a squirrel appear.

When she catches the scent of  a squirrel, you know.  Her ears perk up, she stands up straighter. When she pinpoints exactly where the squirrel is, she immediately HAS TO CHASE. With QQ, all I have to do is tug the leash a little and say no. He usually turns right back. It’s not a be-all-end-all with him. When Chyler can’t chase, she goes into a little frenzy. She turns in circles on the spot, and start letting out little high pitched squeals. If she’s off leash, she’s gone like the wind. She runs so fast it looks like she’s flying.

And when she’s separated from the squirrel and she knows she can’t chase it, she becomes extremely still and focused. Her attention is entirely on the squirrel.

 

IMG_4081

Chyler focusing on a squirrel outside the car.

I honestly don’t know what is it about squirrels. She chases birds too, but she doesn’t have the same passion for it as she does for squirrels. Birds can’t get that same frenzy from her. She barely pays attention to the ducks, she makes half-hearted attempts to go after them but gives up easily when she realizes she’s on a leash and I’m not letting her do it. Her passion for squirrels got so that even QQ sometimes stands back and just let her go for it.

Chyler was found as a stray, and I occasionally wonder if her squirrel-passion stemmed from her street days? The funny thing is that she’s such a tiny thing, I have no idea what she will do with the squirrel if she ever catches one. She’s not that much bigger than the average squirrel!

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