The Bloodbath

As I type this, it is the day before Halloween. (I realize I should stop telling everyone the dates of these posts, but I can’t help myself!) Very fitting. Maybe not so fitting as you’ll be reading this during Advent. But nothing beats a good murder mystery…..without the mystery.

Our cove of trees and wide open expanse makes for good squirrel territory. That and we have several Black Walnut trees and though they only produce nuts every other year, this year has been a good production year for the trees. Hence, even more squirrel trapeze artists have been leaping from tree to tree and scurrying across the ground.

What’s worse than a bunch of fluffy red squirrels leaving nuts everywhere? The fact that the Gus-pup has been psychologically tortured by the squirrels that live in and around our acreage.

Sometimes the little bastard squirrels even run just out of reach and then turn around and yell at him, safe in limbs of the trees.

Gus has been driven to insanity with their antics. Chasing them around the yard, scraping at the tree trunks with his paws, practically bark/screaming at them.

But, dear internet readers, sometimes the underdog triumphs and the day goes down in infamy.

On this day, Gus and I went outside, via the back porch, for a game of fetch. There was a squirrel standing in the middle of the yard.

Not to be taking his job of patrolling the acreage lightly, Gus zoomed after the squirrel immediately after leaping off the porch. He was dead silent. No barking or whining. Just cutting through the air like a leopard. And, he was fast guys. Gus can really run. I watched, waiting for the inevitable yelp or bark of frustration when the squirrel got away. And I even remember thinking to myself, “Wow, he’s really catching up to that squirrel.”

At the edge of the wooded area of our property, Gus disappeared and all went silent. No angry barking or whining at a squirrel up a tree. No chittering or chattering coming down from the trees. No rustling of a 70-lb dog in the trees.

Silence.

“Shoot.” I thought. “He ran out to the trails after the squirrel.” And I made my way across the acreage towards the wooded area, calling his name.

When I saw his white tail briefly wag through the brush, I called for him to come here.

He practically skipped out of the trees, tail wagging high, drenched in blood.

Bright, red, steaming blood.

Blood all over his snout. Blood down his white chest. Blood shooting out of his mouth.

And, quite naturally, a big, red, squirrel dangling out of his mouth. He may have been the happiest living thing on earth at that moment.

It was GREAT. I was SO PROUD.

He was SO PROUD. He came right up to me, showing off the bloody, and fat squirrel in his mouth.

Victory.

Gus was adamant that the squirrel needed to come inside the house. He stood by the door, whining for me to let him and his kill in. When I tried to take the squirrel from him (with my hands wrapped in plastic bags), he would absolutely-not-ever-in-a-million-years lady, give up that squirrel.

And the blood.

The blood didn’t just stay on Gus. It got on the porch, and the yard, and my shoes, and my leggings, and his leash.

It was the perfect Halloween addition to the house….as if a dark house on a gravel road with no yard lights wasn’t scary enough in the chilly fall air.

Happy Halloween all….a month late. From your friend, Gus.

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