Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just How Fast Is A Siberian Husky?

Warning: This is a humorous, but graphic post and not for those easily upset.

This afternoon, Chris returned from an overnight hunting trip, and we sat in our breakfast nook overlooking the backyard to discuss the two day's events, both his and mine. As some of you know, we have three dogs: two good ol' American mutts, and a Siberian Husky, all of them rescues. Susie, the husky, is a big girl weighing in at over 60+ lb. She is big for her breed and not at all overweight–just a big girl. She also wasn't raised well as a puppy and can be aggressive towards other female dogs. Gets along fine with males that are close to her size. Or bigger. Go figure.

In the last couple of years, we're started letting Susie have limited visitation time with our other two–female–dogs. She plays well with Spec, but Andi doesn't want too much to do with her. When Chris got home this afternoon, he let Susie out for play time. As we sat talking in the breakfast nook, with Chris telling me about his heroic pursuit of the "hog that tried to get away," about how he ran a quarter of a mile and still the pig was disappearing out of sight, and about how he had to bring it down or they would have lost it for sure, I noticed all the dogs stampeding for the north side of yard. That could only mean one thing…

…we had been invaded by a squirrel–the evil-doers of the outside world. Or at least in the Ferlita backyard. As Chris kept on spinning his tale, I noticed Andi trotting back around the house. Okay, I thought, we're safe and the pesky varmint had been run off. The audacity of some squirrels. I mean, really. Then Susie came around the corner. Prancing. Practically dancing. With. A. Long. Grey. Floppy. Body. In. Her. Mouth. That she was slinging around like a new toy. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! Dogs 1. Squirrels -1.

Past experience has taught us that if the dogs are going to get annoyed with one another it's generally over food. And squirrels are quite coveted as they are the tastiest of tidbits. So the squirrel had to be seized and removed before the girls had a quarrel. Do you know what it's like to try and remove a squirrel that is approximately 8" in length (not including the tail) from a 60+ lb Husky that does NOT wish to part with said item?? Ask Chris. He knows. This is no small feat.

But the mighty hunter had just returned from his successful hunt and he was up for the task. He started by trying to temp her away for her new crunchy toy with a milkbone. She wasn't having any. Then he tried to sneak up on her. She wasn't having any. Then he tried chasing her around the yard for ten minutes, explaining to her how he had just returned from "two days of hunting and he'd already been running for two days and she was going down!" Do you know how fast a 60+ lb. Husky can move? Faster than a 40-something-year-old man, apparently. Dogs 2. Squirrels -1. Humans 0.

After Susie settled down to some cheerful crunching, Chris managed to get close to her. At this time, I heard him ask very politely, and with a big smile, "Susie, may I puleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaasssssseeeeeee have the squirrel? I'll give you a milkbone!" She wasn't having any. Now, my hubby, he's a pretty smart guy. No, really, he is. While he distracted her with his right hand, he made a grab for the squirrel with his left–and got it!! Score!! Sort of. Problem was there was still a 60+ lb. Husky attached to it. The tug-of-war was on! It was back, it was forth, it was over there, it was over here, and finally, Susie made a tactical error and tried to get a better grip. Chris managed to pull the squirrel away from her. Susie was crestfallen. Heartbroken even.

And then as only dogs can do, not 15 seconds after Chris turned to dispose of the squirrel, Susie came trotting over to me, fully recovered and sat like the sweet little (well, not so little maybe) lady she has been trained to be and waited for her promised milkbone. Other than the fact that she would not look at Chris, nor acknowledge his existence even when he took the milkbone to give to her as an act of truce,  there was no other hint of what had gone on just moments early. But, dogs being dogs, who think with their stomachs rather than their brains, decided she could be nice long enough–to get the milkbone!

Only in Dogdom.

8 comments:

  1. Hahaha! Told only as you can tell it. I have to admit I was a bit grossed out at the thought of tug-a-war with a squirrel, but......I used to have a 130 lb Husky/Shepherd mix, and the things I saw her eat....... One day, I looked down and she had a wing hanging out the right side of her mouth. One second later, she had swallowed bird and wing down--in one gulp. I miss that girl...

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  2. Hysterical story and so 'dog'!!!! I love their personalities.

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  3. ROFL at your hubby chasing around the garden trying to get the squirrel. Tooo funny. Actually the story sounds fairly familiar.

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  4. Great story and too funny, although sad for the squirrel, but at least it was probably quick. Huskies are very fast, I'm impressed he got it away from her.

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  5. You told the story so well all I could picture was the squirrel. Never a dull moment in your house I bet.

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  6. Oh boy, you told that story so well, I could picture it playing out frame by frame! Who was the mightier hunter, Susie or Chris?

    Chris deserves an award, but not sure for what? Hunting down and capturing the elusively fast Susie, or for prying a semi-still intact dead squirrel from the indignant jaws of a proud doggie?

    And I love it when dogs pretend to be mad at people, because they can't do it for long.

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  7. Well, at least she's not a cat and feeling she has to bring dead fieldmice or voles for you - spread out over 6 sq ft of carpet, right outside your bedroom door (in very small and messy pieces) for you to find in the middle of the night, when you go to the bathroom (and don't turn the light on first, in case you wake your husband).

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