There’s something squirrelly going on around here.
There hasn’t been a single squirrel in our yard for a couple of weeks. So where the heck are they? Even when they’re not here, they manage to annoy me.
This is the sad sight we’ve been seeing every day since the week before Christmas:
That’s Granddog Ivy in constant vigil at the sunroom windows, looking for something– anything!–moving out there. Not one furry tail, shaking provocatively. Not one chipmunk tunneling under my peonies. Not one sneaky tree-rat eyeing the birdfeeder.
All year long, our back yard has been amuck with squirrel pests–seven squirrels a’sneaking any time we looked out there. Now, when we really need a couple of diversions to keep Ivy entertained, where ARE the damnsquirrels??? It’s not as if they hibernate!
I have a mental picture of the little bastards packing their green dickies and climbing into their Tonka Trucks and Barbie RVs, heading out for a Griswold family Christmas.
Or else they’re hiding in our dryer vent, planning a coup.
Meanwhile, poor Ivy looks longingly out the windows for a playmate, an unfortunate state of affairs since there’s a perfectly good dog right here in the house with her: a dog who refuses to acknowledge her existence.
Miss Piggy is busy with her New Year’s Resolution to starve Ivy out of here. She lurks by Ivy’s food bowl and drinks her water. While her own rawhide bone lies untouched in her bed, Miss P has gnawed Ivy’s down to a yellowed nub.
I have tried evening the score by giving hers to Ivy, but Granddog is too polite to take it.
Dearly Beloved and I have had energy for little except unwrapping cough drops and lifting teacups, now in the third week of our attempt to fight off The Crud That Would Not Die. Activity sets off a round of coughing, so short walks for the dogs are all we can muster between us. We can’t even walk them at the same time. Ivy is all enthusiasm and energy, ready to walk to South Carolina if that’s where the action is. Miss Piggy, so bowlegged that her back legs form 0’s when she walks, wants to go only far enough to do her business, then make a U-turn back to the hacienda.
In the midst of this soap opera of critterdom, a mystery is unfolding.
We keep Miss Piggy’s overweight management dogfood in a hinged-lidded bin in the laundry room. Ivy’s Lamb & Rice bag sits in a corner of the kitchen near her food bowl. The past several mornings, we have found small chunks of the plastic on the laundry room floor. Something is trying to open the lid on the bin.
It certainly isn’t Miss Piggy’s doing. She doesn’t even like her dry food until we put some sort of warm gravy on it. Besides, she’s too busy hiding under the guest room bed, gnawing on Ivy’s rawhide bone.
What is going on here at night? Is Ivy, the dog who won’t even take an offered rawhide bone because she knows it’s not hers, plotting revenge? A binge with a bin of diet dogfood?
Or are more sinister forces at work?
There are no squirrels hiding in our Christmas tree. I check regularly. Yet, I lie in bed at night and worry if critters are involved in this. Mice would nibble at the bag instead of the plastic bin. So what does that leave?
Are members of The Green Dickie Gang making their way up our dryer vent in search of a midnight snack?