(NOT so) Easy like Sunday morning...
...with my own little 'prey monkey'!
Let me first say, my two current rescues have the LEAST amount of training put into them of any dogs I have owned... due to some severe life situations beyond our control Ex.--flooded out of home, did not get into a new home for 6 months. That being said, as soon as we have good footing outside (not the half an acre with at least a million dog and human footprints frozen into it we have now), the real training will begin!
Had to explain that to tell you about our Sunday morning--
At 6:49 am (which because of Daylight Savings Time going into effect last night, it was really 5:49 am) this morning, Orick and Jade woke me up to go out. Jade rattles her crate, and Orick flops on my belly--gotta love it--better than an alarm clock!
I throw on clothes, bundle up (still real cold here), put a line on Jade. With Jade's dog aggression, I always want a handle on her, until I can convince her she can NOT kill Sasha, the golden/chow cross whose yard backs up to ours. I try and get them out early enough that Sasha won't be out, and I can let Jade run--we have a half-acre lot in the middle of a suburb full of retirees, so until I put some yard manners into her, I don't trust her.
My first indication that this might not be a great Sunday morning--while I snapped a line on Jade, Orick was standing up on the back door, looking out the window, VERY alert and focused. I chose to ignore the obvious, being too lazy to put him on a lead. The next clue that slapped me silly--I opened the back door, reached to unlock the storm door and open it... Orick screamed, timed a lunge, and burst the door open just as I unlocked it--
I now had my own little prey monkey flying toward a squirrel he spotted at the back of the yard, screaming at the top of his lungs on a Sunday morning in the middle of a township full of people who never get up before 10. A township with a strictly-enforced noise ordinance!
I let Jade go, couldn't hold onto her and get him at the same time. I didn't have a plan--true prey monkey that he is (UNtrained at that), I knew from past experience that once outside and squirrel in view, he sees nothing else, feels nothing else, hears nothing else. But I plodded on in his direction.
We have a small stand of young trees where the squirrels hop happily from treetop to treetop, fat from all the neighbors feeding them constantly. And with a screaming prey monkey beneath him, the squirrel in question was having a ball, leaping from tree to tree, racking up the number of trees he could get Orick to jump at. There was probably a bet going on among the squirrels...
I finally had a plan (hard to think with all the screaming going on). With all his focus on said squirrel, I could sneak up behind him and grab him!
He was on to my game. Screaming continued, couldn't trap him.
Finally I hid behind one tree trunk he was trying to climb and snatched at one front leg while his eyes drilled into the squirrel above. I gripped it with all the might that a 67-yr-old arthritic once-strong hand could muster, nearly lost him, then got my other hand on his collar.
FINALLY, the screaming stopped! BUT--I wasn't out of the woods yet. My bad hands were now worse--no gloves, 12 degrees--and I knew I couldn't hold him.
"JADE!" I called. She had a line on her. Sasha's not out, her recall should kick in... ZIP--she was at my shoulder.
"Ohh, you good girl!" I unsnapped the line from her, snapped it on Orick's collar, and breathed a sigh of relief!
We were halfway to the back door, and the stinkin' squirrel popped down from the tree! One good jerk (from Orick, not me) and I went down, my feet slipped, no grip on the ice. BAM! HANG ON TO THE LINE--DON'T LET HIM GO!
With my fall Orick's mind popped back into place, and he was in my face. "Mom--WHAT are you doing down here?"
(Note to self: Get that prong collar ordered SOON.)
I tried to get up, kept slipping on the ice. Grabbed Orick around the neck, used him to help get up. We got back to the back door, and I remembered Jade. I had NO idea where she was. I yelled for her, turned my head. She was way at the back of the yard, looked up, and came running as straight as an arrow. She got to us just as I dragged Orick inside the back door.
"Jade, you are such a good girl!" I turned to Orick. "You, NOT so good."
(Photos of the culprit below taken after I had recovered my dignity!)