When Squirrels Attack!

Grey SquirrelYou wouldn’t think that a cute little grey squirrel could hold an entire college town hostage for the summer, but that’s exactly what happened, right here in the place that Doc and I live. Before the siege was over, seven people were treated for squirrel bites and the residents were left afraid to leave their own homes.

It all started on a beautiful morning when an unsuspecting woman saw a squirrel on her porch. As she came out the front door to try and shoo it away, it ran toward her, went up her skirt and bit her on the genital area and her leg. She was forced to seek treatment from her doctor for minor injuries. The next attack came when a man leaving a college building was chased by the squirrel.  As the man ran to get away he looked back to see the squirrel leaping in the air higher than he had ever seen a squirrel leap.

Soon the reports started coming in to both the campus and town police and cruisers were dispatched to patrol the streets. Finally, one of the officers spotted the squirrel, cornered it and attempted to subdue it by using his baton, but the squirrel unperturbed by the encounter got away. ” This is no ordinary squirrel we’re talking about,” one of the police officers was quoted as saying.

In spite of the large police presence the attacks continued. The squirrel lunged at a UPS man while he was trying to deliver a package. ” I tried batting it away with my clipboard, but the squirrel got more aggressive and bit me on my knee.”

One family that had been harassed by the squirrel for weeks, resorted to using the back door of their home to leave as the squirrel would not let them out the front door of their house. “What is strange, is that he tries to act friendly at first and then when you get close to him, he attacks, ” the family reported.

From this dog’s perspective, this is clearly a squirrel with an axe to grind. Only Doc could get to the bottom of this squirrel’s issues. The strange thing about the whole, is that one day the attacks just stopped. Obviously the squirrel had worked through whatever motive he had for attacking humans and moved on. But, I will say one thing, after hearing about this, I sure will keep my eye out for the squirrels in my neighborhood. You never know what kind of evil, aggressive squirrel might be lurking in the trees get ready to pounce.

groverpic” It’s tough to stay married. My wife kisses the dog on the lips, yet she won’t drink from my glass.”

— Rodney Dangerfield

What Lies Beneath

1305834844-underwater-blue-ocean-water-savedcontributing-once-againthanks-wallpaper1The older I get, I am learning that you can stare right at something for a very long time and still not see what lies below the surface. It takes time for the truth to reveal itself, but if you wait long enough it will surface eventually.

When I first met the dog down the street, he seemed like a nice enough chap. A good-looking Golden Retriever named Gus who I met for the first time on an evening walk with Doc. His human seemed like such a nice lady and would give me a pat on the head anytime we would meet. Before long, Gus and I were playing together on a regular basis. Sometimes he would come to my house, or I would go to his. Lots of fun and no chaos, the best kind of friend to have.

A few months into our friendship, things suddenly took a U-turn down the road to dramaville. Strangely enough, the drama was not between myself and Gus, it was with the people inside his house.

What humans forget is that dogs senses are so acute, we don’t miss a thing. The times I would visit Gus, I started noticing that his human mom was acting in a strange manner. After dark she would go out in the back yard and through the gate looking around to make sure no one saw her. One night I decided to follow her.

To my surprise, I saw her get into the passenger side of a light-colored sedan and began talking to the driver. I hid in the bushes trying to listen in on their conversation, but the windows were up and their words were muffled. Before long the passenger door opened and she had a small brown bag in her hand. Returning through the back door and into the house, she hid the bag under her shirt and went straight to her room shutting the door behind her. The thing I didn’t understand is that some of the family noticed, but they never said a thing, including my friend Gus.

After I got home I told Doc about what I had witnessed. ” Sometimes families have their secrets” Doc said. “Just because things look good on the outside, doesn’t mean that things are ok on the inside. Until they are ready to deal with the problem, neither you nor I can fix it for them.” That was hard to hear at first, but the more I though about it, I knew it was true. Until then I will continue being a friend to Gus and be there for him when they are ready to deal with the truth.

groverpic” The reason I love my dog so much is because when I come home, he’s the only one in the world who treats me like I’m the Beatles.”

— Bill Maher

Monsters In the Closet

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There’s a lot of evil that lives in the deep dark abyss of Doc’s hallway closet and I’m not embarrassed to say it frightens me.

For starters, that is where the scary vacuum resides. I hate everything about that vacuum, so when I hear the closet door open and I see Doc pull it out I run and hide. What kind of man-made thing has the ability to suck up some pretty large objects and just disappear? When I was younger I use to bark at it, but all it did was continue to move toward me while making those loud whirling noises, so I have learned to retreat and keep a safe distance. I am terrified that I might get sucked up in that thing some day, so I try not to agitate it.

That is not the only object in the closet that is scary. Some of the things we find in there even frighten Doc. Once she leaned down to grab a glove that fell on the floor and found on old shriveled up piece of broccoli one of the kids must have hidden in there so they didn’t have to eat it. It was so disgusting even I didn’t want it.

There are some pretty large hair balls that end up there too. I suppose they choose the closet as their final resting place thinking they will be safe there in the dark behind the snow boots. They are able to live there peacefully for a long time, lulled into a false sense of security. Then once or twice a year, Doc decides it’s time to remove everything from the closet and get rid of the stuff we don’t use any more. While cleaning, she spots those big hair balls and with a look of disgust, she plugs in the vacuum. With one big sucking noise they meet their maker before they even realize what has happened. RIP hairball, better you than me.

Late at night, when the house is asleep I know I hear some bumping and low growling noises coming from that closet. I hide under Doc’s bed where it is safe. I have learned that some things in this life are best left undisturbed.

groverpic” The truth is Pavlov’s dog trained Pavlov to ring his bell just before the dog salivated.”

— George Carlin

Hello Dolly!

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Dear Dolly,

Let me start out by telling you what a big fan I am so that you will understand why I am so miffed. My owner Doc left me at home while she went with her friends to see your “Pure and Simple” tour that came through town. Her excuse was that dogs aren’t allowed at concerts.  I told her if you knew how much I love you, you would have made an exception, but she wouldn’t change her mind. Excuse me, as I do digress from what I really want to ask you, so here goes.

Dolly, I have earned some vacation time at work and think it would be a great idea if I traveled with you on your tour bus for a while. I imagine that you probably get lonely out on the road and could use a faithful companion that knows how to keep his mouth shut and just listen. Just imagine us riding in the back of the bus, you singing some of your songs like Jolene and I could howl along.

Another advantage with having me along is that I could act as a body-guard when overzealous fans or creepy people try to get too close to you. Even though I am a therapy dog, I do have a deep low growl I use when needed. People would think twice about trying to get by a big black 83 pound dog. Or, I could guard your wig collection and all your rhinestones while you are on stage performing. I imagine there are quite a few people who would like to score one of Dolly Parton’s wigs or outfits for themselves.

The biggest reason I want to spend time with you is that I could use some of your great home spun advice. I really need your input on how to manage Doc when she gets too bossy with me. I have heard you say that ” We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails, ” but I think her sails might be too big to adjust no matter what I try. Maybe having some time apart will help, especially if she sees that a pretty blonde like yourself might have a permanent job for me.

Well Dolly, give it some thought and let me know. I can be ready whenever you need me because I pack light. Even if you can’t take me along this time I will understand. You will always be my favorite country star.

Love, Grover

groverpic” Get a good dog. We have not picked up food in the kitchen in 15 years.”

— Paul Riser

Go for the Gold!

IMG_0538Even though the Rio Olympics have finished, I am left in awe of what the athletes accomplished and now I feel inspired to win my own gold medal for best therapy dog and Doc’s most faithful companion.

One of the things that inspired me the most were the personal stories they told about the athletes and their journeys to get to the top of their sports. When you see the athletes smiling proudly, dressed in their country’s uniform, you can forget that some of them suffered great personal obstacles and failure along the way to achieving their dreams. The common thread among the athletes is that they never gave up, never gave in to negativity, kept moving forward even when they failed and surrounded themselves with people who believed in them. This is a good motto to live by no matter what you are trying to accomplish in life.

Often I hear Doc tell her patient’s not to let other people’s opinions define who they are. You have to feel like you deserve to be a winner. Allowing yourself to dream big doesn’t cost you anything and may change the direction of your life. Then, putting those desires into action by working hard every day without making excuses, puts you one step closer to your goal.

When I was training to become a therapy dog, it took a lot of work on my part as well as Doc’s. I know there were some days that both Doc and I doubted ourselves, but we stuck together and also had people in our lives that believed in our goal. I will never forget the day we passed the final test and I became a fully registered therapy dog. That was such a proud day for us both.

As I continue on my journey to improve my skills, I will continue reaching for my own gold. Doc agrees and says along with winning a gold medal for best therapy dog and faithful companion, she would also award me a gold medal for best nap taker. You know, I love Doc, but sometimes she can be a real wisenheimer.

groverpic” I guess I am a true narcissist. I convinced my dog to walk me.”

— Richard Lewis