I know nothing about hunting. Killing an animal for sport seems a rather egotistical way to prove our dominance of the food chain. In my younger Texas days I loved shooting clay pigeons and tin cans, but that is more akin to a video game than a sport. This to say that the value of a hunting dog goes absent in my experience.
I know that one of the major reasons for breeding dogs was to bring out qualities that could assist hunters with the hunt. Evidently the Spaniel breed was valued for its ability to "tree" prey and alert the hunter. The hunter then did what hunters do. These qualities are still there in dogs and their instincts take over even in the most domesticated of situations.
Now a cockapoo is obviously a mixed bred. But both the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel were hunting dogs. You would think that any hunting instinct would be long gone, but not so. Boo and her ongoing irritation with squirrels will attest to that. It finally dawned on me that when she is barking at a tree it means she has trapped some rodent and is alerting me. It is the very thing her genes are programed to do. That is why when I go out to see what is the matter she stops barking, only to continue when I go inside.
With that idea in mind and to keep her from barking I have to do something about the varmint she has cornered. My weapon of choice has become the water gun.
It is not just any water gun, it is more like a rifle which shoots a stream of water 20 or 30 feet. It is a simple plunger device that syphons water from the pool when you pull back a handle on a long tube. The water is shot from the nozzle by pushing hard on the plunger. It has been my experience that one blast from the water cannon and the squirrel will run from my tree top to another in the neighborhood. Once the rodent is gone, the dog stops barking and I can write a blog or two uninterrupted.
Early this morning Boo began to bark at the orange tree, a well know hang out for Encino squirrels. It is sort of a fruit filled buffet this time of year. In my robe I walked out to get Boo to stop barking. Of course there would be no real way to get her quiet until the prey was gone.
I got the trusty water cannon and filled it up. Like Elmer Fudd stalking Bugs Bunny with a shot gun, I tiptoed toward the tree. "Be vewy vewy quiet". I finally found the intruder hiding on a top limb. I aimed and shot scoring a direct hit, and avoiding the splash back of water ricochet. However, the squirrel did not budge. Perhaps it just assumed that the rain from the night before had started up again. The dog continued barking and I was out of ammunition.
With that I took the water cannon to wield like a baseball bat. I figured if water did not phase the squirrel then vibration would. I struck the base of the limb where the squirrel was with more than enough force to evict the squirrel. It was also enough force to dislodge all the water drops on all the leaves on every branch of the orange tree from the over night rain. What felt like several gallons of water fell on me and the dog. We were instantly soaked.
It was the perfect squirrel revenge on his tormentors. He was gone before I realized the error of my mistake. So much for being the smartest beast in the food chain.
As you were,