During the day, while everyone else is at school, I work downstairs. The dogs either lounge by my feet or roll around on the grass in the yard. It’s pretty quiet, with just the dogs and I. They don’t talk much, and I try very hard not to listen when they do.
Our primary distraction is the birdfeeder out back. I keep it well-stocked with cardinal food, but the cardinals aren’t the distraction. The squirrels are.
If you have a birdfeeder then you understand that squirrels are the enemy. If you don’t, then you’ll just have to take my word for it. A single squirrel will suck down all the food from the birdfeeder in a few short minutes. If you want birds to show up, you have to keep the squirrels away.
Fortunately, I have dogs. They do a great job. In fact, we’ve even come to a bit of an understanding. If I see a squirrel approaching the feeder while the dogs are sleeping, I just have to whisper “squirrel.” The dogs leap up and explode out of the pet door, running towards the tree, waking up as their legs carry them forward. The squirrels, of course, leap away and flee.
It’s very gratifying.
The other morning, however, I ran into a problem. My wife was still asleep, but the boys and I were awake. Just as we were finishing up breakfast I spotted a squirrel out on the birdfeeder. The dogs were sleeping in the bedroom with my wife, so I couldn’t wake them up.
That’s when I had a thought. I leaned in close to my oldest child, pointed towards the birdfeeder, and whispered “squirrel.”
He looked around for the dogs, didn’t see them, and then realized that it was up to him. He jumped out of his seat, pushed open the sliding door and charged out into the backyard. The squirrel fled.
Ten minutes or so later, however, I noticed the squirrel was back. I ran over to grab N (the three year old), pointed, and whispered “squirrel!”
He ran outside, shouting, and striking scary poses.
The squirrel ran away.
Now I have four staunch defenders of the birdfeeder – two dogs and two kids. The big question, though, is… can I get my wife to join the battle?