Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve; A Walk in the Park Gone Awry

      It was gorgeous out this morning. Raining and thundering and lightning, but that's not bad in my book. You see, after days in the frigid teen's, the temperature had climbed to a spring-like mid 50's. The snow was melting and ponds of water in the gutter were rising up to the curb and threatening to flood parked cars.
      Since this was the last day of faux spring, (It's supposed to plummet back down to the low 20's overnight and, sadly, stay there) I took Gypsy on a walk to the lakefront.

Gypsy (A.K.A. Trouble) in front of parked bikes

     On the way, there were many parked bicycles to be seen. Had they been buried under snow so that I hadn't noticed them before, or were they merely out and about again because the weather was so mild? Hard to tell.
     Once we got to the park, Gypsy was raring to go. The park makes her so excited she prances as she walks. The harbor was still frozen over, although it was melting farther out, and seagulls swooped overhead and sat on ice flows.

     Gypsy and I went around the harbor to the bit of park that is far from the cars, beyond the bird sanctuary. We entered the green grassy area where all the snow had melted and Gypsy was straining at the leash and prancing like mad. She wanted to run so badly. My pockets were full of dog treats so that if necessary, I could call her back to me with our come command, which is "front". There wasn't a dog in sight, so I let her go. Just for a little run.
     What a mistake! She took off like a bat out of hell and it was only at that moment I saw the fat grey squirrel sitting in the middle of the field. I watched in horror as Gypsy thundered down on it. I yelled "front" at her over and over, but pockets full of treats were no match for the best squeaky toy in the world, (i.e. - a squirrel).
      By now the squirrel had started running and though it was making good speed, Gypsy caught up with it. There was a moment of flying fur and blur, and then, miraculously,  the squirrel emerged, unscathed, a grey streak heading in the opposite direction.
      It scurried up a tree with Gypsy breathing down it's bushy grey tail, jumping six feet high in her last ditch attempt to catch it. 
      My sigh of relief was cut short, however, by the realization that this particular squirrel was the dumbest squirrel in creation. (That's saying something, because squirrels are mighty stupid animals). It ran back down the tree and onto the grass, right in front of Gypsy!
     It was now running towards some other, somehow superior, tree. Gypsy was in hot pursuit. My ineffective screams of "front!" were replaced with encouraging yells of "run! run!" directed at the squirrel. Gypsy was closing in on it just as it scurried up another tree.
     Going something like 30 miles an hour, focused only on that squirrel, Gypsy wasn't paying attention to the tree and she hit it with a full frontal body plant. It was too far away for me to hear, but I'm sure there was a loud thunk. She actually bounced off the tree from the impact and landed on her behind. But, being a dog, she got back up and kept jumping for that dumb squirrel.  Luckily it stayed well out of reach this time and I was able to catch and leash Gypsy. After I checked her out to make sure the tree collision hadn't done any damage, we left the park. My heart was racing as fast as hers.
    Hopefully our new year starts out a little less stressful than our new year's eve walk ended up being. Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's Eve!


Daniel said...

Absolutely hilarious! But I'm glad Gypsy is OK and that the squirrel doesn't appear any worse for the experience.

Dogs are pretty tough, but hitting a tree at full speed must've hurt.

SM said...

Ouch, it looks like Gypsy's year ended with a bang! Please give Gypsy a good ole scratch behind the ears for me - that squirrel deserved to be chased. Happy New Year to you and may 2011 bring you more excitement, but less squirrels :).

J.Tuttle said...

Thanks SM, Happy New Year to you, too!

Nancy said...

That is TOO funny!

Dottie said...

Gypsy must provide hours of entertainment. I'm glad all parties involved are okay, even the extremely dumb squirrel.

Glocal Girl said...

What a funny experience with your pup! Happy New Years!!!!


J.Tuttle said...

SM- I'll give Gypsy a scratch for you!
Nancy - I'm glad you enjoyed the story!
Dottie- No squirrel was hurt during this event, but I suspect strongly that Gypsy actually caught it during the fur ball moment and then let it go. After all, if she'd caught it, the game would've been over, right?
Glocal Girl - Yes, it was super funny! Cheered up the rest of my day.