Friday, July 1, 2011

Born to Stalk

Peering upwards her hazel eyes scan the historic noble oak trees for any indication of movement, intent on locating what she perceives to her personal playthings, her head pivots while the drooping ears lurch at the slightest hint of activity from above. Erin stalking squirrels in downtown Savannah was a common sight to her many friends as frequently she could be found camped out underneath the broad overhead branches gazing towards the heavens. Tirelessly she scoped out the drooping arms draped with Spanish moss and massive trunks for any sign of the bushy tailed varmints and usually she wasn't disappointed. Eventually one would wander down in search of food or a pair could be spotted playing chase high above, all oblivious to the canine who would've given anything to join in their hijinks. Many days the squirrel activity was nonstop thus Erin had hours of entertainment compliments of mother nature.

When the squirrels gathered enough courage and the intruder was deemed a non-threat, they would wander down from their position above to meander a few feet before being passionately chased back to where they belong. Safe from the reach of Erin below the irritated fur toys taunted her with continuous chirps and bushy tails that twitch in alarm, they often glare downward just out of her reach and the combatants stared each other down with neither side refusing to blink. Unbeknown to the squirrels was Erin's patience and dedication to the art of stalking; time and time again they would scurry down only to be pursued back up the tree in a seemingly endless game. She would scamper back to my side when called thus I stroked her and offered encouragement as her entire body would sometimes shake from anticipation of the impending chase. This game of pursuit would continue until the frustrated squirrel realized it had no chance at foraging without harassment thus it disappeared into the tree canopy or it would be spotted leaping to other trees in hopes of locating better feeding opportunities away from Erin.

This instinct passed down from many generations of Springer Spaniels pursuing game around the globe was impossible to contain and the thought never crossed my mind as Erin's passion and enthusiasm were on full display for all to see. A broad smile, rapidly wagging tail, and unbridled happiness were her trademarks of squirrel stalking and it brought me great joy to witness her interactions with nature; remembering those moments bring a smile to my face as they were special times indeed. Tourists often stopped in their tracks to observe Erin patrolling the squares, they found it so entertaining to watch the lovable dog sprint off in the direction of a squirrel, then promptly return when called. Many took photos as she assumed the poise of a statue, motionless she stood oblivious to the crowd gawking and rooting for her; everyone awaited the moment when she decided the squirrel was close enough to pursue and with the hopes of the onlookers she dashed off. The onlookers expressed wonderment at the chase as if they were witnessing a lion pursue a impala on the African plains; as a disclaimer no squirrel was ever harmed during the process of entertaining the tourists :)

Erin's toothy smile never disappeared even as the years rolled by and to watch a squirrel overhead remained a true passion until the very end of her life. We had so many joyful times amongst nature, just the two of us enjoying each others company while the world passed us by but that's the way we wanted it.. During our final moments together, tearfully I told her that she wasn't supposed to get sick as there were more squirrels for us to watch together; there was little Erin enjoyed more than being at my side gazing into the treetops and I'll always cherish those days spent together. I'm hoping Doggie Heaven has an endless amount of squirrels for her to chase and countless trees to lounge under as she awaits my arrival in that magical place. Together again we will lay in the lush grass of paradise where for an eternity we'll look upward as we did for so many days on earth and all will be heavenly...


  1. It's a beautiful thing to see a dog doing what they were bred to do. The joy is palpable. :-)


  2. I can picture her anticipation and joy! I sometimes think dogs know they will never catch squirrels but love the hunt anyway. How nice that she gave a great performance for folks passing by and caused them to linger for a bit and enjoy her antics. She will be in heaven waiting for you without a doubt.

  3. @Orea It certainly is a joy to watch dogs perform tasks engrained into them before they were born

    @Mari Erin caught only one squirrel over the years and that was one too much but truth be told I was very proud of her. All that hard work paid off and somehow she snared one and proud it back to me. I'm sure she is waiting on me wherever that may be :)

  4. David the stories you bring to life for us is amazing.. all the special days spent with Erin are truly touching. Each time I step into your world with Erin I see the love and joy you brought into each others life's. She definitely has a special spot with tons of bushy tailed friends and she awaits your arrival. Thank you for sharing your stories of Erin with us.

  5. "As a disclaimer no squirrel was ever harmed during the process of entertaining the tourists :)"
    Thank you for this disclaimer ...Lol
    David your stories are such a source of joy for so many of us and an even greater source of inspiration. You tell your readers to be strong, remember the good times and not give up on life even after a tragedy has struck you.
    Thank you for sharing your precious moments with us, god bless

  6. Oh I am sure Erin has all the squirrels to run after and I am sure she is having a great time David. I can just imagine her watching and waiting for those critters.

  7. I'm not sure if it's my love for dogs, Erin, or the way you tell your story but you do have the power to make me miss Erin so much, and I haven't even met her.

  8. And all will be heavenly… in that paradise of bliss, land of squirrels for Erin to stalk to her heart’s content… and for David to behold with great joy and endless delight.

  9. @Debbie Thanks for the kind words!! It was a special journey filled with many great memories and it's my privledge to bring them to you!!

    @Sulekkha Glad you continue to enjoy hearing stories from Erin's life and our days together. Take care!!

    @Rimly I'm sure you're right in all aspects and she is waiting for me. Thanks for visiting :)

    @Hamlet's Your comment is very touching, glad to see a fellow dog lover visit. It's easy to miss Erin despite not meeting her, take care!!

    @Debra I love your insightful comments as they always cheer me up and bring a ray of sunshine into my life. I'm looking forward to Heaven with Erin!!

  10. I love your writing puts the reader right in the moment with you and Erin as instict and playfulness takes form in the pursuit of chasing squirrels!

    Great post :)

  11. What a darling Erin was! The more I read your stuff the more respect and love I have for your little baby. Thanks a ton for sharing!

  12. Lovely that you gave Erin the chance to be herself and in turn she gave you so much love.....

  13. @Jessica Glad you enjoy my writing style and hope you keep coming back to hear more about Erin's life :)

    @Kriti Thank you for the nice words about Erin!!

    @Corinne Erin was always herself and never did I attempt to make her into something she wasn't. Much love I certainly received!!

  14. David, your last line in this post truly says it all...together we lay in the lush grass of paradise where for an eternity we look we did for so many days on earth. Your eternity is are still weaving Erin into your earthly life with the memories...she does live on as you look to the heavens to connect with her.In your writing you bring her to life...her play, her accomplishments, her devotion.. her essence is all around you. Yes, she had to leave before you...but I know she waits..with her big smile. For is a blink in time and you will be together again. Until then, she watches over you...and you look to the heavens for her. Together always.

  15. @Raven She is very much alive in spirit and I'll do my best to keep her memory alive via the blog. etc. It was a shame Erin had to depart before me but I possess so many wonderful memories to carry forward in life!!


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