My dog has always hated those suburban rats known as squirrels... enough to have incorporated "squirrel" into his 20-something word vocabulary. The squirrels have to know it with the amount of torment they put him through with his short leash. One afternoon a squirrel was in our back yard just outside of Johnny's reach. Johnny fought the leash for a bit trying to grab him but to no avail. He eventually retreated to the center of the yard upset at his defeat as the squirrel remained there, mocking Johnny's impotence to do a damn thing about his presence. Johnny would look at the squirrel, the squirrel would look back at Johnny.

After about 30 minutes my mother got tired of watching the squirrel taunt my dog so she thought "ha... I'll let Johnny off his leash and he can chase the squirrel up the tree and it will leave Johnny-dog alone." So she quietly went outside... slowly approached Johnny's collar... carefully unhooked his leash... and within seconds Johnny had a squirrel screaming for mercy, trying to fight it way from his mouth. My mother, a very light-hearted woman, freaks out and runs, half crying, to Johnny yelling at him to drop the squirrel. My father was around the house and upon hearing my mother went running after Johnny as well. Johnny sat there for a second with a dumb look on his face and dropped the squirrel as asked (he's a good dog).

Upon further inspection my father noticed the squirrel was already half eaten, by a cat most likely. It was still alive but in no shape to move too far and most certainly not to climb a tree. My mother was mortified... she had set Johnny loose on a little more than half of a living squirrel. My father went to get something to put it out of it's misery (the squirrel, not my mother) but by the time he got back it had climbed under a pile of logs. We found it the next day back in the yard... a little more dead this time.

I had always wondered what Johnny would do if he finally caught a squirrel... well, score one: Johnny.

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