Ruby Tuesday – “She’s a Killer!”

3 Jun

Disclaimer and Warning:  This post is not for the delicate of stomach, nor the lover of squirrels.

We are — as are most birders — beset by squirrels.  One of the many reasons that a Rat Terrier joined our lives was their propensity for chasing rodents.  Too often, I look out at my feeders and see this:

Tactical Error

or this:

Squirrel-Proof Feeder?  NOT!

All of which does not mean that I ever wanted Ruby to catch one.  Sure, she’s caught a mole (or two — we found another one) before but still, a mole is a far cry from a squirrel. I was pretty happy with her just chasing them away.  Occasionally, she scares a bird but my seed bill is way down with Ruby on the job!

But, I got an email from Greg today after I whined to him about how tired and sick I was feeling (staying home to go to the doctor tomorrow) that while my day was rotten, Ruby was having a GREAT day.  She “got” a squirrel.  I wrote back for clarification . . . “You mean she caught one?”  “Yup!” came his reply  “She killed it.”  And, then, in typical male fashion, he told me that he left it in the driveway for the kids to see before we dealt with it.

She's a Killer!

So, here’s how it went down.  He went out to get the mail and, as usual, Ruby went with him.  They walked out, got the mail, and then walked back.  As he got to his office door, he heard some very intense rustling noises coming from the leaves under the birch trees.  He turned to look and Ruby was going to town shaking something to kill it.  He ran out quickly thinking she’d gotten a bird and saw the fluffy tail.  She took her kill out to the driveway and then left it.  It was of no more interest to her.  The picture above was as interested as she got in it — sniff, sniff.  Yup.  It’s still dead.

So, she accomplished her goal.  I’d imagine it will make her even more determined.  Greg and I are amazed that she caught one.  They are way faster than she is and usually watch carefully enough to get a head start.  We envision two scenarios:  1)  The squirrel only saw Greg and thought it was safe.  Ruby came it from behind the car and he never saw her coming, or  2)  The squirrel saw her but instead of bolting up the tree, it froze as they will do as a car comes barreling down on them on the road with similar success.  I’m, of course, trying not to think about the 3rd scenario wherein the squirrel was ill and couldn’t get away.  Maybe it fell and was stunned.  Who knows.  Well, Ruby, but she’s not telling!

PS.  The kids were thrilled with Ruby’s accomplishment and praised her up one side and down the other for getting those bad squirrels.  That’s my tender darlings.

PPS.  We threw the squirrel in the trash.  Only later did I think to leave it for the Ravens — we’ll do that next time.  Should there be a next time.  Sigh.  Rest in Peace, Squirrely.


9 Responses to “Ruby Tuesday – “She’s a Killer!””

  1. jayne 3 June, 2008 at 2:40 am #

    Well, Ruby was just being… Ruby, now wasn’t she? Hate to see anything killed, but she can’t help her natural instincts. Glad she didn’t drag it into the house and leave it on your beautiful new kitchen floor…bleh.

  2. robin andrea 3 June, 2008 at 7:50 am #

    My only complaint about domestic animals killing wild ones is that they don’t eat them. If our cat would eat the mice he catches in the yard, it would make more sense.

  3. Liza Lee Miller 3 June, 2008 at 8:03 am #

    I hear you, Robin Andrea. I was concerned that Ruby would eat it though as I worried about the possibility that it was an unhealthy squirrel which is why Ruby caught it so easily. Perhaps that’s irrational but there ya go! 🙂

  4. amarkonmywall 3 June, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    So- you’ll understand the scene when one of our lowland gorillas snags a squirrel outside and brings it in to the inside exhibit area. There, they all play with it, carry it around like a baby, give it to the young to drape around their necks and sleep on, groom it for fleas, sniff it, wipe themselves with it, play catch with it- all while the public is screaming, “Take it away from him! He’s got a squirrel! Oh, GROSS. Get it, get it!” First off, it’s been dead since the moment the ape snapped it up, breaking the neck and second of all, no keeper in their right mind is taking that prize away. For those of us who work there- even tho we like squirrels, too- we all love a “squirrel day in the gorilla house.”

    Ah, me. I love it when animals do what they do- your squirrels and Ruby included.

  5. Liza Lee Miller 3 June, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    Vicki. There is something about railing against the nature of the beast, isn’t there? It’s a bit like marrying a man with the intention of changing him. Uh, no. Nature will out. Must say though, I’m really glad that Ruby didn’t wipe herself with her dead squirrel. She’s much more ladylike than your average Lowland Gorilla, evidently!

  6. Wende 3 June, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    Pat that dog on the head for me pretty please!


    Man, I love a terrier. Vermin hunters at heart.

  7. mon@rch 3 June, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    give her the opportunity and look out!

  8. Susan Gets Native 3 June, 2008 at 7:13 pm #

    So, is Ruby strutting around like a proud peacock now?

    “Look at me and quake, you pitiful humans. I am the SQUIRREL KILLER.”

    ; )

  9. Black Coffee & Bourbon 23 July, 2008 at 5:18 am #

    Glad to see my terrier isn’t the only killer in this world. 😉 They’re just doing what they were bred to do, kill small animals. Good dog Ruby!

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