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Ramble with Storm: Squirrel ethics

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Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

Talking about squirrel ethics strikes me as oxymoronic as saying the morality of rats.

Many mornings when Storm and I go out the front door, I face a moral dilemma. Often a squirrel, brazenly marauding at the feeder on the front porch, sunflower seeds flying, bolts down the steps.

Then our beloved meathead does what comes natural to a Lab. He charges after the bushy-tailed rodent.

And I am left with a decision. Do I check Storm with the leash or allow him room to pursue?

The question has ethical and practical sides to it.

On the practical side, I don't want my arm pulled from its socket. The right arm is my throwing arm. Softball and T-ball are starting for the youngest two. If I allow Storm full steam he will not only pull out my arm but likely distend my elbow.

So I check him.

But mutter to myself like an old man talking to himself about remembered slights.

On another side, I find my antagonism towards squirrels being mediated the last few years. For some reason, and I don't understand the genetics of this, but we have been seeing more and more black squirrels in town. There's three or four now.

And they are pretty cool, and I can't work up my usual stew over them. One of them, a rather undersized black squirrel, even visits the backyard feeder regularly.

And I just enjoy watching him against the darkening greens of spring.

Old dogs can learn new tricks.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 13, 2010 8:33 AM.

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