My Nemesis

Kate the Springer Spaniel here. As you may know, I love to go camping. We live in the desert, where it is usually hot, hot, hot. So hot that you can burn your paws if you walk down the street in the afternoon. So it is great fun to go up to the cool mountains and sit in the shade of the trees. I take a nap every morning and every afternoon, enjoying the cool breezes.

Dee gets mad at me sometimes because I forget to come in the tent when it starts raining. She doesn’t like “soggy doggies” in the tent. When I’m really wet I make sure I sit on Brian or Dee’s pillow on the bed. They get upset, but just for a minute, because I look so darn cute lying there. When you’re cute, you can get away with a lot of stuff.

There’s not much I don’t like about camping except for my nemesis, THE SQUIRREL. I call it a tree rat because it has this bushy tail it waves at you and it scampers up a tree when I try to chase it, then taunts me because I can’t go up the tree after it. Don’t think I haven’t tried, though.

Brian says it is called “Abert’s Squirrel.” Well, this Abert guy should keep it in his own backyard. It follows us wherever we camp. I’ve seen it all over Arizona. How did it follow us all the way from Tucson, to Flagstaff this year? What does it have against me and my sister Rose the Irish Setter?

When we get to a new campground, I sit outside the tent and wait for it to show up.

I chase it out of our camp because I think–no, I’m sure–it wants to steal our food. It eats those yucky wild mushrooms that pop up after it rains, so it must be really hungry.

One time, just after sunrise, I spotted the squirrel in a clearing. I pulled so hard on my tether to chase it that I broke my collar. All of a sudden I was loose. You should have seen the look on the squirrel’s ugly face when I came charging after it. Brian had to put on his shoes before he could run after me. I chased that tree rat deep into the forest, but pretty soon I felt sorry for Brian and came back to him. He’s not used to running and got tired. Dog are better athletes than humans, you see.

The squirrel got away that day, but there’s always tomorrow. When it shows up in my campsite, I’ll be ready.

By the way, Mr. Abert, if you want your squirrel back, please contact me. I know where it is.

At all times.

And Mr. Abert, you might keep it on a leash. If a good girl like me has to be on a leash, so should a naughty little tree rat.

Even better, get a more respectable pet. Who wants a tree rat for a pet? Even a cat would be better. Sheesh.

Posted by Kate, the Watchful Springer Spaniel

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