Monday, November 23, 2015

Border Collies in a Frenzy

Since moving into the country a few months ago, my border collies have lots of room to run and get plenty of exercise, so I thought they would be too tired to get into mischief.  I was wrong.  While they do have some down time, numerous times a day they jump up, bark and run to the door and want to go out.

Border Collies Hank and Tim  - "Let us Out!"
I make them wait before letting them out the door. First I check to make sure there isn't someone at the door or something dangerous.  Besides it is just our house rules.  Dogs don't run out the door without being released.  So, it is.....


Border Collies Tim and Hank by the door


Border Collies Tim and Hank waiting not so patiently


Border Collies on the run

And in a blur they run out the door full speed into a nearby grove of pine trees.  Obviously their more sensitive canine ears or noses have picked up sounds or scents I can't detect.  It is time for me to find out what is causing them to go into a frenzy several times a day, so I followed.

Tim the Border Collie sniffing
They run to the base of one of the trees where Tim is the first to start sniffing around.

Pine Cone fragments
A closer look at what Tim is checking out reveals a pile of pine cone fragments.

Tim the Border Collie trying to climb a tree
Tim is looking up and seems to be interested in something that ran up one of the trees.  It looks like he is trying to climb the tree.

Border collies, Tim and Hank, checking out a tree trunk
Apparently Hank decided that Tim needed assistance.

A nest in a tree
I looked up to see what might be up in the tree and spy what I'm guessing is someone's cozy nest.   Then I heard some chattering and the dogs went berserk.  I located the source of the sound on a nearby branch.

A Red Pine Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudonsonicus) in a Pine Tree
The sound was familiar so I was not surprised to see a red pine squirrel.  Although we had a different species of squirrel living around our home in western Washington they drove the dogs crazy, too.

A Red Pine Squirrel Chattering
The squirrel turned and looked at us and after another quick series of squeaky chirps, it ran off along a branch and jumped through the air to a branch on another tree and kept running and jumping from tree to tree with the dogs in hot pursuit on the ground below.

Tim the border collie
A few minutes later the dogs must have lost sight and sound of the squirrel in a thicker grove of trees and returned.  Tim seemed especially pleased with himself after chasing off that pesky squirrel.  My dogs seem to think it is their job to keep the squirrels away.  Does your dog chase squirrels, too?  Or do you have a dog that ignores squirrels?

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