Monday, December 22, 2008

Seamus the Squirrel Dog

Dogs need jobs. I believe they should have some purpose in the family. Our oldest dog, Paddie, was always the queen of the manor and had many roles in our home. Her main job these days is simply to protect Helena. If she thinks the puppies are getting too wild, she plants herself in front of Helena and keeps the wild boys at bay.
Teddy is our watch dog. He is a big strong boy and lets us know everything that is going on in the neighborhood. I would not want to take him on even though he is just a big ol' pile of dog hugs to this family!
Seamus though has been a different matter. He was so sick when we first got him that when he actually survived, we all thought he might be stunted from so many drugs at such a young age. As he approaches his first birthday Christmas Eve he clearly is going to be the tallest dog of all! Dogs grow up their first year, fill out their second, so who knows how big this boy will be!
Seamus' primary jobs in this household have been: baby and troublemaker. He is tall enough to grab food off the table (he also can rest his head on the table) and can open doors. He teases Teddy to play and then lets Ted take the blame for the results. Yet he also whines for attention from people--he wants to be a lap dog and still has no understanding of how big he is ---and he wants attention from the other dogs. Most of all, he loves to explore outdoors.
This past week, I decided Seamus needed a specific task. Since he loves to be outdoors, I have given him one of Paddie's old jobs: Squirrel dog. Before Teddy and Seamus came, this was a big job for Paddie, she chased the squirrels away from our garden and our bird feeders. But Paddie is 11 now and her favorite thing is to be curled up in front of the radiator (she always was a smart dog). Teddy gets too distracted to chase squirrels once he is outside but for Seamus this role might be perfect! He seems to be embracing his new duties and enjoys the rewards he is
his efforts.
It's going to be a long cold winter and the birds will need a good protector! At the rate we are going, we are filling bird feeders nearly every other day!

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