Sunday, January 22, 2012

How High Can He Fly?

Yesterday, Frank's #1 Son sent me an email advising me that it was Squirrel Appreciation Day. Sure enough, MessyMimi who always announces what's going on Today in History at the end of her blog posts included it too. I'm a day late with this but I figured that now would be a good time to share a few photos taken a few months ago of Benny and a very patient squirrel.

These images were taken shortly before summer ended. As you can see, the leaves are still on the tree. What you can't see, is a mama squirrel relaxing on one of the upper branches of this tree, and she's taunting our Benny.

She's a bright little thing and knows that a dog on the ground doesn't pose much of a threat to a squirrel in a tree. But Benny is ever hopeful, and will do his best to get at her. So how high can he go?

1 Ben
Well that's not very high, Benny. You'll have to try harder than that.

2 Ben
Good jump for a little dog but she's way up there, buddy.

3 Ben
Now we're talking. You're getting some leverage into those jumps.

4 Ben
Just a bit higher and you could land on that first branch. Maybe next time.

5 squirrel
Eventually Benny got tired of trying and went inside for a nap. Mama Squirrel immediately came down to enjoy the seed spilled on the ground.

In actual reality, Benny has chased and caught a couple of squirrels and one chipmunk. In all cases, he mouthed their tails gently and then immediately let them go. It's all in the chase for him. I'm so pleased that he is unlike so many of his breed who will hunt them down and kill them.

He's a crazy little gentle soul, that Benny. But shhhhh... don't tell Mama Squirrel that our ferocious Benny still sleeps with a teddy bear. He'll never be able to live it down.


TexWisGirl said...

this was so cute! benny's a character, for sure! but your black squirrel is a beauty!

Brian Miller said...

haha benny has some ups...that squirrel better watch it...

Gary said...

And I love that he has his arm around the teddy too. Too adorable.

Pierre BOYER said...

GREAT post !
Best regards from France,


Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

When do you plan on releasing your screen-play? So many colourful characters to choose from. Do you have a title for it?

Ack... did I let the cat out of the bag!?!

Frank Baron said...

Good one, dear. :)

stephen Hayes said...

What's wrong keeping with a teddy bear? I do it all the time. Maybe I'm a bit squirrelly myself.

MaggieGem said...

Gotta luv Benny, and his teddy to!

Wonderful shots!

Rob-bear said...

Benny isn't the only one to sleep with a teddy Bear.

That squirrel should be hibernating. I think something's wrong with your weather.

Maggie May said...

What a brilliant set of photos. Loved them.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Dave said...

Ha Ha, well done Hilary! That Benny sure is a character. In the photos it looked like he was actually climbing the tree. Glad he doesn't hurt any squirrels he catches. I like the teddy bear... - Dave

Lynne with an e said...

I think you could sell those pix to a paper like the National Enquirer as being actual documentation of the amazing tree-climbing dog. It could make your fortune, Hilary!

ADRIAN said...

A great series of images.
Daft but entertaining are terriers.

Betty Manousos said...

what a cute post!

thanks for the smiles!
those shots with benny are really adorable!

Ruby said...

these are fantastic shots. Benny is a great tree climber. Cheers!

Bob Bushell said...

You almost got her didn't you Benny. I love your bear, it makes you feel like a child!!

Tabor said...

That series of photos took a lot of patience on the part of all the players...but mostly the photographer.

Sueann said...

Great post!! I sure do love Benny. Love the shot with the bear. I won't tell!!

CorvusCorax12 said...

awww, that is so Bunny (Heinz 57 terrier mix) unfortunately does not have such a gentle soul :(..she is quite the mouser, thankfully our squirrels and chipmunks have too many trees to hide in

Ruth Hiebert said...

A little more practice and Benny will be going all the way up that tree. Watch out squirrels. :)

DJan said...

I knew it! Benny is a gentle soul who doesn't kill things. I love the pictures of him, and I think him sleeping with a teddy tells the entire tale of such a precious little guy!

Gail Dixon said...

Love the Benny posts!! He is so entertaining. Benny's secret is safe with me. :) You are too cute!

Johnnny said...

I love when pictures tell a story. If I had a dog, Bingo would be its name. Thanks, Johnnny

ellen abbott said...

that Benny is such a character. and the black squirrel is so cool.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Very cute post. I think it's sweet that such a fearless guy still has his little bedtime toy

Country Girl said...

Oh, excellent, Hilary! I'm sorry to say that it's not all in the chase for our George. Sad.

Dr. M. P. Mishra said...

Very nice post with a great message. You are a real naturalist.Though Benny's behaviour is strange, it is not unknown to me. I had a dog and my son had named it Jerry. The dog never hunted any animal. He used to play in different styles with lizards, and birds of my garden. I am sorry, the dog is no more.

CiCi said...

Benny can get the height when he jumps. So funny.

Dianne said...

I don't even know where to begin in my gushing
this is better than pics of a new baby

I love his perfect stance in the first shot
his back legs are so tightly together, almost like a swimmer

now let me get this straight
he has a bed on a chair so that he can sleep on both!!
and so he does
I love how he's hugging his blue bear

he is so delightful

chariskalee said...

I love this story of Benny and the squirrel. So cute! Thanks for sharing, it brought a smile to my face this morning.

Out on the prairie said...

Very nicely done, the last gave me a good giggle

lime said...

oh what a funny series! i can't believe how high benny actually got. benny and the teddy though is just too cute.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I was smiling all the way through this post. That little pooch is a pretty incredible athlete to be able to jump that high. The last photo, of Benny and his teddy bear...well, it warmed my heart. Great post.

Anvilcloud said...

Gentle Ben

Rosaria Williams said...

Oh sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have never seen a dog climb up a tree before. How many tries?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha - that's a great series. I love that dog.

Bonnie said...

ohmygosh, so cute. I just want to cuddle him!
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Anyes said...

I could just imagine the whole action, thanks to you Hilary. It's a promise I'll keep Benny's sleeping habits a secret ;-)

L. D. said...

Our little dog likes to sleep with a stuffed animal of his choice each night.

Mimi said...

Brilliant series of pics, Hilary!
I found as I scrolled down that I was wishing poor Benny could go that little bit higher, feeling his effort and frustration!
The squirrel is small and very dark in colour, and I'm or grey?

June said...

Surely if Mama Squirrel were to see Benny's teddy bear, she'd turn that baby into nesting material in nothin' flat.
So who's the tough guy now?
Benny's so dang cute I can't hardly stand it. Little Springs-For-Legs boy.

She Who Carries Camera said...

what a softy, he is! give a hug for me!

michelle said...

My first time to your blog and I loved this post! What amazing little dog. I work at a dog rescue/ shelter and have come across quite a few terriers who can jump more than I have seen any other dogs jump.

A black squirrel?! I have never seen one of those before!

Kerri Farley said...

He can jump really high! Wow!

messymimi said...

His secret is safe with me. He has so much energy he can almost fly, can't he?

yaya said...

What a fun post! Those terriers are the best. He looks so cute with his teddy bear. I don't think I appreciate squirrels because they can be very destructive. However, they do make me laugh when I see them teasing a cat or dog..they are too smart!

Red said...

Squirrels are ruthless teasers and dogs are easy marks. My daughter's schnauzer never saw a squirrel she wouldn't chase. Great story with the pictures. Did you ever think of doing a kid's book with this?

Donna said...

So funny!! Great shots of the squirrel too! My dog does the same thing. I think our squirrels actually tease him!

SandyCarlson said...

Benny just totally rocks. My kinda guy. My daughter and I just laughed good and hard at these photos. Thanks for the fun, Hilary.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Tex. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Brian, I think the squirrel is pretty safe. :)

• Gary, he's a cute little guy, isn't he? :)

• Merci, Pierre. :)

• Ha, Daniel. No cat out of the bag.. just a dog out the patio door. :)

• Thank you, Frank. :)

• Stephen, that wouldn't surprise me one bit. :)

• MaggieGem, thanks kindly. Love him, we do. :)

• Rob-bear, it's my understanding that you are a teddy bear. Our weather is indeed warmer than usual, this year but I've never known our squirrels to hibernate. They're pretty active all winter, around here. :)

• Thanks so much, Maggie May. I'm glad you did. :)

• Dave, thank you. He is indeed quite the high-jumper and yes, we're so thrilled that he's gentle with creatures. Not all terriers are. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Louciao, how about you become my business manager? ;)

• Thanks, Adrian. They are indeed daft. Perfect description.. but awfully endearing. :)

• Thank you, Betty. I'm so glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Ruby, thank you kindly. He sure does try. :)

• Bob, all males are little boys at heart. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Tabor, the snapping of the photos was the easy part. That dog just didn't stop. It was the sorting through them later that took time. ;)

• SueAnn, thanks for keeping his secret safe. :)

• Corvus, I know we're very lucky that Benny is only aggressive until he catches them.. then softens up. But there isn't much you can do about the nature of a terrier. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Ruth, you might be right. :)

• DJan, I think you would be just as distressed to think of Benny hurting another creature as I would be. I'm very grateful that killing is not in his nature. I sure hope it stays that way. :)

• Gail, thanks for keeping Benny's secret safe. :)

• Thanks, Johnny. Bingo is a good name-o. :)

• Thank, Ellen. The black squirrel is actually of the Eastern Grey variety.. it just happens to be a black Eastern Grey. :)

• Denise, I'm not so sure how fearless he is. I suspect that if that squirrel came chattering after him, he'd high-tail it behind our legs. ;)

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Kate. That's too bad about George. I think it's quite natural but I'm sure you're not fond of that behaviour. I'm very grateful that Benny hasn't tried to hurt anything so far. :)

• Dr. M, thank you kindly. I'm sorry your Jerry is gone. I'm sure he gave you and your family many years of love and enjoyment. And I think it's cute that he played with the garden creatures. :)

• CiCi, I think he might be part kangaroo. ;)

• Dianne, I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. You may gush over Benny any time. He has a bed on the sofa, complete with a blanket and sometimes a sweatshirt. Sometimes, I'm allowed to sit on that part of the sofa. Just sometimes, though. ;)

• Chariskalee, I'm so glad Benny made you smile. My job here is done. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Steve. I think I could hear you from here. :)

• Michelle, there's a lot of power in those muscular little thighs. And a lot of cuteness in his heart. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Linda. I'm so glad you got a kick out of Benny's antics. :)

• That he is, AC. :)

• Rosaria, countless tries. As many as there are squirrels. He just never gives up. :)

• Thanks, Robin. He's a fun little guy. :)

• Welcome, Bonnie. I'm glad you enjoyed our boy. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Anyes, you're very kind to keep his secret safe. Thank you. ;)

• Larry, he must have a great collection. :)

• Mimi, thank you kindly. The squirrel is black in colour but is a member of the Eastern Grey family. They just happen to come in two colours but the black one seem limited to just a few areas. Thanks for the visit. :)

• June, you're too funny. Actually, that probably is Mama Squirrel and she had triplets, this past summer. They all still hang around the feeders. Springs-for-Legs, indeed. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Jillsy, I will, for sure. :)

• Welcome, Michelle and thanks for your kind words. Terriers are determined little things, and strong.. and tenacious. I'm not surprised about your encounters with them. The black squirrel is actually a member of the Eastern Grey squirrel family. Some just happen to be black. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll return before too long. :)

• Kerri, he's had a lot of practice. :)

• MessyMimi, sometimes I think he does. Thanks for keeping his secret safe. :)

• Thank you, Yaya. They can be destructive but they're also very sweet creatures. I've held wee ones in my hand and I've been smitten with them ever since. And as you noted, they're also very clever. Thanks for your kind words. Always appreciated. :)

• Red, they seem to be made for one another - terriers and squirrels. They keep each other on their toes. Thanks for the kind thought. I'm pretty sure I don't have the amount of material required for a kidlet book. Maybe one day, though. :)

• Donna, I have little doubt that the squirrels know exactly what they're doing. Both participants enjoy engaging in this sport. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Sandy, thank you. I'm glad that you and your daughter got such a kick out of the post. I'm glad Benny gives you joy. It's what he does best. :)

Glo said...

Benny Benny, never still
Jumping high and with such skill.
Perhaps the squirrel, oh so dark,
Is not your focus...just the BARK. ;)

(Does he bark when he jumps?)

Wonderful set of photos which endears us to Benny that much more! Thanks.

Unknown said...

What a great puppy! I would think that Squirrels would bite and be dangerous catches! He must be very quick!!! lol! :)

Zuzana said...

I always enjoy your posts that feature Benny.;) Your excellent pictures captures his true soul and yet I am sure he is even more impressive up close and personal.;)
I simply LOVE the last image.;)

Mental P Mama said...

Oh he is too precious!!! And I got my calendar and my feather! You are so will get me through this year! And having shared my birthday with the squirrels, I feel like Benny and I may have an even more special bond;)

Barbara said...

Oh, I already loved Benny, but this post just melted my heart! How sweet that he catches and releases (I wish I could say the same about my puppies! sigh.) Love that last one with his teddy bear!
And I didn't know it was squirrel appreciation day - I'll have to go round up some of mine!

Crabby McSlacker said...

Awwww.... he is so freakin' adorable. And I love that he just mouths their tails even when he gets 'em.

And black squirrels! I'd forgotten they come in that color. Seems very exotic if one is used to the brown kind.

Shammickite said...

TessaDog would dearly love to catch a squirrel or a chipmunk, and I'm sure she's in awe of Benny's hunting prowess. Not sure what she would do if she ever caught one though. But here's a secret.... Tessa thinks she's so big and brave but she sleeps with a squeaky tiger cub.

LadyFi said...

Oh Benny - he makes me laugh!

abb said...

Such a good dog.

Daryl said...

he is a scamp with a good heart

Reb said...

Benny the wonder-dog! This is a great series of shots Hilary.

Sandra said...

That is the cutest picture of Benny yet! What a sweet heart. :)

Mage said...

I'm catching up. :)

Love the icy photos and the peanut drop. Best of all, I like to see Benny's jumping attempts to get the squirrel. What a winner he is.

Friko said...

Is that a black squirrel? We only have grey ones now and they are too fast for slow and arthritic old Benno.

Gayle said...

OMG, sooooooooo cute. Love your stories and photos!

Jenny Woolf said...

What funny pictures. and what an adorable dog!

Barb said...

How cute is this? At first, I thought Benny was CLIMBING the tree. I thought, "How the heck does he do that?" Glad to see he hasn't outgrown his snuggly.

Wendy said...

Cute! Can Benny ever jump high!! I hope that squirrel stays out of your bird feeder.
I had a terrible time with squirrels in the birdfeeder in my house. Now, as you know, I've moved to a condor er condom. LOL! No backyard and no feeders - yet.

Unknown said...

Oh, I love that Benny lets his little captive creatures go! Love that last pic!

That Janie Girl said...

I love that he chases squirrels and climbs trees to do so! I have a dog that does that!!

Anonymous said...

Benny might be ready to try out for a basketball team. :)

Hilary said...

• Well done, Glo. You're such a hoot.
Your poem of Ben in hot pursuit
It made me laugh, your skillful pun
I'm sure I speak for everyone.

Against that tree he'll jump and hurl
And yes, he barks when chasing squirrels
He just isn't easily deterred
Thank you, Glo.. for your kind words. :)

• Michael, he is indeed quick but he'd be stunned to learn how sharp their teeth could be. :)

• Thanks kindly, Zuzana. He is too much fun to describe. I'm glad that some of his personality shows through here. :)

• MPM, I'm so glad it arrived. A bit late for January but at least there are 11 more months to go. I hope you enjoy it in good health. :)

• Barbara, I'm so relieved to know that he's not interested in capturing them. He couldn't have the killer instinct and sleep with a teddy bear, now could he? :)

• Crabby, they're no more exotic than the grey ones. They're both members of the same species.. some just happen to be black. And for some reason they only exist in a few areas - southern Ontario being one of them. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Shammie, it sounds like Tessa and Benny might have a fair bit in common. ;)

• Lady Fi, you're not alone. :)

• TSannie, he is. I think we'll keep him. :)

• Daryl, that's him, exactly. :)

• Thanks very much, Reb. All he needs is that red cape. ;)

• Thanks, Sandra. But shhh.. we don't want him to know he's cute. There'd be no living with him. ;)

• Catch up is good, Mage. Especially on fries. ;) Thanks always for your kind words. :)

• Friko, our black squirrels are the same as your (and our) grey squirrel. Both are members of the Eastern Grey. :)

• Gayle, thanks very much. :)

• Jenny, thanks kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Barb, he would love to climb it, I'm sure. Let's hope he never learns how. He'd probably be afraid to come down. :)

• Wendy, the squirrels are all over the bird feeders but the birds do get their fair share. Frank tends to shake some of the seed on the ground so that the squirrels can feed there, instead. I enjoy seeing them come around and the birds don't seem to mind sharing. It's when the raccoons come around to raid the feeder that we end up with a mess! :)

• Thanks, Reena. I'm glad you get a kick out of this crazy little guy. :)

• Janie, I think a lot of dog have it built into them to chase.. and if a tree happens to be in the way, then they learn how to jump or climb. They're clever little creatures. :)

• Karen, his nickname is Hoops. ;)

Liz Mays said...

Oh my goodness, he certainly did catch some air!

Pauline said...

this was priceless.

the Bag Lady said...

That Benny - he's definitely a contender in doggie high jump!

My dog, on the other hand, thinks she can bark a squirrel out of a tree - no jumping involved. Her method doesn't work, either....

Sharon Wagner said...

I love to spot a black squirrel. Lucky Benny didn't get a hold of that one. They are extra special. Especially on hug a squirrel day or what ever it was. I gave you a little shout out on my blog!

Gillian Olson said...

I am realy impressed with Benny's jumps, and what a cute fellow he is. He deserved that nap after.

Karen said...

Wow, I thought he was climbing that tree! My dog caught a squirrel, but he was ready to eat it, even with it biting him back. :P

Slamdunk said...

Go Benny go. I think he earned a nap after that workout.

Cloudia said...

Benny is a BIG star in our house!

Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

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Hilary said...

• Thanks for stopping by, Liz. :)

• Thanks, Pauline. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Baggie, Benny does plenty of barking in the process too. It's funny how their minds work. :)

• Sharon, there seem to be more black squirrels than grey around here. We're overloaded. Thanks for the shout out. I'll be by shortly. :)

• Gillian, one good thing about a dog that plays hard.. they sleep well every night. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Karen, I wouldn't be happy to find such an encounter. I'm very relieved that Benny doesn't seem to want to catch them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Slamdunk, he always earns his naps. :)

• Cloudia, I wonder what he'd think if he knew he was popular in Hawaii? There'd be no living with him. ;)

Linda said...

Another great Benny post. I love that he doesn't hurt his catches. Don't worry Benny, I won't tell anyone about the teddy bear. Adorable!!

beth said...

omg....that teddy bear and benny just made my night a little happier....and it was already a pretty darn good night !!

Geraldine said...

Oh toooo funny. LOVE that last photo most of all though, after a big day of tree jumping LOL.

Thanks for a smile to start my day Hilary.