Lizzie Chasing Squirrels

As I wrote previously, Lizzie likes chasing squirrels. I recently placed our game camera so it would capture some of the action.

The buffet line is a table we have placed next to our fence. It is frequently visited by American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).

Red squirrel eating seeds
An American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
A gray squirrel eating seed
An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) eating seed.

Lizzie often watches for squirrels from a futon we have next to a window. Sometimes, she sits under trees watching the squirrels run around.

Lizzie watching a squirrel in a tree
Lizzie watching a squirrel in a tree

If they don’t come down after awhile, she barks at them, almost as if to say, “Come down here and play!”

Lizzie barking at a squirrel
Lizzie barking at a squirrel

If she is lucky, they come down to play and run along the fence for her to chase them.

Lizzie chasing a squirrel
Lizzie chasing a squirrel

Lizzie Watching a Squirrel Eat Peanuts

Lizzie, being a typical dog, likes to chase squirrels. While I let her chase them because she enjoys it so much, I put Lizzie at the disadvantage by warning the squirrels, usually by making extra noise when I open the door. I enjoy watching her chase the squirrels but I don’t want her to actually catch them. Truth be told, I like squirrels, particularly the Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). I enjoy watching them and they are, for the most part, harmless.

This winter I noticed a dearth of gray squirrels in our yard. We normally have 3-4 gray squirrels and an occasional American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). I have seen Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) come through our yard so I suspect they have reduced the squirrel population. The situation became so bad that entire weeks would go by without me seeing any squirrels in our yard. Deciding that I had to do something to help the squirrels (and keep Lizzie entertained), I began placing food out for them. I put the food in locations that they could easily access without putting them in undue danger of predators.

Lizzie watching a squirrel eating peanuts
Lizzie is watching a grey squirrel eat peanuts on a Tiki statue we have in our backyard.

Today, Lizzie and I looked out a window to see a gray squirrel eating peanuts on a Tiki statue in our backyard. Despite her penchant for chasing them, she quietly watched it eat. Perhaps she too understood that she can’t chase squirrels if there are no squirrels to chase and, therefore, let it have a meal.