Damn squirrels!

Dear Auntie Peggy,

Does this picture make my nose look big? My muzzle is all gray even though I’m not even three yet. Should I ask Mama for a color touch-up?

Mama L. doesn’t get to visit with you at all now that she’s no longer at the City. She hasn’t been able to tell us how you are or what you are up to, so I am hoping that you will write to us and catch us up on what’s going on with you.

She’s been doing a lot of gardening since you saw her last. We asked her to take some pictures to send to you. She already started her summer crops already by planting bush and pole beans and zucchini and summer squash and tomatoes and corn. Let’s hope these do better than last season’s crop.

The only thing that really grew from last season were snap peas — and there were lots of peas. But none of the other stuff grew; it was very dissapointing. The brocolli, cabbage and cauliflower did not produce anything but leaves. She just read (from Dog Island Farm) that they are planning to grow theirs in August. So maybe that’s why hers wasn’t producing because she planted them at the wrong time. None of the beets or carrots she started from seed turn into anything. They sprouted and held great promise, but in the end they were too tiny and tough to eat. She didn’t thin them out, though — maybe they were too crowded.

Now that the corn is beginning to show, Mama is already on the lookout for the squirrel that lives across the street. One year she lost all her corn to a squirrel. She had waited with anticipation as each ear of corn got bigger. And then, poof, one day the squirrel came and ate every single one of them. They seem to be particular about what they eat, Mama said, and each squirrel is different. This year, our squirrel seems to favor fruit like plums and apricots. We find half-eaten ones all over the yard. I hope he doesn’t decide to go after Mama’s corn. She lost a pair of shoes chasing the other one out of the yard.

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Dear Journal,

I look like a movie star here, don’t I? Mama M. thinks I have a good shot of at it — I am so photogenic, she said.

Anyway, there’s a bunch of things to tell!

First of all, Grandpa Dwight is coming to town! He’s coming in about a half an hour or so, and I can’t wait. I’m going to pounce on him as soon as he walks in the door! I know he’ll have spectacular treats for me, his favorite dog in the world!

Second, I am innocent of all crimes, especially strawberrycide. Even Beatrice The Cat told the whole world of that story. Who knew she would ever be on my side. I guess I have to figure out a way to scratch her back now. Better look out for Ms. Sibley though…..I bet she’s got something up her sleeve.

Third, and I almost completely forgot about this until Mama L. came home from her book launch about the old Oakland Army Base event tonight. Last week Mama L. went to lunch with Auntie Peggy and Auntie Celia and they had loads of fun. But when Mama L. came home, she told me about a new social movement that is taking off like rockets. Or whatever. It’s called Guerrilla Knitting! Or Yarn Bombing, as Auntie Celia referred to it. Apparently, these people pick a target and they go out and knit something for it. It’s like tagging, but a hundred and fifty times better coz there’s no defacing!

So I ask Mama L. to look for some pictures or a video or something, and here’s one she found on youtube. I don’t see Auntie Celia in it, but I’m pretty sure she was involved. I know she knitted guerrillaly for the street sign post on her block. She even knitted the street name!

Dear Diary,

I’m in such a quandary and I don’t know what to do about it. Madeleine is my Big Sis and I love her more than anything in the world almost as much as bones, and I shouldn’t tell on her. Supposedly, it’s also written in some Dog’s Bible that dogs don’t tell on each other, or the Big Dog Spirit would come to visit. But it’s not really fair to the Squirrel, or to Beatrice I suppose, or to the Mamas. I keep hearing this back-and-forth between Ms. Sibley and Beatrice The Cat about who stole the strawberries and I just want to holler out that it was Madeleine the whole time! But I can’t, coz she’s my Big Sis. But I should, coz Ms. Sibley didn’t do it.

See, this whole thing started when the Mamas dropped us off at Uncle JO’s and Auntie Lillie’s Summer Camp for Dogs. Madeleine has always been a dickhead, so that’s not really anything new. But then Belle, Uncle JO’s dog First Dog, decided to show Big Sis a few tricks, including picking strawberries at just the right time. (The right time, of course, is when the Humans have already seen the strawberries and they’re waiting for it to be perfectly ripe. But you got to get to the strawberries before they’re ripe.) Anyway, Belle taught Madeleine that trick and she’s been nothing but trouble since then. As much as I love her, I am really surprised that she hasn’t come clean with all of this. I really thought Madeleine was much bigger than that.

But she’s not, really. She’s actually a big scare-dy cat – no offense to the real cast. Last weekend, the Mamas brought us into the City coz they were pruning and grooming and primping. They decided that not only were they were going to get a hair cut, we were also going to get groomed! I didn’t have any problems whatsoever, especially after the turkey jerky (WOW! I love turkey jerky!!!!). But oh my god, you should have seen Madeleine when the nice people started going for her toe nails. You’d think they were after her only organ or something. I have never seen Big Sis so terrified! I was so well behaved that the Mamas kept telling me that I’m the role model now! Whatever that is!

Well, I suppose I could just sleep on it some more. It’s always best when I’ve had a couple of days to think about it. I’ll probably think about it some more tomorrow in the shower. Every morning, I jump in the shower to get my day started right, just like Mama L. does. I still haven’t figured out why this step is all that necessary; it gets awfully wet.  But when Mama L. sees me in the shower with her, it always seems make her laugh, so I suppose that it’s a good thing!

Dear Beatrice The Cat,

It is I, Sibley the Squirrel. I have chosen to remain incommunicado because I feel quite betrayed by you. You may not know that you have done anything wrong; for this, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and hence this post. But you did not come to my defense when Grandpa Dwight accused me of 1) being a thief and 2) being a liar — and apparently a terrible one at that. Believe you me, if I was to lie, I would not be terrible.

And I am certainly no thief.

This picture here, taken by Mama L., shows some strawberries which she harvested recently.

Furthermore, this picture of the vegetables from her garden shows that her vegetables have remained untouched and unblemished by me.

I cannot and do not blame Grandpa Dwight, because after all, he IS a human, and the Good Lord knows, humans are full of faults. He can’t tell one squirrel from another – and you know that saying: we all look the same. But if he had only looked a little closer, he might have noticed that I am missing a particular set of gonads that was evident in my forebear — the same one that Grandpa D. reminded your Mama L. of the avocado/corn incident.

Again, I reiterate:  I am innocent of all wrong-doings. I respect the garden. I respect the Mamas’ space and use in the garden. I have no intention of raiding said garden, except to occasionally plant a peanut (I am still certain that I can grow a peanut tree!)

As a last resort, I offer this photograph as proof, once and for all, of my innocence. I am not naming names. I will just let the picture speak for itself.