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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
We (the dogs and I) caught and killed a ground squirrel. I have been fighting them for several weeks. This year, they have been digging under the slab of the barn. That can do a lot of permanent damage to the foundation. One squirrel dug under the footing by my horse's stall and I couldn’t bait because of the danger to the horse.
Then he started digging
on the other side of the barn, so I put this rather large stepping-stone and
placed it on the hole. Two days later, the squirrel had moved the stepping-stone!
I discussed the squirrel problem with my husband and he suggested that I use a gopher gasser. So that evening, when squirrels are usually in their holes, I used the gasser, making sure that all of the air holes were plugged.
For a week, there was no movement about the holes, and I was satisfied that the gasser had done the job. Then, one morning when I came out to feed, the dogs alerted to me that something was askew outside. As I walked toward the barn, the dogs took off after something. Then I heard the squirrel chirp. They had cornered the squirrel under a couple of boards behind the barn.
I uncovered the squirrel one board at a time, and as I exposed him, Decker moved in and grabbed it. He took off with it in his mouth, and the two borders and I followed. He ended up running past the barn a ways, then he LET IT GO! I couldn't believe it! So I encouraged the dogs to chase it again, and they cornered it under my second lumber pile next to the holding kennel.
This time, I was not taking any chances with loosing it. I put Decker into the kennel, and slowly uncovered the squirrel, one board at a time. Both dogs were on the far side of the lumber pile, opposite me. I positioned Tam close to me, so we would have less chance of loosing the squirrel. When it got uncovered, Kate jumped in and grabbed it. Instinctively she started shaking it to kill it, as I was telling her to "kill it" . I kept telling her to "kill it" to ensure that it was dead. I didn't want the squirrel to suffer.
Kate wanted the squirrel to eat, but I can't take the chance with them. I promptly picked it up by the tail and tossed it into the sheep pasture for the vultures.
Squirrels carry lots of fleas, and my dogs don't have fleas and I would like to keep it that way (Frontline is starting to not work in this area as the fleas are becoming resistant to it). They can also carry the plague, and the plague has been found in this area, so the only chance I am taking with squirrels, is for the dogs to kill them. No eating them allowed!
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