Samson & Squirrel Season

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A Little Background

Samson is our 5 1/2 year old Labrador we adopted in 2013 when we were still living in Truckee. He is our special needs puppy and we love him dearly! Samson followed our other Labrador Buddy and our daughter home one day during a walk. When we called to let his owner know that he was at our house we found out that Samson’s owner was looking for a new home for him. We fell in love with Samson immediately and decided to have some play dates to make sure that he would get a long with Buddy. After a couple of play dates and sleep overs we decided to adopt him!

Little did we know how well behaved Samson was as a guest! Yes, Samson was the perfect guest but once he figured out he was here to stay not so much! We went through the first year and half dealing with all kinds of doggy anxiety that was very unexpected and challenging for us.

We also discovered that Samson has quite the prey drive and should have been a hunting dog. He loves to chase birds, chipmunks, rabbits, deer and squirrels! Our neighborhood in Truckee was in Glenshire and is known as “Dogshire”. Lot’s of dogs, off leash walking, and forest trails to hike on perfect for a dog who needs a lot of exercise. During our walks Samson loved to chase down the wild life!

Portland & The Dreaded Leash

Fast forward to where we live today and it is a totally different environment. We now live in the big city where leashes are required and there is not as much freedom for Samson. It has been challenging for him to get used to walking with a leash. He makes the whole leash experience a terrible experience until he can run free for a bit and get out the pent up energy he has inside of him out.

Portland Parks

One of the things we love most about Portland is it’s parks! We have fantastic parks here in Portland and some of them have off leash areas for dogs to explore and play freely. This has been great!

Squirrel Brain

However, Portland also has an abundance of squirrels which has not been so great! Samson gets what I call “Squirrel Brain” when he sees squirrels. He no longer can function as the normal day to day dog once he has seen a squirrel. It’s as if his primal brain has complete control and there is NO reasoning with “Squirrel Brain”!

Squirrel Season

So needless to say the fall season has been a rough couple of months for all of us. It is now known as “Squirrel Season” and I hate “Squirrel Season! I generally take the dogs for a daily walk to get exercise and for them to do their business at the park. We live a block away from Peninsula Park which we love! The challenge is getting to the park without a squirrel sighting and then once at the park being able to keep Samson from taking off. He is so strong he will take you down in the process of chasing a squirrel which is VERY unpleasant and makes for a bad day.

In the fall squirrels are VERY busy gathering and preparing for winter which we are used to even in Truckee. Now that we live in the big city it’s very different because of traffic, the leash, and the fact Portland squirrels are feisty! The squirrels here love to taunt Samson and they do a REALLY good job at it. If Samson could he would climb the trees to get to the squirrels but of course he is unable to. Portland squirrels know that he can’t get to them and seem to have identified him as a target for some squirrel entertainment.

The other day I let Samson off leash to run around at the park and he found a squirrel that was really low on the tree. He ran over to chase it and the squirrel had him running around in circles because the squirrel was able to go up & down the trunk without Samson catching him! It was good exercise but VERY frustrating for Samson.

I am happy it’s winter and there are less squirrels sightings which is good but they are definitely still enough squirrels out and about to taunt Samson!

So in a nut shell this is the end of my rant about Samson and squirrel season! Wish me luck on my daily quest, it is a challenge that I don’t see ending anytime soon!

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