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Did you know that yesterday was Squirrel Appreciation Day? Me either. Luckily for us this wise journalist really knows his stuff and informed me – http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/happy-squirrel-appreciation-day. In honor of such an important occasion I thought I’d share my story of The Death Race happening in my backyard.

When it comes to Riggins’ instinct to kill I’ve always lived by the “circle of life” philosophy. After all if you are a critter that feels it’s necessary to hang out in my back yard that’s really on you. Riggins is a master ground squirrel assassin and to stop his blood thirst I had him start wearing a bell while hiking off leash. Gives the little critters a heads up. He will and has gnawed on a dead bird or taken out a family of baby possums. Circle of life.

I do find it fascinating that he knows his own kind. I’ve found dead rats in the backyard and yet he will sniff a chihuahua and move on with a head nod (what’s up buddy).

I also like to help him understand and connect with his roots. His mommy was a Germanfly riggins Shorthair Pointer. A hunting dog! You know how when a couple adopts a tot from another culture and then feels like they should do things to help that child never forget his/her skin color is different from theirs (I’d give you examples but I can’t without sounding horribly racist so you will have to think those up on your own)? Same thing … just with a dog. So a long time ago I set up the Death Race. It’s been out of commission for a while but this past week I started it up once again!

My backyard is a type of critter zoo. Somehow I moved to the urban jungle and didn’t realize it. One of the critters that are plentiful are squirrels. So I did what any caring mother of a hunter dog would do and set up a squirrel feeder in one of the tall trees in my backyard. As the squirrels make their way from the back fence to their snack and back their only goal is to NOT GET CAUGHT BY THE DOG. Riggins makes this harder by following them from the ground taunting with a ferocious bark. The little creatures jump and teeter from the branch of one tree to the other. If one falls (you can hear tiny squirrel gasps from the stands) Riggins and the squirrel have a beat where they just stare at each other before ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. Then it’s up to the squirrel to get up and get out FAST. Losing means death.

Okay this is mean. I admit it. But I’m on Riggins side. He LOVES it and, as of right now, has never caught a squirrel contestent. I figure at this point word is out and it is only the badass tattooed squirrels who make a bet and come into the ring. I assume it’s how you become a squirrel man.