The many dogs of my life received simple directions. Get as many groundhogs and bunnies as you'd like. Leave birds and squirrels alone. My current dog peacefully walks through the mourning doves and the robin hops out of her way. However, my puppy is 1/2 Jack Russell. It's constitutionally impossible for her to ignore a squirrel.
She's an old dog, so I've been without squirrels for a very long time, but the squirrels are back. Maybe they figured out my puppy is old and can't climb trees anymore. She's had 2 expensive surgeries to repair leg ligaments from that kind of activity. I'm glad to see the squirrels again. I wish they'd get the groundhogs and bunnies. I've missed the days when my Dalmatians would bark at the squirrel and the squirrels barked back. It was a game they played. I think the squirrels enjoyed it as much as the dogs.
My dad had it out for squirrels. He'd sit by his garden with his slingshot just waiting for an opportunity. Maybe some behaviors are hereditary? At some point he got out the .22 and cleared the trees of them. Not the kind of guy to let anything go to waste, he cleaned the squirrels and plopped them on the kitchen counter for Mom to cook. She gave him a memorable and scathing look and refused to touch them.
Dad wasn't deterred by Mom's attitude. He happily whistled his way through the kitchen cupboards and banged a lot of metal things together talking about how country people would be thrilled to eat squirrel. A horrible smell started emanating from the kitchen after a while. It didn't get better, and actually looking at the horribly naked, splayed bodies on a platter was stomach curdling.
The house rules were to have a minimum of 3 bites of whatever was served. Taking tiny bites resulted in being given more of the unwanted item until the minimum was satisfied with penalties. I looked around the table at my siblings and shared their horror. We even took extra servings of milkweed pods that day in order to scare off starvation.
Dad admitted defeat. He didn't know how to cook and didn't intend to learn. He left the squirrels alone after that, and I was glad to see them bouncing around in the trees unmolested. They must've remembered the murder spree though because they left his garden alone. Dad transferred his vendetta to bunnies.
Onto a different topic, I told a friend I hate Jane Austin, and my friend said she looooved her. Trying to be sympathetic, maybe understand something more about my friend, self educate, or whatever, I read a couple of Austin's books. I still hate her. Maybe I hate her slightly less, but I'm not reading her again. As I told my friend, it feels like interminable discussions about planning a dinner party I don't want to attend.
When I put the JA books away, I pulled out Dickens' David Copperfield. In a way, you could say it's a lot like JA. The depressing roles of women in 19th century England, archaic language, etc., but I love Dickens. He's got women running off with their lovers, crotchety and interesting old people, nice people, villains, gritty and painful realities -- everything you need for a good story. I'll have to check back with my friend to see how she feels about Dickens.