One of the pleasures of owning a dog is taking her for walks at Astoria Park during the morning off-leash hours. Ella loves to chase squirrels, so much so that Laura and I have to call them "rockies" when we talk. If Ella hears the word "squirrel," she instantly goes on high-alert.
Ella has never caught a squirrel, though she comes close sometimes. She is usually startled to round a tree up which her quarry has run and not find the squirrel behind it. Only rarely does she look up and realize that the squirrel is now above her, taunting her. (Yes, Shaun of the Dead fans, dogs can look up.)
Yesterday morning, Ella and I took a long early walk. The squirrel chasing was great. She came close to catching a black squirrel that passed up two perfectly good trees on its run. Are the black squirrels dumber? I'm not sure.
Anyway, after a long circuit of the park, Ella and I neared the infamous Charybdis Playground. I saw a dog we know named Sultan, a large furry black dog, part chow, I think, up ahead near the playground wall. Sultan was sniffing around near the base of the wall behind a tree, maybe pawing at something.