by Christine Politte
PASADENA, CA — For local pooch Murphy, the dog days are over — or at least the days of sprinting after aloof suburban wildlife. After six years of fruitless pursuits, this self-respecting dog has realized that the right squirrel won’t need to be chased.
The labrador mix decided to make some changes a few months ago after the latest object of his affection spurned his advances by climbing out of his reach. It was at this moment Murphy realized he was both literally and metaphorically barking up the wrong tree.
“For years, I devoted all my energy to those elusive squirrels,” growled Murphy. “My throat was always sore from barking, and my neck hurt from yanking at the leash. And for what? Not a single rodent ever threw me a bone.”
Since his realization, Murphy has made substantial changes. He got a sleek new collar, kicked his treat habit, and took his fetch game to the next level. When he sees a squirrel, he is still tempted, but he has learned to keep his head held high and let it go.
Not every dog agrees with Murphy’s new tricks. “He’s barking mad,” whined Murphy’s next-door neighbor Rex, a German shepherd. “I saw a squirrel prance right in front of him the other day, and he just went back to practicing how to shake paws. He’s like a whole different dog. He barely even wants to sniff butts anymore.”
But Murphy believes he’s made the right decision. “Maybe the right squirrel will come. Maybe not. But for now I’m focused on chasing myself first. Mostly my tail. And with a little more practice, I think I’m finally going to catch it.”
At press time, Murphy’s owners had scheduled an appointment with the vet to get his vision checked.