Rugby The Border Terrier

by Ann Alejandro
(Southwest Texas)

Rugbyrumble RoughStuffTuffStuff (Rugby)

Rugbyrumble RoughStuffTuffStuff (Rugby)

This is Rugbyrumble RoughStuffTuffStuff (Rugby), a one and a half year old
Border Terrier(ist) obeying the ONLY command he will pay any attention to,
which is, "GET that squirrel!"

We live out in the country and since I am disabled, I spend much of my life in
a chair in the living room, and since watching birds is sometimes all I can do
on any given day, my husband set up bird feeders outside all our windows years
ago. This year he put up nine seed and hummingbird feeders as close as possible
to the three windows I can watch from this chair so that I can enjoy watching
the sparrows, white wing and Inca doves, and especially dozens of American and
Mexican Cardinals, Lesser Goldfinches, Green Jays, Baltimore and Bullocks
Orioles, Green Jays, Black Tits, mockingbirds, various larks and wrens, all
kinds of hummingbirds, and even Painted Buntings.

We have been in the worst three year drought in recorded history in southwest
Texas, the rivers are dry and food is in short supply, so the local wildlife
from deer to rabbits to raccoons and opossums have depended on our yard or
areas near our yard for their food and especially their water. I have nothing
against squirrels, but we had several who would scamper down from high up in
the live oaks, skim down the wires and gorge themselves on our expensive bird
seed. They are so brazen that no amount of pounding on the window or making
noise will send them away for more than five minutes. They just deliberately
TAUNTED me all summer until I showed Rugby the squirrel foraging himself at the
bird feeder and said, "Rugby! GET THAT SQUIRREL!" so that he spent his summer
jumping up on desks, love seats, counter tops and printers, successfully
scaring the squirrels off, and out in the yard he ran towards their perches and
chased them high up into the trees.

Two weeks ago he climbed the mesquite tree on which several bird feeders were
hanging, and on his third attempt he snapped the squirrel's neck in half,
killing it in one quick bite, IN THE TREE. Of course when he brought his prize
down, his best pal Tweed the Goldendoodle retrieved it to my husband.

Being a terrier, whose motto and expression is constantly "I'm up to
something REAL BAD!", obedience is not his forte. The only command he obeys is
RUGBY! Get that squirrel! And even from a sound sleep he will run to the
windows to find the squirrel at a bird feeder And scare it off.

We have lost six pairs of shoes, nine socks, all our kitchen towels, the
corner of the wooden stairs, several grand-children's toys, and three shirts and
a pair of blue jeans to his carnage since we got him at six weeks. He loves my
husband Joe the most and cries for him when he leaves for work. About three
months ago we would always find Joe's swimming trunks on the bedroom floor,
unharmed. We folded them up and put them back into the heavy dresser drawer,
which has a brass pull, day after day, having no idea why they kept
re-appearing (since they were not shredded into bits) until one day we walked
into the room to find Rugby asleep on top of them. He was using them as a
self-comforter. And now we know that every day, Rugby, who weighs 9 pounds and
picks fights with our 104 pound Airedale, grabs that brass handle, pulls open
the heavy drawer, gets out the swimming trunks and naps on them. It is his way
of staying close to his daddy.

In this photo, Rugby had been told, "Rugby! GET that squirrel!" and this was
his third time to chase the squirrel from the bird feeder and up the tree from
the window. He is looking at the squirrel out of the shot in the tree. He did
this all afternoon. At one point he and Tweed were both standing on hind legs
with their front paws on the window glass, frozen as they waited for the
squirrel to come back down the tree. One wants to murder; the other wants to
retrieve. Good pair of pals.

Ann Alejandro

WOW, sounds like quite a pair you've got there Ann, thank you so much for sharing your story with us!

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