(reposted from Patreon)
This is Ace. Ace is a dog, fondly known on the internets as the Giant Ridiculous Dog.
He's a Briard, which is a French shepherd breed.
Ace loves a few things in life: walks, cheese, car rides, carrying stuffies around the house, herding sheep, his soccer ball, and chasing squirrels. He's had a vendetta against all squirreldom since one bounced an acorn off his head back in 2009.
He has not forgotten.
Today, as we were going outside to play some kickball in the fresh snow, Ace ran over to the large lilac bush that dominates our dooryard. He had located a miscreant squirrel lurking in the bush--no doubt calculating how to get to the bird feeder on the porch roof, which is what squirrels spend 95% of their processing power on.
The squirrel, who was safely high in the rather large bush, made an extremely poor life choice. It decided to jump down and run for it.
The reason this was such a poor life choice is that, as you can see, there is approximately one squerrel's depth of snow on the ground currently.
The pursuit was on! My own little patch of BBC, with the David Attenborough replaced by me yelling at the dog to "Leave it!" at the top of my lungs while lunging after him, the squirrel floundering through five inch drifts, and the dog--soccer ball still in his mouth!--in hot if slidy pursuit.
Spoiler, the squirrel lived to pass its poor judgment on to its offspring.
The fluffy little rodent made it to the driveway that our semi-feral plow guy (more on him later) had plowed not five minutes before, and finally got some acceleration as it headed for the pine trees on the other side. The dog tripped on the berm the semi-feral plow guy had left at the edge of the asphalt, and tripped... soccer ball still in his mouth.
And I caught up with him a half-second later.
Then we had to play a game where he checked EVERY SINGLE BUSH on the property for rodents before he'd agree to come play kickball, which was the original purpose of the exercise.
So about that plow guy. He sort of came with the house, you see. The previous owners opined that he was somewhat erratic, but they weren't sure how to make him stop. Or even get him to reliably cash checks for his services.
Sometimes he does a great job. Sometimes he plows about half the driveway and wanders off. He's nice, though, and when you basically live in an episode of Newhart, you kind of have to roll with the punches and accept the hand you're dealt.