You’re not here to kill the squirrels

Hi everyone, I am Chilo, a 10 year-old Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix, and before we proceed any further, let’s take a moment to observe how cute I am.

That’s me chilling on my king size bed, in which I also allow two humans to sleep, because I am just that generous.  And yes, I am adorable. That is just a fact.

But that’s not my purpose here today. I have taken over my owner’s blog, much as I’ve taken over everything else in her life, to share some deep, hard-won wisdom that I believe may change your life.  It’s true. I am extremely adorable and yet deep and wise, like a 16th century mystical poet. I am basically Taylor Swift. 

For most of my life, I have spent all day, every day staring out into the yard watching for the squirrels. I have been convinced they want to brutally murder my entire family.  I didn’t have hard evidence of such, but there’s just something nefarious and shifty about the way their tails twitch as they sit on the fence and the sound their tiny toenails make as they scurry up trees.  Also, I couldn’t think of another reason why they would hang around here all the time or even exist on this earth except to slaughter and kill. So I watched them, day in, day out, and when they appeared, I rushed outside through my dog door like a bat out of hell, except obviously cuter than a bat and with no rabies.  I barked violently at the squirrels until they fled in terror, their genocidal ambitions delayed for another hour.  Then, instead of retreating through my dog door, I went to the other back door and whined insufferably until my grateful owner let me in, so that she would be aware that I had once again saved her from certain, excruciating death.  

It is was an exhausting life, like trench warfare, except with no trenches except for when couch cushions get thrown around by the horrible children who live here (honestly, the squirrels can have them). I was haunted by the notion that even a brief rest may mean the gruesome deaths of my family via squirrel nibbling or perhaps squirrel-tail-pummeling. I wasn’t sure how exactly these reprobate rodents intended to achieve their homicidal mission, but I can’t imagine it would be pleasant. So I remained vigilant. But it took a toll on my mental health. I suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, OCD, and bipolar personality disorder. I could no longer be around the clothes iron, because its steam chamber was the perfect place for a squirrel to hide once they have shrunken themselves down to the size of an acorn, which they can totally do.  

But then I began to rethink things, and not only because I was slowly disintegrating under the stress. What if the squirrels aren’t out to kill us all? There was that one day that I ate an entire peanut butter sandwich that the boy foolishly left on the coffee table unattended, and I slept all afternoon in a sugar coma instead of watching the squirrels.  Why didn’t they seize the opportunity to sew destruction throughout the land? And, how did this family survive before I arrived here? I heard them say they only had a goldfish before me, as if a goldfish can do anything about a fly, much less a squirrel.  Humans are not that bright.  

As it began to dawn on me that perhaps I wasn’t bequeathed a solemn mission to defend humankind against invading hordes of boxom-bottomed banshees, I first went into an existential panic. The purpose of my entire life was thrown into question, I had no real value, my existence was meaningless.  What was I even here for? 

Before I could start stress-reading The Purpose Driven Life, I had another thought.  If I wasn’t needed to stave off sociopathic squirrels, I could rest. I could relax. Everything didn’t rest on my performance after all.  Turns out, being important–whether in reality or in one’s own mind–and/or having to convince yourself and others of your importance will drain you like a slurping, sucking bathtub and leave you like a little puddle on the floor. 

So why was I here anyway, if not to defend this house against mayhem? Why did they keep me around? Presumably my humans understood the squirrels weren’t dangerous. So what was my purpose? 

And then it hit me: They love me. That’s it. They don’t care what I do, they don’t care how many squirrels I kill, they just love me. I am worthy, just by being me. 

And, obviously, as we have already established, I am ADORABLE. Here’s another picture. 

After that, my life really changed. Not outwardly, of course–I still run out the dog door yapping multiple times a day like a deranged dog who earnestly believes a squirrel can commit murder.  But I don’t do it from a place of fear and insecurity.  I do it for the love and joy of squirrel chasing and barking really, really loud and incessantly.  Then, as per usual, I come to the other back door and make my owner let me in, but not so she can understand my value or so I can earn her love, but because she needs to get off her butt on occasion.  Everyone knows being sedentary is really bad for your health.  

I’m still terrified of the clothes iron, but not because I think there is a shrunken squirrel hiding in it. No, it’s because it’s really hot and can burn you. DUH. 

So remember, good humans. You can rest deep in your soul, because you aren’t here to kill the squirrels. Maybe you’ll kill some squirrels, and that’s fine and good. Squirrels are evil, I maintain that to this day.  But that’s not why you are here, and generally speaking, the squirrels will take care of themselves. You are here because you are loved, just as you are. 

And some of you, just a very few really, are adorable, but not as adorable as you think, by the way.  Sorry, but I have high standards on that front. 

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