I had left the sunroof open so that she could stick her nose out, since leaving this open while I ran into the cafe was a much better option than leaving the windows down; I'm well aware that she would jump right out and go explore [I learned my lesson the first time, thank you very much]. Claire has never been able to jump out of the sunroof, so I thought this was a pretty safe bet. She has tried before, but she doesn't have enough of a step up from the center console.
I got a little nervous while waiting in line when I saw the squirrel stop on the sidewalk right in front of my car. I got a little more nervous when I saw Claire hone in on it while she sat in the passengers seat - she had the Hunter's Gaze: ears up, body leaning forward, eyes focused on the prey. And my anxiety kicked in when I saw her start to jump around the car, occasionally popping her head up through the sunroof as if trying to judge the distance that she would need to jump to get herself through.
And then she actually did it.
In a split second, she managed to jump high enough to go through the open sunroof and land on the little ledge where the roof of my car meets the windshield. She teetered there briefly before bounding onto the hood and then on to the sidewalk where the chase began. At that point, I bolted out of the store and ran after her through the parking lot and around the side of the building as she chased the squirrel.
I finally caught her when the squirrel ran up a tree; Claire was jumping and barking at the base of it, causing a huge scene - though probably a little less of a scene than she caused when she jumped out of the sunroof to begin with. My face was on fire and I was so very embarrassed by the whole thing that I just picked her up and carried all fifty pounds of her back to the car. And then we left, sandwich-less and squirrel-less. And you can bet that I drove with the sunroof closed all the way home.
When will I ever learn that where there's a will, there's a way? Nothing stops this girl from trying! One thing is for sure: she continues to teach me about persistence...