Thursday, June 6, 2024

Chip's Golden Escape

Seeing Gus the Golden Retriever interact with the wildlife in our backyard always amuses me. While he often enjoys watching squirrels out the window...

...they are ubiquitous, and sometimes, he tires of them.

However, there's a chipmunk that frequents the deck (we'll call him Chip). When Chip appears, Gus's attention is riveted by the small, furry ball of energy with his quick, darting movements. I'm grateful for the diversion that the tiny creature provides him.

On a recent pristine morning, I slid the deck door open, unaware of Chip's presence. Gus was out the door in a split second; he pounced and held the panicky fur ball in his mouth. My heart raced as the only sound in the vicinity came from me, yelling at the top of my lungs, 'Gus, drop it!' In that heart-stopping moment, I feared the worst. In retrospect, I shouldn't have let him watch that documentary about lemmings in Scandinavia, their fate sealed by the jaws of wild creatures. But hindsight is 20/20. To my immense relief, Gus let go, and the seemingly unharmed chipmunk made a hasty escape before diving into his hidy hole underground.

I spent the day in anguish, wondering about the psychological aftermath of the attack on Chip. Had Gus lost his primary source of indoor entertainment? But Chip proved to be resilient. Contrary to my expectations, he returned that afternoon, busily stuffing his cheeks with sunflower seeds while keeping a vigilant eye on his escape route. Gus, innocent and carefree, was unfazed by my worries and didn't seem surprised that his furry friend had reappeared.

After the attack, I pictured Chip back in his den, trembling in his recliner for a few minutes, then, determined, picking up the pieces of his day and heading to the cupboard for a bit of chocolate. There are just some things sunflower seeds can't fix.