Last night, I let the dog out for his last-of-the-night potty breaks. It was raining a bit, so I waited on the porch. He ran out into the yard and made a beeline for the fence at the top of the driveway. He was sniffing away at something and it was his “Ooh-I-found-something” and not the “Yeah-yeah-I-gotta-find-just-the-right-spot” sniff. I looked over and saw a patch of white. I thought something had blown into the yard, so I told him to leave it and go potty. He turned away and started sniffing around the grill (the BadMan had grilled dinner, so that wasn’t unusual). But then, he went right back to the spot he was sniffing at before.
I walked over to the spot, figuring I’d just get rid of whatever it was. And found, all stretched out on the grass, an opossum- playing ‘possum. Great. So, I shooed Lambeau to the other side of the yard to pee, and I left the opossum alone. I have seen actual dead opossums that had been hit by cars, and live ones scurrying around, but this was the first I have ever seen playing dead. Let me tell you, they are really, really good at it! So much so that when I was walking back to the dog, I was thinking that I hoped it would not still be there in the morning. But I saw it booking it along the fence line, looking for a spot to escape.
I am glad that, for the most part, if Lambeau finds something like that, he does not do much more than sniff. Unless, of course, whatever it is happens to be small enough to swallow in one gulp! And he listens pretty well to “leave it”. The really lucky thing is that he did not see the opossum running away, because he would have chased it. I wish I had my phone on me. I would have snapped a quick picture.
I like opossums. I know a lot of people think they are ugly, but I think they are kind of cute. They are also good to have around. They don’t bother people much. They are voracious tick eaters (which gives them high marks in my book!). They are also one of the critters you don’t have to worry about rabies with. From what I have read, their are such laid back critters, their body temperature is too low for the rabies virus to survive. So, I think having an opossum around is a good thing.
Lambeau, of course, could not understand why I wouldn’t let him make a new friend!
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