For those of you who follow my Twitter, Instagram, author Facebook page, or website, you know I often share stories about my little poodle-mix puppy, Chanel.
Please, no groaning from those of you who prefer cats.
She is also serious about her friendships.
Well, before the SoCal winter rains, there was a young opossum who would walk along the block wall several nights a week at 2:00 A.M. I know this because this is the time I usually finish writing and get ready for bed. Chanel dance in a circle requesting to step outside. She would run over to the wall and bark, causing the little white-faced opossum to dart away.
I would pick her up, instructing her to leave “Harvey” alone. (Yes, I know he is a wild animal and does not possess a name.) Chanel, however, knows every ‘thing’, be it a person, toy (bouncy-ball, Side-kick, blue bouncy-ball), animal, or ‘food’, has a name.
So, this opossum was dubbed Harvey.
Harvey didn’t return during the rains, or afterwards. Then, magically, one night a larger, more attractive, and braver “Harvey’ returned.
This time he sat on the wall and waited for Chanel to bark at him. I’d pick her up, bid “Harvey” good evening. While the two of them stared at each other for a few moments. We’d go in and Harvey would leave.
Where does “Harvey” live? I believe he lives in the yard next door (the owner is a bit of a zealous ‘collector’), or perhaps in the shrubby in a nearby park. I’m not too sure if he has a family.
It has never gone past the ‘flirting’ stage with Chanel. And ‘Harvey’ never ventures into our yard when we are about.
Today, all of that changed.
Today was my wedding anniversary. My husband and I went to local home-style diner for an early dinner. We bid Chanel bye and promised to bring her home a mini-hamburger patty. No. Sorry. No riding in the car this time.
When we got back to the car, packed left-overs and doggie meal in hand, my husband voice his concern about something handing from his side bumper.
I bent over to examine it. While my husband kept saying he would yank the piece of the plant out from the bumper, I objected.
It wasn’t a plant.
It had an odd texture. It was a pale color. It was a snake, no. A rat. . .oh, no!
It was the hook of a opossum’s tail.
“Harvey! I hope we didn't kill Harvey!"
“Harvey?” my husband questioned.
“Yes. See, that’s Harvey’s tail.” The tail went limp, they turned back into a hook.
“This could only happen to you,” my husband’s response.
“Harvey just wanted to join us for our Anniversary dinner.”
My husband stifled a chuckle. “I doubt that very much.”
“Now at least we know where he sleeps during the day.”
So, we drove home via the city streets, so not to ‘over heat’ Harvey. While my husband explained that freeing 'Harvey' was my responsibility. When we arrived home, Harvey had pulled his tail back up into the wheel well, waiting for us to leave.
Do you have an unexpected anniversary story to share?
*The chance of rabies in an opossum is EXTREMELY RARE. This may have something to do with the opossum's low body temperature (94-97º F) making it difficult for the virus to survive in an opossum's body.*
They are beneficial to eliminate rodents, snakes, insects and carrion, and they provide a VITAL “grounds-keeping” function in most urban environments.
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