This weekend I left the city to visit my countryside chalet once again. Now that the summer is here, I’ll be going there a lot I hope.
However, since I’m not always there to fulfill my duties as guard dog, it opens up the possibility for intruders to take residence within the proximity – and by that I mean critters, varmints, rodents, and heck, even wired hairs for all I know!
I’ve always known there was some sort of critter (a gopher I later found out) living under my deck since the time Mum and Dad first got me and brought me back to that house. There were curious holes coming out all sides of the deck and intriguing scents that drove me many times to go exploring under the deck – to which Mum did not appreciate (Dad secretly allowed me but Mum still doesn’t know that).
In fact, my second-ever blog post was about this very subject! So you might consider this a bit of a wayback-playback.
Anyway, this weekend while I was out running some errands (needed more allergy medicine), Dad caught quite an intimate glimpse of the little gopher family living under our deck. By the way, we generally have a ‘cutesy’ term for most things, so among Mum, Dad, and I, we call them ‘goophs’ (pronounced goofs – emphasis of the f).
Sidenote: I’ve been battling some pretty bad allergies this past week, which has got me feeling pretty down and under the weather. Not my usual adventurous self.
I am so jealous of Dad for being there at that moment. As he was leaving the house himself, there was a whole gopher family out exploring. There was a mother and three cute little babies.
Take a look for yourself at what he saw below.
If you’re familiar with your Crusoe Quotes, you’ll know that “it’s not that I dislike furry little creatures – it’s just that they didn’t ask permission to be on my land.”
So I don’t necessarily have a problem with these gophers being there, but being a celebrity and a capitalist, I feel they should at least be paying rent or paying their dues in some way or another.
I came back once I heard about their presence to ‘knock on their hole’ and speak to the mother. She wasn’t answering, so I felt as the property owner I had the right to force my way in. However, Mum so “smartly” blocked off all the damn holes last year so I couldn’t go exploring under there anymore. Not very “smart” now when we have a freeloader living under our deck and I can’t do anything about it.
So I said heck, if I can’t fit in their holes, I’ll dig a new one.
And if Mum’s garden gets a little torn up in the process, well, that’s her fault.
I didn’t get very far though when my allergies kicked in and I had to back off. I told Dad to get down there and start digging but he wasn’t having it. My family might seem very loving and all, but let me say there are many circumstances where they are less than helpful..
So with nothing left to do, we had to play the waiting game.
We waited for quite a while, until finally the mother gopher stuck her head out the hole.
I had prepared this whole speech about they should ask before setting up their home under my home, and that I would be requiring some sort of rent for their continued tenancy – preferably in the form of squeaky balls (maybe they could dig to China for me?)
However, before I could get a word out, I would say my instincts took over. I become all jittery and frantic, wanting to chase the ‘gooph’. Dad was able to keep me relatively composed so as not to completely scare her though..
I guess that’s just the dachshund in me. Instincts die hard, if at all.
So to wrap it up, Dad had to ease me into my speech, but once he did, I took it from there. The gopher and I had a big discussion, and although she won’t be paying me rent, we did strike a deal.
Since she’s always watching her surroundings (having babies and all), she said she could keep a look out for any wired hairs that might come along. It’s always helpful to have an extra set of eyes.
I also convinced her to let me chase her and the others whenever I see them, just for the fun – not to hurt them. She was a little reluctant to this, but I was rather insistent.
Hope this can be a lesson to all the fellow dogs out there that a critter on your territory is not necessarily a bad thing! You can convince them to stay around so that you get to chase them on a regular basis!
Another Sidenote: in a totally different place, I once saw a gopher just sitting out in the open. We were already on an expedition, meaning I was free to roam, and so I bolted after the little gopher. It didn’t move though. I came right up to it, not even a foot apart, and we looked each other square in the eye. I decided to be nice and just let the gopher hop away.