A nearly perfect afternoon for a hike almost ended in a tragedy, of sorts, as we were heading back to the Whatcom Falls trail head. Casey was exploring off-trail on his own, when during a quick over-the-shoulder glance I noticed him pouncing, after a double take, on a life form in the grass. Several yards away, as I rushed to mediate whatever, all I could see at that instant was a frantic rustling, and paws heading it off.
Then I saw, and then heard, a frightened chipmunk – my first thoughts were possible opossum, rat, or snake. It was on its back in a defensive position, cute as hell actually, and wishing it was anywhere but an inch away from the muzzle of an amazed Border Collie. The little guy’s screams were heartbreaking, but I had Casey by the collar quickly enough to prevent accidental, even instinctive bloodshed, and then watched as it righted itself and crawled away into the nearest thicket. If it had worn tiny chipmunk pants, believe me, they would have been full.