A.J. Meets a Gopher

June 14, 2015

About a week ago we were walking through the park. A.J. is always interested in the ground holes made by moles or gophers or whatever is crawling around under there. He sometimes smells a fresh one, and if there’s no one around and the hole is a little off the path I’ll typically let him dig for a couple of minutes. He digs like crazy for a few seconds, then he stops to sniff, then digs some more. He actually bites big clumps of dirt to speed up the process of digging. But when he stops to sniff I know he’s never going to catch up with whatever is in the hole: when he stops, the rodent doesn’t.

Well, the other day he was especially excited about a particular hole, so I knew something had been there very recently. As it turns out, it was more recent than I imagined. A.J. started digging, and suddenly a gopher popped up behind him. Had I let him keep digging he may not have ever seen the gopher. But being startled by this large rodent that was suddenly at my feet, I instinctively pulled A.J. back. At that point he turned and saw the gopher and lunged. He jerked me forward and managed to grab the gopher. I got my balance and pulled him back and told him to “Leave it!” He dropped the gopher (not because I told him to, just because he dropped it), and I pulled him back. Now I’m standing there with my dog on his hind legs growling and pulling at the leash, and a gopher crouched in front of us showing its very big teeth and hissing.

I backed up and pulled A.J. along with me and the excitement was over. Now A.J. is even more intent on exploring those interesting holes in the ground, you never know what fun you’re going to find.