I had that momentary panic when I couldn’t find my female dogs, though my boy Checkers was following me around the yard. My husband had just left the house, and I wondered if they could’ve gotten out of the fence. I checked inside again, and all was quiet. I hustled back out and called their names. Oakley traipsed up from the side backyard followed by Goldie Hawn. I could tell by Goldie’s posture that something was up. Head lowered, sheepish squinty-eye glances, and then I saw the tail in her mouth. Oy vey! I ran to the garage and grabbed a grocery bag—my daily go-to improvised mitten for yard pick-up—in an attempt to retrieve the catch from the clutch. Goldie hurried away, but halted when I called her name. She tried to get a better grip on her fresh catch, and I reached for whatever I could grab. I saw a leg and a tail.
Not sure what kind of sounds sprang from my voice, a cacophony of repugnance blended with high-pitched squeals of disgust. I pulled and groaned. I think it scared Goldie into releasing her hard-fought treasure. It wasn’t just in her mouth; it was partially down her throat—probably why she was taking her time with it. I wince just thinking about it again. So grossed out, but I got another grip of the leg and yanked it feeling like I was dislodging some internal organ as her throat released its hold. Oh mercy. Cuisinart could’ve done no better on the chipmunk than the jaws of Goldie. I tried not to look; one glance was more than enough for a lifetime. The mitten-bag became the content holder, double-bagged as a proper vault, and into the green bin for Waste Management to haul away later.
Fresh water, I insist. Forgive me for taking away your trophy, girl. Excuse me while I go throw some words out with my fingertips…better than throwing up, I suppose. From that sweet little dog snuggling with a stuffed animal last night to Goldie, the chipmunk hunter. Goldie, the multi-dimensional fast-as-lightning Golden-Labrador. No, I’m not mad at you, but let’s just hold off on the kisses for a while, okay?
Now here’s some roast beef as a thank you for being my loving exterminator, Goldie, and for giving me your fresh catch without a struggle.