Friday, July 26, 2013

The Possum and the Dogs

On Wednesday morning, the dogs and I got to see a opossum play dead!  It happened along the perimeter fence of an elementary school where I let the dogs off leash.  During the summer and Saturdays it's a great place to let the dogs run.  We were walking along the chain-link fence about to leave so I was getting ready to put the leashes back on when we spotted the possum.  The possum was a baby, about 5 inches long.  I imagine the rest of its family were just on the other side of the fence hiding in the bushes.  The dogs and I saw the critter at about the same time just a few feet in front of us, and the dogs started to charge and I was thinking 'oh no! this is going to be horrible'.  With less than a foot from the fence and true safety, it plopped down on its side.  The instantly 'dead' possum brought the dogs and their fangs to a halt, super confused. The possum even had its mouth hanging open.  Instead of grabbing and biting the dogs sniffed at the strange animal.  I think if the opossum had ran the dogs would have chased it and killed it, and it's small baby size wouldn't have stood a chance against the dogs.  I quickly and calmly snapped the leashes on and continued our walk with the baby opossum safe.  Would the dogs have left it alone if I hadn't been there?  Maybe not, but in this case playing possum really worked!