Posted by: David | June 26, 2008

Oliver Gets His Chipmunk

There’s a saying. Every dog has his day. Today was Oliver’s day. At 4:30 p.m. He was just outside the back door, tethered to my wife, as always, when a stupid, stupid chipmunk made its last bad decision. According to the report it darted right in front of The Dogmatic One, who snatched it and dispatched it with all necessary speed. Apparently the entourage was just on the way back in from some other mission when Oliver attritted the enemy. He was ordered to drop the enemy corpse and get inside the house. When I arrived home from work an hour later he was in a real state. He was in a full-blown dissociative fugue of Victory! Over! The! Rodent! He was staring the thousand-yard stare.

He’s had a lot of stress lately. Yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon (approximately 1530 hours), my wife and Oliver spotted a fox in the back yard. She got a pretty nice picture of it. (She’d gotten a pretty nice picture of a gray fox back in September, exploring another patch of our yard. I wonder if it’s the same fox or a relative. And what the hell are they looking for in our yard? There’s no buried treasure, I already checked.)

It’s a gray fox. Needless to say this sighting cost Oliver at least one marble.

Yes, you would rather see Graphic Footage of Oliver’s Triumph, but none exists. So instead you get the fox picture from yesterday. I retrieved the enemy’s remains and pitched them over the fence behind the garden, beyond Oliver’s territory. Then I weeded in the garden. Oliver was let out on his tether. He cried and cried and tangled his leash around the corner post of the shed three times as I got the garlic bed weeded out. He was either reliving his combat scenes, looking for the chipmunk body, or maybe both. Still in the dissociative state, he wound his leash around the post 5 times, thrice. And I had to come unwind him. War is hell.

Oh look, the walking iris bloomed again!

I know!

WTF?!?! We’re in the middle of the Dog & Chipmunk War story and here’s a stupid flower picture. What’s the point? None really. This is the flower that blooms and shrivels in 24 hours. Then the flower stalk flops to the floor and sprouts the baby plant. Hence the name “walking iris”. Is something meant by this? Nope. Don’t think so. Do you?



  1. Oh, I gasped in horror at the title of this post! ghastly! And, thank you for increasing my vocab: I don’t think I had ever thought abt ‘attrit’ as a verb in any form.

    Love foxes, love irises – fascinating, this ‘walking’ type.

    Hope you don’t need psych help for Oliver’s PTSD.

    Ghastly because chipmunks are so gosh darn cute? You can thank General H. “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf for the reintroduction of “attrit” to the modern vernacular. Remember Desert Storm?

    The cool thing about this iris is how fast the blossom comes and goes. Whereas the many orchids that my wife has going seem to keep their flowers for months.

    Oliver is probably going to need some EMDR for his PTSD.

  2. I wish it had been a squirrel instead of a chipmunk but it must have made Oliver so happy to catch it. I know he’s been yearning to catch a rodent for a long time. We get foxes around here sometimes. Their bark is so creepy sounding. We also get coyotes now. They are becoming a nuisance. That’s why I can’t ever let my cat’s out.

    The iris photo is beautiful. I love the idea of a walking iris.

    Me too Joan! I wish I could say Oliver was happy to catch the chipmunk, but I just don’t think that “happy” describes the agitated state he displayed for a couple of hours afterward. Maybe what was so bad for him was that I had disposed of the dead chipmunk, and he kept looking for it when he was tied out back while I was weeding. But never found it. When back inside and looking out the big picture window scarcely an hour later, another chipmunk (brother, sister, cousin to the fallen one?) was busily running around. Oliver must have been thinking “WTF!?!? WTF!?!?! I JUST KILLED YOU!!”

    Full disclosure: I manipulated the iris photo. Color is exaggerated. But still, it’s a cool house plant and has been blooming every few weeks lately.

    And no offense, but I liked your old avatar. The black square just doesn’t seem to emulate joanharvest as I see her. 🙂 I should talk, huh?

  3. The dog is a disgrace to the dog population in general. She detests walks, hates being outside in general, and doesn’t even blink at rodents.

    She’ll notice a discarded piece of pizza on the sidewalk (who doesn’t eat the entire pizza?) but walks right past a rabbit without so much as a head turn.

    Kudos to your little hunter. Except that I kind of like chipmunks.

    Sounds like your dog needs a hobby. Although, a dog that is NOT hypervigilant sounds nice too. Not blinking at rodents would be better than having a grand mal seizure upon first sight of one.

    Yeah, why don’t people eat the entire anything!? Food waste really bugs me.

    Chipmunks are awfully cute, with their little stripes and stuff. The downside of having predatory pets. Once our cat killed a cardinal below the bird feeder. We were pissed, but what could be done?

  4. I would never have guessed that this is a fox. I have only seen one in a zoo, plus the conventional one that my cousin drew for the Aesop story of the crow and the cheese.

    I got my header back. It was easy.

    By now I am sure that JPEGs darken even if you don’t touch them. I have been going to Wiki a lot to get photos, and all of them had to be made lighter. I had noticed the same on photos of paintings and drawings in my computer.

    The fox is a rather doggy looking critter isn’t it? I thought the Aesop story had something to do with sour grapes. But I’m sure you’ll be happy to fill me in on the crow and the cheese.

    Yeah, your (old) header is nice, with the boat and fishermen. The typographic layout is also quite pleasing to my eye.

    I’m sure that the Joint Photographic Experts Group would like to hear more about how an image file could change spontaneously to cause the image to appear darker. Perhaps some kind of jpeg virus?

  5. Hahaha…chipmunks are cute but I so loved your up-to-the-minute breaking-news report on Oliver’s victory that I don’t even mind that a chipmunk bit the dust! Seriously, you’re like CNN news, except good and informative! LOL 😉

    PS: I LOVE YOU for using the word “fugue”, you’re awesome 🙂

    Uh, don’t you mean “fair and balanced”? Thanks for your kind comments as always Romi. Are you also a student of psychology (or music)? Or both?? Both I hope. 😀

  6. Oops. I meant to say “my dog” instead of “the dog” but thankfully you got what I was saying.

    Yes, another miscommunication averted! We often refer to Oliver as “The Dog”. My wife seems to call him “Dip” more often than anything. Short for Dipshit.

  7. I like to think Oliver was crying and crying because of post traumatic stress disorder. My dad, a veteran of World War II (whose plane got shot down and he was the only survivor), used to do that occasionally. Perhaps Oliver has PTSD or maybe he was having regrets. But more than likely, Oliver simply regretted not gobbling it down before being banished to the house.

    “Walking Iris” would be a great name for a book.

    Thanks Wendy 🙂 for your comment. I think I would have given him a little more time to “work” with his kill. Not sure what he would have done. Eating it seems the obvious choice, but Oliver is not so predictable. Even in peacetime.

    Wow on your dad’s harrowing war experience. Did he speak of the incident often?

    Yeah, but who would play Iris in the movie? Uma Thurman?

  8. A student of music? Sadly no, but I minored in psychology! 🙂 So dissociative state? Fugue? I was all over that s**t! 😉 Fellow students always cited Abnormal Psych as their favourite (and why not? It’s full of tantalizing topics), but for me if was all about the Social Psychology; how we all relate to each other, how we see and interpret each other based on everything from Societal influences to simple Evolution…it was like an educational drawn-out episode of Seinfeld (okay that’s a simplified way of putting it, but anyhoo 😉 …) …loved it

    Oh right, you’ve said you weren’t real musical. But I just keep picturing your monster hands on a Steinway … maybe I’m in a fugue state? Most of my knowledge of psychology comes from observing wild hamsters. Yes, they DO exist! 😀

    Kidding … No, really, my bff is a highly decorated therapist. On my annual visits with him and his family he hypnotizes me and reads the DSM-IV to me. As chance would have it, we are up to Dissociative Disorders. When we’re done, in 2015, he’ll count backwards, snap his fingers, and I’ll have instantaneous access to all the text and will be ready to join the front lines in the battle against all you nutbags out there!

    Sorry, I’m confabulating now. There is SOME truth in it. That’s all I can say for now.

    P.S. Please don’t tell Oliver about the wild hamsters.

  9. no matter where I leave a comment, everytime I try to close a “parenthese” it leaves an extra wink…maybe I’ve forgotten how to type…hahaha 😉

    😀 Yeah you’re pretty loose with all them smilies young lady! Guess what? The singular form of parentheses is parenthesis. You probably already knew that and were just being extra cute, right? It is amusing how HTML invades the writing sometimes though isn’t it? Even if you forget how to type completely I’m sure you’ll still be LOL! 😀

  10. Uma Thurman would be a good choice for Iris, or your favorite, Miranda July. Or perhaps Iris could be a dog owned by Miranda July (whose character would be named “Anna” or something like that).

    My dad didn’t really talk about it much, but war movies made him cry. It wasn’t until I was researching and writing his obituary that I discovered what a real life hero he had been. Now I’m really mad at myself for not having shown an interest in his experience and interviewing him on tape. Wish I could have a do-over.

    [She’s not my “favorite” but I would definitely consider having her babies!] [I guess that’s probably not as funny to women as I think it should be.] What’s with the brackets? [Whatever.]

    Sticking with your canine theme. Good idea. When Anna takes Iris for walks she meets all kinds of crazy LA types and discusses the profound sadness of their meaningless, shallow lives. About 83 minutes of that. At the end of the film she lets Iris run free and walks into an oncoming bus. [Like this guy]

    Second thought, let’s go with Uma. She’s ready. She’s just hitched up to #3 and will need a job soon. We could shoot in New Zealand. Maybe get those FOTC guys. Murray! We HAVE to get him.

    When can you get the script done by?

  11. I can’t get it done. I can’t get anything done, per se, but I’ll [add] it to my life.
    I got sucked into that Terminus video again.

    OK, well that’s fine then. No worries. I’ll get Zell. Sorry about the Terminus video. At least it’s only 8:22 of your life. I’ve watched it like 20 times already. Sometimes I do that little dance the cement robot does. I just love that madcap stuff.

    You’ll notice that I added the word “add” in brackets to your comment. If that’s not what you meant please send me $20 and I’ll fix it how you want it. If it is right, please send me $20 for “editing services”. 🙂

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