Category Archives: Animals

I have attempted to write this post before but the words always fail me.  How do you properly honor the best person you ever met?

Chauncy, my amazing Havanese pup, passed away on April 15, 2022. I could tell you our history but I am going to save that for a special day soon. Today, I am going to attempt to share how special he was.

Chauncy was everything delightful!  He was the sunshine in my life.







He always made everything better.  Everyday was a good day as long as he was in it.







He was magic! He was beautiful and had the most amazing markings.







He was beautiful inside too. A friend remarked that he was like an angel. He was! He was love in the form of the cutest, most handsome dog I have ever seen.








He made the smallest, most mundane things seem enchanting like the way he would snooze next me while I crocheted with one of his back legs resting on the yarn cake.







He often would lay down with his back legs stretched out like a little furry frog boy!












Lounging was kind of his art form.












He would watch for me if I had to go out without him and would greet me like I was some kind of rockstar when I returned.







Chauncy was the most magnificent dog I could have ever hoped for. I am going to miss him for the rest of my life. I am so grateful that he shared most of his with me! I will love him forever!

In Loving Memory of

Chauncy Lenz

June 2007 • April 15, 2022

An Opossum Primer

The other day I overheard a conversation about ‘possums.   (FYI, I wasn’t eaves-dropping. I was three feet away.  I couldn’t help it!) When a woman remarked that ‘possums are scary, I wanted to run over and exclaim, “they are not!  They are really misunderstood!”  I didn’t, of course, because it wouldn’t have been appropriate.

So, I figured the next best thing would be to write a blog post, just in case any of my dear readers may be laboring under the same misunderstanding about our friend, the opossum.  By the way, opossum is the proper spelling.

I can understand why people may make assumptions about opossums based on their appearance.  They look rather intimidating with their long thick, rat-like, bald tails and a mouth full of impressively sharp, pointy teeth.  However, oppossums rarely attack attack humans or other animals.  When threatened, they are far more like likely to go into a catatonic state, looking like they are dead or sick…thus the expression: “playing ‘possum.”  In fact, they can even secrete a foul-smelling liquid making them smell as if they have passed on.

Now that we know opossums aren’t scary, let’s address another common misconception: ‘possums probably have rabies.  Unlike raccoons, cats, foxes, coyotes and dogs, opossums are unlikely to get rabies because their body temperature is too low.  So, if you see one even during the day, don’t freak out.  It may be a hungry mother with up to 20 babies in her pouch.

That’s right-pouch.  Opossums are North America’s only native marsupial or pouched mammal.  How cool is that?  You don’t have to go Australia to see a marsupial.  Just watch your garbage cans at night.  Here are some other neat facts about opossums:

  • The opossum has opposable thumbs and weak nails, much like primates.
  • They use that rat-like prehensile tail for climbing and gripping things. They can even carry things with their tails, making it similar to a fifth hand.
  • They have a built-in venom antidote.  They can eat rattlesnakes without getting poisoned.  Personally, I am down with any creature who eats snakes.  (I know I am a vegetarian but snakes freak me out!)
  • Opossums actually eat a lot of insects and pests that you don’t want in your garden like slugs and snails.  So, you should be happy if you spot one in your yard.  If you have any blackened fruit, leave it out for their dessert.

I hope opossums will seem a little cuter, or at least, cooler to you now.  And if you see one that is injured, please contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center to see if they can retrieve the animal or advise you on proper way to capture the opposum and bring it to them.

* Photo by Norman Curtis