Lauren Lynde and her husband brought their 2-year-old golden retriever, Wally, for a swim on the first hot day of the summer. The family rowed their canoe to one of the islands in Hickory Hills Lake in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, completely unaware that they were about to have an unexpected meeting.
Wally enjoys swimming and it’s nearly hard to pull him out once he’s in. “We usually give him sticks or his ball to pursue,” Lynde told The Dodo, “but he’ll also simply swim around in circles by himself, which is pretty entertaining.” “And he’s wearing a shark life vest,” says the narrator.
Wally was paddling around in the lake when Lynde spotted something bobbing in the water nearby. At first, Lynde thought it was an otter or a large stick — then the mysterious object hopped on Wally’s back.
That’s when she realized the “stick” was actually a woodchuck.
Credit: LAUREN LYNDE“My spouse and I couldn’t believe it,” Lynde explained. “Wally merely glanced at the woodchuck, started swimming back to shore, and the woodchuck got on his b ack as we watched.” Wally was completely unconcerned. He simply glanced over his shoulder a number of times before continuing to swim.”
Lynde couldn’t figure out why the woodchuck was swimming – maybe he was just trying to cool off like the rest of us.
Fortunately, the only thing Wally enjoys more than swimming is meeting new people. “He adores any animal he comes across, “Lynde remarked. “He adores small children and will give them a kiss on the cheek when he sees them. He’s the kindest dog you’ve ever met and gets along with just about everyone.”
Here’s where you can see Wally and the woodchuck go swimming:
The woodchuck looked happy for the ride and made a point of thanking Wally when they arrived at their destination.
“A little before they came to shore, he stepped off Wally’s back, and they stared at each other and rubbed their snouts together, kind of like a farewell,” Lynde added. “The woodchuck dashed up to the shore, they exchanged one final glance, and he fled away, leaving Wally to resume his swimming.”
“I honestly couldn’t believe it,” she added. “I was dumbfounded.”
Woodchucks are often shy, but something about Wally made the wild animal feel at ease.
“I think Wally simply emits goodness,” Lynde explained, “and maybe everyone can sense that, even the animals.”