The family rowed their canoe to one of the islands in Hickory Hills Lake near Lunenburg, Massachusetts, entirely ignorant that they would meet unexpectedly.
Wally adores swimming and it’s difficult to get him out once he’s in. “We normally give him sticks or his ball to chase,” Lynde said, “but he’ll also swim around in circles by himself, which is very amusing.” “He’s also wearing a shark life vest,” the narrator adds.
Lynde noticed something bobbing in the water nearby as Wally was paddling around in the lake. Lynde believed it was an otter or a long stick at first, but then the unknown thing jumped on Wally’s back.
She discovered the “stick” was actually a woodchuck at that point.
“My husband and I couldn’t believe it,” Lynde said. “Wally simply stared at the woodchuck, began swimming back to shore, and the woodchuck climbed on his back as we watched.” Wally seems unconcerned. He only looked over his shoulder a few times before continuing to swim.”
Lynde couldn’t figure out why the woodchuck was swimming — perhaps he was just cooling down like the rest of us.
Fortunately, Wally likes meeting new people even more than swimming. “He enjoys whatever animal he encounters,” Lynde observed. “When he encounters tiny children, he will give them a kiss on the cheek.” He’s the sweetest dog you’ve ever met, and he gets along with almost everyone.”
“He walked off Wally’s back, and they gazed at one other and rubbed their snouts together, kind of like a farewell,” Lynde explained. “The woodchuck ran up to the shore, they shared one last look, and he bolted, leaving Wally to resume his swimming.”
“I couldn’t believe it,” she continued. “I was astounded.”
Woodchucks are often timid, but something about Wally put the wild animal at ease.
“I think Wally simply emanates goodness,” Lynde observed, “and maybe everyone, including the animals, can sense it.”