No matter how big or vicious your dogs might be, in an encounter with a raccoon, the raccoon is always going to win.
I learned this lesson just recently. Early one evening I heard my kids sending out huge alarm barks. I went zooming outside to see what the problem was and was stopped dead in my tracks. There he was, sitting atop a six-foot wooden fence—the biggest raccoon I’d ever seen. Did he get startled? Did he run away? Nope. It was almost like he was sitting there sending out raccoon signals that said “You want me? Come get me!” I got the kids in the house and shut the door. Ira and I went out for a few hours, and assumed that after so long surely the critter must be gone. Wrong again. I opened the door, the kids ran out, and in less than thirty seconds I heard it. That sound all dog owners know that tells us somebody is after somebody, but we have no idea who might win. Let me tell you flat out--it’s the raccoon. Again I had to grab Nessa and Dazzy and pull them inside. Nessa had a few small punctures that were defense wounds from the culprit’s claw. A half hour later that sucker was still roaming around in our yard. We called animal control. They arrived within an hour, and that raccoon wandered our yard the entire time acting like he didn’t have a care in the world. Right up until the time he heard the beeping of the animal control truck backing up. I’ve spoken to other people who have faced this problem, and all stories are the same. Barking, tossing things, water; it doesn’t matter. Nothing will deter a raccoon—except, of course, beeping trucks.
I have learned that size and bravery do not go hand in hand.
Mitzi is a shepherd mix who is an honorary member of our family. She comes to play with Nessa and Dazzy a few days a week. One month every winter, she stays here while her parents go to Germany. When she is here, I think she thinks she is at camp. She jumps up to lie on the sofa. She sleeps on my bed. She runs in and out through the dog door. Out of all three dogs, Mitzi outweighs my biggest, Nessa, by at least thirty pounds. Mitzi also happens to have what is, at least in comparison to my dogs, an unusual fear of wind. Not being out in it...just hearing it while inside the house. We have had a blustery winter while she was visiting here. I have spent many a night with a 75-pound vibrating dog on my lap. Mitzi and I go into the living room, I put the television on low, and I try to find something to watch to aid my staying awake with her. It wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t sit on my lap. Ever try to watch TV around a dog that size? It isn’t easy. We are just ending a 48 hour stretch of major wind storms. We are both sitting comfortably on the sofa. We are both taking Xanax.
These are just a few of the lessons I have learned from my pets. Other lessons I learned completely on my own, mostly because of my one endearing trait. I'm clueless. A trait that has been with me since my earliest memories. When I was about five years old I remember sitting on the sofa in the living room, looking at the potted plant in the corner. I asked my mother when we got that plant because I had no memory of ever seeing it before. My mother just looked at me and said " before you were born ". When a person looks at the world around them through this prism the lesson is easy. Always expect the unexpected, and always be willing to admit there is a good possibility I was wrong to begin with. Going into any situation with this understanding saves a lot of wear and tear on the memory.
Introduction to Me