Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Scene of the Crime (Recreation)

Doesn’t she look innocent? Last evening it was a different story. Baby Dog and I had to make a trip to the vet so she could be rechecked after completing treatment for a positive Lyme Disease result. When we got home, armed with dog and dog leash, I apparently didn’t fully latch the front screen door, which normally isn’t a big deal.

An hour or so after we got home, I’m watching TV and suddenly hear this huge ruckus out on the front deck—snarling and barking and lots of noise. I rush out there and am surprised to see Baby Dog outside and then I see the raccoon. It is on its back, claws at the ready, in a defensive posture. I grab Baby Dog by the scruff of the neck and pull her inside. The raccoon flees.

I was afraid Baby Dog had been bitten—it sure sounded like a fight, but I checked her all over and didn’t find a scratch. This morning she was fine on our morning run, and I checked her again and still didn’t find anything.

I think the raccoon was defending what it saw as its own private food source—the dish of cat food that I leave out for the feral cats that roam around at Roundtop. Last night, the cats hadn’t eaten all the food (only a few pieces were left). Raccoons in varying numbers and sizes are near-nightly visitors, cleaning up whatever the cats don’t eat during the day. They are also tough on my outside potted plants, as they sometimes dig them up looking for who knows what hidden in the potting soil. They’ve even been known to break into a bag of potting soil.

This particular raccoon wasn’t a large one, but it wasn’t a baby either. I think Baby Dog might have hit it with the front door when she went bombing outside, outraged by its presence. I had her tied to the front stairs at the time, as I’d just fed my own cats, and if I don’t tie the dogs when the cats are eating, well, that isn’t a pretty situation. So once outside she very quickly was literally at the end of her rope, which probably kept her from inflicting damage on the raccoon or being damaged herself.

This is the same dog who only an hour before was too shy to take a treat from the vet’s hand after her test for Lyme Disease. But a raccoon on the deck is a different story. Next time, I’m just going have to pay more attention to that door every time I go in or out.

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