Is There Really Life After Childbirth?

Posts Tagged ‘wildlife

First, I must apologize to our neighbors.  I’m sure most of them remember how I spent the second week of our arrival to the neighborhood calling to apologize for our first week.  It just keeps getting better.

This noise was even worse than the giant gerbil escapade…this time somebody was screaming.  Once Bob & I determined that it wasn’t either one of us, I ventured a peak out the door to the deck.  All I could see were legs and tails.  It was a huge ball of dog, dog, and still unidentified critter.  There was a pause in the commotion and I finally recognized raccoon parts.  Next to two big dogs, it appeared to be quite small and I inadvertently yelled, “They’re killing a baby raccoon.”  So, I take full responsibility for the fracas that followed (well almost full responsibility).

Crazy Bob (yes, he gets his nickname back) and I ran out on the deck.  I was hoping to distract the two big dogs by yelling “Treat, treat!”, a ploy that usually works, but doesn’t provide much of a distraction to this frenzied crowd.  It DID however, get Wolfey’s attention.  He is a Pomeranian, complete with short dog syndrome, that causes him to hurl himself at cars and at dogs much larger than he is, in an attempt to impress girl dogs and allpeople.   Now we have 3 dogs and a raccoon.  I did manage to get Wolfey back and to throw him back in the house.

By now the dog-dog-raccoon ball has rolled down the stairs and back behind the table and chairs into a corner.  At this point, Crazy Bob decides to intervene.  He climbs over the chairs into the middle and starts reaching for the raccoon!  I’m yelling “DO NOT PICK UP THAT RACCOON, HE WILL BITE YOU!”  Have I mentioned that Bob is naked?  I thought not.  I asked him later if he realized that he had rushed outside with nary a stitch of clothing and he admitted that he had not realized that fact until I pointed it out to him.  About this time, the raccoon rolls free of the dogs and would have escaped, if he hadn’t run into Bob’s leg.  So, he bites it.   The dogs catch up with the raccoon.  Bob hobbles indoors for…I’m not sure why he went inside, but when I followed him a few minutes later, he was sitting at the computer looking up information on rabies.

By now, the screaming is much louder…I’m pretty sure I may have been a part of it.  There is nothing that sounds so awful as a creature fighting for his life.  I make one last charge at the dogs hoping they will pause for just a second, but instead they take off into the night with their new prize.  

I admit defeat and head into the house to check on Bob.  Now I find him wearing shorts and boots and holding a flashlight and a shovel.   This is just getting weirder.  He says, “Raccoons carry rabies.”  I say, “Yes, Bob, that’s why I told you not to get bitten.”  He says, “I have to get the raccoon away from the dogs.”  And out into the wilderness he charges.

The next few minutes are filled with crashing, thrashing, and an occasional curse word.  Pretty soon Magic, the smartest dog in the bunch, returns for her treat.   I decide that I just can’t take it anymore and go inside for first aid supplies.  About that time, Bob returns from wrestling the raccoon away from Cody.  The raccoon has not survived the night’s activities.  Cody is royally ticked off that Bob stole his rightfully won prize.  Magic wants her treat and Wolfey is miffed that, once again, we won’t let him play with the big dogs.

Ah, but the night is young.  We now begin an hour’s worth of phone calls trying to find out what to do with a dead raccoon and a wounded husband.   Hospital emergency rooms refuse to give medical advice over the phone.  I didn’t want medical advice.  I wanted to know what to do with a dead raccoon.  They didn’t know (or care too much).  I finally called the emergency vet who advised us to keep the raccoon cool (not frozen) and hand him off to our vet in the morning.   The lady was very helpful and also told us to get in touch with our county animal control office.

Well, we live in Pawnee County.  We don’t even get a Pawnee County phone book.  (We only recently got DSL).  So it is morning before we can talk to anyone at the Pawnee County Health Department (there is no animal control office).  She informs us (now this is priceless), that the guy who has been calling to inspect our bakery shop is the guy we need to contact about the dead raccoon.  Is that handy or what?  We need our shop inspected.  We have a dead raccoon in the refrigerator AND the same guy handles both!  Things are looking up.

OK.  Bob delivers the ‘cool’ raccoon to our vet who shipped it off for rabies testing.  We’ll know in a week if the raccoon (or Bob) has rabies.  Cody and Magic have no visible wounds and are up to date on all shots.   Wolfey has convinced himself that he could have taken the raccoon and BOTH dogs if I hadn’t intervened.  All’s well that ends well.

Did I mention that it wasn’t a baby raccoon after all?


Here are some pictures of the beautiful home Bob built for our two outside dogs, Cody and Magic (see previous stories!) As you can see, he did a fantastic job and we even stained it, so that they could proudly cower together during storms, burglaries, and random attacks by wild predators.

The second row, however, is how the doghouse looks AFTER a giant mutant gerbil tried to use it as his hiding place.

It sounded like what I imagine the Normandy Invasion sounded like, so we hurried out to investigate. Obviously, the dogs had lost a precious playmate under the house, so Bob tipped the house up and the little rascal took off. The playmate (Bob’s description is ‘….a rat with a tufted tail…it looked exactly like a giant gerbil!’) escaped this time, but apparently did not learn from his mistakes. Either that or we serve the best dog food in the county!
A couple of nights later, the invasion began again. This time Bob tilted the house in a different direction and the critter made a bee-line straight into Magic’s waiting jaws.

I’m thinking the next house will have to be made of bricks.

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your husband decides to bring Percy (see first blog) inside for an evening snack…like dog food isn’t good enough for him anymore! As you can see, Percy has grown A LOT in the past year and a half. Luckily we did not purchase any of the tainted dog food for him. What could be worse than killing a possum with poisoned dog food?
He’s been keeping to himself mostly, but the dogs seem to be able to figure out he is snuggled in under the deck every night. The neighbors love us! Nothing like a Pack of Panicked Pomeranians to help tuck you in at bedtime. The minute you stand up to open the door to go outside, they begin their excited greetings to let Percy know they are coming. Sure enough, they head straight for the corner under the grill and try furiously to wedge their little heads between the cracks for one last good night kiss. Percy for the most part ignores them. However, the other night he missed the turn at the bottom of the steps and found himself “dead” at the end of the stairs with a Wolfey snout sniffing furiously over his little possum coat. That’s when Krazy Bob intervened and picked Percy up for a trip in the house. Notice how this did not interfere with the “tongue hanging out dead” posture he has been honing this past year. Unfortunately, when you are dead you cannot swallow, so…you drool. I convinced Bob that Percy did not want to smoke a cigar, but I’m having trouble with the “wearing overalls” thing. So far, “I don’t have a pattern for possum overalls” is working, but I’m pretty sure that even Krazy Bob will figure out that dog patterns could probably be altered to fit a possum.

Honey, I swear this is exactly how it happened.
I was out meandering on my cliff the other evening when I came face to face with this human guy! We both thought “Wow! It’s a fox!” at exactly the same time. Of course, we were both referring to me! Anyway, we shared this truly cosmic moment of spiritual proportions where we were able to delve deeply into each others souls. Eventually he got up and left. I continued on my merry way and thought nothing of it. Later I returned to meander once more (it is my favorite meandering spot, you know) and smelled this wonderful aroma. It was sort of fishy, but with a down home flavor I couldn’t quite put my paw on. I edged closer and discovered this quaint little restaurant sitting there with a gorgeous view of the lake. Inside was a can of…I…can’t…quite…make…it…out…let… me…just…scoot…a…little…closer…Why…it’s…TUNA! It was a can of freshly flaked, water packed, yumilicious Chicken of the Seatuna! Just sitting there! I didn’t see anyone else around, so I ease in for another sniff. Once I’m in, next to the succulent feast, the restaurant door slams shut. I’m not panicking though, because this stuff is GOOD! I was planning to run back and get you, honey, so we could share a romantic dinner by the shore, but somehow I just lost all track of time (and tuna) and suddenly noticed it was all gone! So, I decide I best be getting home so as not to worry my little Foxey-Woxey when I realize that I can’t get the restaurant door open. Hmmmmmm! This could be serious. About this same time, I notice the human returning and I start to get worried. Was that his tuna? Is he going to be upset? Am I going to have to pay? Will he believe I left my wallet at home? He didn’t seem too angry. In fact, he was down-right friendly. He picked up the restaurant and set it in the back of this car. Well, I thought that was pretty neighborly of him to offer me a ride, so I let loose with a bit of that fox urine that is sooo popular on the internet. Now I know he will never forget me.
Anyway we go to this jungle area with all these critters. There were 3 cats and 3 really ugly foxes that he kept calling “dogs”. There were varying sorts of reactions to me, but the humans were the most impressed. They kept oohhing and aahhing over me (how could they not)! Eventually I was rewarded with more tuna and other tidbits I couldn’t identify. One smelled suspiciously of cooked meat. Cooked? What is wrong with these humans?!?! After a bit, I reminded him that you might be getting concerned and of course I needed to get back to help with the kits and clean the den; so he returned me (and the restaurant) to my meandering spot. He was able to open the door and I just sauntered out (I know how much you love it when I saunter). We shared another cosmic moment and then I rushed home to share this wonderful exciting adventure with you.
I can’t believe that you think I would make something like this up!! But just in case, I asked the guy to put some pictures out on the web for proof. What do you mean “photo-shopped”? I swear I have no idea what you’re talking about!

One of the downsides of living in the woods with floor to ceiling windows (yes, it’s hard to believe there is a downside to that!!) is witnessing the harshness of Mother Nature. Every so often some over-excited bird crashes into one of the windows and breaks its poor little neck. This is usually followed by a solemn funeral service (IF we are able to recover the body from the delighted cat. She is absolutely amazed that dinner does drop out of the sky on occasion). There have been a couple of miraculous recoveries in the past, but this one was one for the blog!
Bob and I both heard the loud ker-thunk and knew exactly what had happened. I rushed to the window, but couldn’t see where the thunk-er had landed. Bob headed for the deck where he announced that sure enough, the cat (Snickers Peanut Buttercup) had retrieved the bird and was heading up the stairs for lunch. Bob called her over and held out his hand. Surprisingly, Snickers dropped the “catch of the day” into his outstretched palm. Maybe she thought he was going to prepare her a really special treat! However, the bird wasn’t dead! Bob took him into the front yard, away from the “restaurant” area, where the bird was finally able to stand. And stand it did! On Bob’s finger, on my finger, we were able to transfer “Robbie” from his hand to mine and even got him to pose for pictures for quite some time. Eventually Snickers figured out that cardinal “under glass” was taking way too long, so she saunters around to the front yard to see what we’re doing with her lunch! Robbie decided not to take any chances, so he flies to a nearby bush, much to Snicker’s dismay! Here they are saying their fond farewells!

Here Bob and his new pet, Percy, welcome another day at the critter camp. Percy loves peanut butter, cantaloupe, and dog food (not necessarily at the same time)! It seems all of our animal friends have extremely strange appetites. Percy is free-range and used to play “possum” when Cochise (aka Goat Cheese) the 50 pound weenie dog walked by the dog food bowl. However, once it was determined that the Goat didn’t seem to recognise him as a threat to the nightly meal, Percy no longer feels the need to nap. He doesn’t come when called yet, but I think that’s because he stays pretty busy on the home front looking for those peanut butter sandwiches. He has a sister, Lilith, but she is not nearly so friendly (or cute).

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