Raccoon Dangers

by Lynn

Other than the rabies part of raccoon, who knew that their droppings could be harmful to your pets and you!?!?!

My dog, Shaobing, barks at almost everything that walks past our house.  Usually, we close our garage door once it gets dark.  Since I wasn’t paying attention, I left it open.  Big mistake.  Shaobing started barking, and I let it go on for about 3 minutes.  She’ll also bark if she needs to go outside, but she’ll normally come upstairs to find you.  After about another 5 minutes of continual barking, I went downstairs to investigate.  Shaobing was at the door leading to the garage.

::Heart beat rises:: As I approach the door, I ask  if anyone is there.  No answer.  I slowly open the door.  Shaobing continues to bark at the dark space before us.  I quickly hit the close button on the garage controls and slam the door shut.  — RumbleRumble — I’m confused because I thought I heard the rumble, yet it could have just been the garage closing.  I stay in the kitchen with Shaobing for a few minutes and the barking begins again.

This time I heard crashing sounds in the garage…I open the door and the light from the garage closing is still on.  I see a LARGE (at least 20 pounds – so big it didn’t really have anywhere to hide its entire body) raccoon dash from the front of the garage entrance (I assume s/he was hitting the door to escape) to the further corner of the garage.  I jumped a little and slamed the door shut again.  I paused to see if there was any other movement on the other side.

I quietly opened the door to open the garage door.  Shaobing stares at me this entire time like I’m the crazy one.  I stand there for about 4 minutes hoping that the raccoon had left.  I peek; no signs of the raccoon.  Like an idiot I ask aloud “have you left yet?”  — No response. — This time I scan the garage.  I see a few items knocked over, and that the raccoon had gotten into Shaobing’s extra storage of dry foods!  I closed the garage for the last time.  Positive sign: Shaobing stopped barking.

Instead of automatically going to clean up the raccoon’s mess, I researched the hazards of having a raccoon.  Nothing glaring resulted from “raccoons + disease + touch”.  I just need to do a better job of deterring a return*.  They do indeed enjoy pet food, so I’ll probably throw out the rest of that batch and store the rest inside the house OR I remember to close the garage door.

The internet has also done a thorough job of making me paranoid about raccoons in the attic and/or under the patio.  Besides contacting the local wildlife/animal control, there are alternatives.  I’ll have to notify the parents about the event upon their return.  I’m glad Shaobing is here to save me from these raccoons.  This reminded me of the time I had to save my former dog, Rex, from a skunk on an early morning walk.

On my 30th post, WordPress encouragement: Be obscure clearly. E.B. White 

*A while ago I had noticed that Shaobing’s dry food container outside had been overturned.  Food spilled on the floor and a Kit-Kat candy bar wrapper was next to it.  I thought it was the strangest thing, but I didn’t mention anything to the parents because I thought it was just one of the neighborhoods fat cats or a rat or something.  I really really hope that the raccoon doesn’t remember the garage a main source of food.  Otherwise my parents are going to kick me!