“Grace! Rocky!” I shouted, as I ran around the back of the car. Then, I stopped dead in my tracks. BOTH dogs hovered over Ricky Raccoon, who was in a heap on my front lawn.
That’s when I REALLY went ballistic and yelled for the dogs to get in the house.
For once, the Red Dog was (somewhat) obedient and hurried over to the front door. I quickly let him in the house.
The dog I thought was smart stood over Ricky Raccoon, curious…trying to figure him out. After a minute, she headed to the front door and relief washed over me.
When the dogs charged Ricky Raccoon, my first thought was that Ricky would attack them. And with $1200 total spent on vet bills this past month, another trip to the vet was out of the question.
Once the dogs and I were inside, I tried to collect myself. To calm my nerves.
Obviously, Ricky was not feeling well. Generally, raccoons don’t loll around on the ground, with dogs nearby. Periodically, Ricky’s head moved. Or his body shifted. But it was barely noticeable. He mostly looked like a large stuffed animal tossed in a heap on the front lawn.
I called the Sheriff’s Office, because I have never had a half-dead, or dying raccoon lounging on my front lawn.
Me: I’m not sure what to do. There is barely moving raccoon in my front yard.
Dispatcher: Name? Address? We’ll send a Sheriff over to shoot and bag it. Then the health department will come pick it up in a day or so.
I’m not a fan of guns. Have never even held one in my hand. And the thought of an animal having its guts blown out in my front yard made me nauseous.
Ten minutes earlier, I rode along in my Trusty Honda, headed home to put groceries away and get dinner started. I sang (badly) along with the radio as I pulled into my driveway. All was right in my world…
It wasn’t long before the Sheriff showed up.
Me: He’s over there…
Sheriff: I see him.
We stood on my front steps looking at Ricky out in the yard. There was some idle chitchat while he took my name and address. My cell phone interrupted our conversation.
Darling Daughter: Mom, are you cooking dinner?
Me: Yes. Can I call you back? I’m talking to the Sheriff who is about to shoot the raccoon in our yard
Darling Daughter: What are you making?
Me: Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread. Listen, I need to call you back.
Darling Daughter: Yummm.
Daughter clearly wasn’t phased by the happenings at home…
The Sheriff at first managed to stifle his chuckles, but then lost the battle. He was openly laughing at me as I got off the phone.
Sheriff: Sorry. But that was a funny conversation to have.
Me: Yeah. These things happen to me. I don’t know why. My kids are used to it. That conversation wasn’t all that unusual around here…
The Sheriff needed a garbage bag. I really, REALLY wanted to give him a cheap white garbage bag—given I am down to my last two giant, heavy-duty, black bags. The cheap, thin bag seemed a bad idea. Ricky was rather chunky. What if the Sheriff lifted the flimsy, white bag and Ricky busted through, then tumbled onto my driveway?
The offending bagged raccoon would be left at the end of my driveway for “a day or two” in his plastic coffin, until the health department picked him up. I didn’t want the tail, or a foot to break through the bag. What if I could see the mess inside the cheap white bag when I got my mail, or pulled in and out of my driveway? Worse…what if Ricky eyeballed me with lifeless eyes through the thin white bag? I grudgingly handed over one of my last ‘good’ garbage bags. (And yes—those thoughts did run through my mind. I am being honest.)
Sheriff: Just go inside and don’t come out until you hear the gunshot.
Me: I’m going to HEAR it?
Sheriff: Yes. I need to use my shotgun. If I used my other gun, I’d have to shoot it between the eyes and the health department might not be able to look over the head.
Eeeeewwww. Way too much information!
He didn’t need to tell me twice. I hauled my a#& into the house, then cringed at the loud ‘boom’ noise.
When I pulled out of the driveway to get my son from wrestling practice a few minutes later, I couldn’t miss the black bag. At least I couldn’t see Ricky. Nor could he eye me up.
I wonder what today will bring?