Quiet weekend at home, which isn't a bad thing really. And around noon on Saturday Angie says "there's a Raccoon!" as she looked out the kitchen window.
"Sweet! The nature channel is on!" I thought to myself as I quickly grabbed my camera and shoes.
For the most part, I sat on the back deck for the next hour and watched this guy "monkey around" in the trees. The neighbour 2 doors over has a couple dogs who can be a little rambunctious and the Raccoon watched the crazy dog show from the safety up in the trees. He could see over the fence and look down to the dogs.
Mid-day, sun is shining, perhaps time for a nap?
But those dogs won't stop barking. "For the love of god, shut up!"
If I did not know better, I'd say he was radioing his friends, giving a "dog report".
"Yes, yes! That's it you damn dogs, kill each other, and the food will be mine!" Those dogs weren't calming down and do get pretty rough with each other. The noises aren't a joy to hear even from within our kitchen (windows closed).
Might as well have a wash up here.
Okay, enough with the commentary on the photos.
It was an enjoyable moment on Saturday, just watching this guy do his thing and after some monitoring on his health, I really kicked back and took it all in. Monitoring? Yes, making my own observations on him because he is outside during daylight hours. So many concerns of canine distemper with these animals and in his best interest I looked hard at him.
One sign is the animal being out in the open during the day... but this is NOT the case for every wandering Raccoon, or even Skunk or Opossum.
Another sign is showing no fear of humans. Many of these animals living in the 'burbs are so used to humans that this is not always the case. Have one or two people regularly offering them food and suddenly the animal is less fearful of humans. This guy was okay with where I sat but as soon as I stood up, he backed up some, his focus now on me 100%. To me, a good sign he's okay. He is alert.
Other signs list confusion and wandering aimlessly, almost as if they are blind. This guy knew what he was doing, where he was going, he worked his way through the trees like a boss (even on the flimsiest branches) and after the time in the tree, he came to the ground and scavenged for peanuts or anything else in the area.
I read on one page when researching canine distemper that the animal may become aggressive when cornered. Geez, if that were absolute truth, then every wild animal would be diagnosed with distemper. Sick or in good health, no wild animal will be okay with being cornered by a human even those you might consider tame as you hand feed them.
Another *diseased* word I am seeing too much these days is "rabies". Some individuals are throwing such a serious illness around rather lightly. I'm not turning a blind eye to the possibility but if you walk around carrying such fear within you, you really will miss out on some great wildlife moments.
What pisses me off even more is people will use it rather quickly on a Raccoon, not the most admired wild animal to some, but not utter it with other mammals that could just as well carry such a terrible illness. I call it "ammo for the haters". It makes me sad how closed minded some people can be, and feel quite justified with using this word so willy nilly. It reminds me of the SARS outbreak, or the Swine Flu, anyone coughing or sneezing surely had it.
So ya, all be well with this Raccoon, now let's enjoy some more photos.
Watching the dogs.
Just hanging around, taking in the glorious sunshine.
Working his way to the ground.
You still sitting there?
Oh boy, peanuts!
No you cannot have any.
Nom nom nom, so good.
Will those dogs ever let up?
Contrary to what some may think, not all of us are carriers of rabies or distemper. Please remember that.
I shared this photo, had a little game of "Caption This" and some friends took part. I think Lara's "Walking Dead" bit was my fave but I enjoyed them all and appreciate those who played along. I envisioned the Raccoon holding a bottle or a smoke, and one of my buds, Mike, helped me out since I'm photo-shop challenged. I'm still laughing. If you see a caption for this, please add it to the comments below.
Cheers from the Raccoon and I!