August 16, 2007

Are You My Mama

Are you my Mama?

I know that's what the little fellow was thinking, but we tried to let him down as easily as possible.

The other night, Mike took Precious, our longhaired daschund out for her final walk of the evening, and just as they walked back up the driveway, here comes this little thing, lickety-split across the lawn, and up the driveway. He was making this funny little raccoon sound, and ran right up Mike's leg! He didn't stop until he was on his shoulder, and snuggling under his chin. Precious didn't like it one bit, or at least she was trying to figure out whether she did or not, because one minute she was bouncing around, all happy, and the next she was growling, as if to say, "Get outta here, kid"

I came out to see what all the ruckus was about, and he spotted me, and ran over and put his little paws around my leg, looking up at me, just like a small child. When we would try to walk away, he would scurry right behind, and follow in our footsteps, just like a puppy.

We tried for two or three hours to take it away from our yard, but as soon as we started back to the house, he was right on our heels.

We had no idea what to do. He was adorable enough for us to want to keep him as a pet, but we knew that was probably not going to be a good idea. They are carriers of several diseases, and although they are cute as can be as babies, as they get older, and bigger, they become very aggressive, and can be rather vicious.

That night, we fixed a cardboard box for him to sleep in, and we soaked a piece of paper towel in milk for it to suck on. It was the cutest thing doing that, too! He would lie flat on his stomach, holding on to the towel with both paws, and suck, suck away, making little guzzling noises.

We put the box out in the garage, and he was fine until he heard someone walk by, and then you never heard such carrying on! Finally, we put it at the very far end of the garage, close to the back door, so he couldn't hear us...and we couldn't hear him!

The next morning, it was the same thing all over again...right on our heels, every step we took, standing with his paws around our legs, and climbing all over us. We bought a little teddy bear about two or three inches tall, and put it into the box with him. He would tumble the bear around until he got tired, and then snuggled next to it to nap!
The picture above is one that we took of him sitting on a tree branch that we put him on. He looked fat and healthy!

Here, he is in his box with his little teddy bear! Honestly, he was just like a little baby, and at this stage, it is hard to believe that they can become vicious, not to mention destructive, and real pests!

We called our vet, who informed us that by law, they could not treat it, nor even give it rabies shots. They suggested calling several other agencies, and all we could find out is that a person is not allowed to keep them as pets, and they are not allowed to dispose of them, nor to put them back into the wild. They told us this, after we suggested that we could take it to the natural reserve, and turn it loose there, after we found out that Animal Control would do nothing, because they could not dispose of them.

Makes a lot of sense, huh? So here's the gist of it: You can be fined if you keep it and care for it as a pet, and you are in violation of another law, and can be fined accordingly if you take it back to a more natural habitat and turn it loose. And of course, you can't euthanize it, or you could go to jail. No wonder people are confused about right and wrong when it comes to keeping the law.

We were in a quandry. We couldn't let the little thing starve to death, so while we were trying to decide what to do with it, we kept feeding it with the milk-soaked towel, until we were sure it could eat, and then, we put it in the van, and drove to a park in the reserve. Mike took it out, and set it down. It started scurrying around, playing, and then Mike ran as fast as he could, and jumped into the van, and took off.
And yeah...we felt really guilty, but what else could we do? By the time we set him free, he was able to eat on his own, and maybe, just maybe, he took up with some more nice people he found there. Someone who didn't give a flip about keeping the law anyway.


Livey said...

Awww, I hate being in that situation, and it happens alot around here! You are a good mama!

sue said...

Wow! Do you think it had already been cared for at some time since it came to you both so willingly?

I would have been torn, too... I love critters.

Jan said...

Sue..I'm pretty sure it hadn't been. I think it's mama was hiding out under some stuff at the neighbor's next door.

They told us about her, but they hadn't seen any babies.

We took the baby to where she was supposed to be, but it still ran back with us.

We even tried puttig the baby on the patio at night, in hopes that the mama would retrieve it, but as far as we could tell, she never came around.

We were wondering if, perhaps, they shun the babies once they have been handled by humans.

I don't think that it had been weaned when it found its way to us.

pepektheassassin said...

I liked this post alot. We might as well all assume the best outcome -- that the story ends "and he lived happily ever after!"

Jan said...

LOL...well, of course we will,and just hope that I don't hear anymore strange raccoon noises outside my door, some night!