It's like a freakin' wildlife sanctuary around here.
The other morning we woke up to find that the pink storage tub on our deck, the one that contains Maggie's food, was opened and alarmingly large footprints were leading away from the outside water dish. This morning, at about 2am, I was jolted awake by the sound of something hitting the ground on our deck. After going down to investigate, Hubbie returned a little gobsmaked - he had captured (not literally) a 40lb racoon digging into the tub and, when challenged (by the rattling of the door handle), it had disappeared beneath our deck.
Now, just as a quick reality check, our largest dog is a 35lb Cocker Spaniel. Needless to say it's a little alarming to realize that your greatest line of defense (outside of your snoring husband) is outweighed by the predator and your 25lb puppy could very well present it's tasty supper.
Neither was my alarm helped much by the fact that, just before he slipped back into dreamland, Hubbie worried allowed that the racoon could get in through our doggie door. Of course, despite this thought passing through his head on the way up the stairs, he didn't think to close off said doggie door. So, until 3am this morning I lay there waiting to hear the "flap-flap" of the doggie door as the racoon came in to watch tv on the leather couch while lying in wait for a tasty puppy to present itself. I guess I could have gone downstairs myself to close it off but part of me was a little concerned about what might greet me. (Yes, your imagination can run into overdrive at 2am).
And yes, I know, it's unlikely that the racoon would actually eat either of my dogs but I've heard those things can get pretty ferocious when cornered. For instance, my mother in law woke up one morning to see her full-grown German Shepherd trying to shake one that had mounted him and was hanging on to his back with it's claws.
Now, this evening, we were talking over the fence to our neighbors who decided to warn us about the pair of coyotes that hang out just over the fence at the bototm of our yard. Don't let your dogs out at night alone, they told us.
Ok folks, I'll cop to having moved 8 miles east, 8 miles further out from the city and onto the very edges of suburbia, but you would have thought we had landed in the foothills! I guess there's a cloud to every silver lining and the flip-side to enjoying the beautiful greenbelt and creek at the bottom of our yard, is that it not only produces cute, scampering squirrels and quirky gangs of turkies, but also their predators.
So, the best I can hope for is that the coyotes chase down the racoons. Hopefully, the racoons aren't actually living underneath the deck (which is unlikely but possible because I'm pretty sure even my hopeless pups would smell that) in which case the coyotes will be baying for their blood at the bottom of our deck while we recoil beyond the patio doors, our dogs hiding behind our pajama pants.
Pray for us.