In my hometown, November and December are raccoon season. No, we don't hunt them. They hunt us. They're looking for a warm place to spend the winter. An attic will do. There are several reasons why you don't want a pack of raccoons living in the penthouse. I know this by interrogating the raccoon-ed. They're noisy. They can be dangerous. They can eat through wiring, meaning no cable TV, no Internet. And they carry fleas. So you have to be on guard. That's where a dog comes in handy. Man's best friend is a raccoon's worst enemy.
(This sneaky guy can be seen above right edge of air conditioner.)
It seems to me that even a faint odor of a dog will keep a raccoon away. One has never penetrated this forward operating base. But last week, one made an attempt next door. Out in the backyard, I heard the noise of guttering––like maybe a bird pecking through leaves to find a morsel. A bird, this wasn't. There was a good size raccoon crawling up the side of my neighbor's house. Now, I've seen several types of insertions while walking Jet. One day I spotted a raccoon deftly move down a tree branch until close enough to leap onto the roof and then crawl through a crevice into the attic. I emailed dog-owning friends to ask the proper raccoon etiquette. Do you knock on the door of a house whose family you do not know? I was advised that after 5 minutes they would know an animal was now living upstairs. I've also seen the animals use screened back porches to climb and reach the roof.
On this day, the gutters were acting like ladders. I yelled at the gritter, who showed me his masked burglar's face. He descended a bit and cornered himself by the air conditioner. That's when Jet sprung into action. I went inside and put him on a leash. We both came sprinting out the front door and between the two homes. Jet saw him and uncorked a loud baritone bark-growl. Game over. That raccoon jumped to the ground and ran––real fast.
Later, I showed my neighbor a photo of her would-be house guest. I told her I don't think we'll have to worry about a home invasion this winter. So far, we have not. Good boy, Jet.