The Life and Times of G. Coleman-Jared-G. Shalot-B. Chan-Horatio-Z. Braff-A. Banderas

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The Life and Times of G. Coleman-Jared-G. Shalot-B. Chan-Horatio-Z. Braff-A. Banderas

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    06-11-2010, 06:18 PM
The Life and Times of G. Coleman-Jared-G. Shalot-B. Chan-Horatio-Z. Braff-A. Banderas

So this isn't a journal about my horses (honestly, who really wants to read about me going out, riding, walking, and brushing my horses day after day?) Yeah, that's what I thought. But technically it IS a journal about the life of a horse lover....just this journal is about our raccoon. To the mods, if you have a problem with this not being a horse journal, you can delete it or move it or whatever.

ANYhoo...yes, I'll be writing about our most recent pet raccoon. We had one a few summers ago that our old dog (dead now) killed, but let's not talk about that =P Over the time we had him I've called him by so many names that I've just compiled them all together so his full name is Gary Coleman-Jared-Gene Shalot-Blackie Chan-Horatio-Zach Braff-Antonio Banderas-Compadre. Please don't ask me for the origin of all those names. Some I can't remember, some had no reason other than they sounded funny as I addressed him and some are, quite frankly, not appropriate to talk about here. In short, his name is just Coony.

Yes, most if not all posts will be accompanied by pictures, for those of you who don't actually care about the writing and only want to see cute baby raccoons. = )

#1-Coony and Casey, our Jack Russell. Casey will kill anything on four legs (possums, groundhogs, rats, mice, chipmunks-she HATES chipmunks-etc) but she learned really quickly that the coon is a pet. Just like she'll kill stray cats at the barn, but she doesn't touch our family cat even when it ventures out to the shop.
#2-Coony's playing on the rock in the front yard
#3-Trying to climb my leg
#4-Here he was eating, but it looks like he's smiling :)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Casey and Coony 001.jpg (80.9 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg Horses and Raccoons 002.jpg (56.8 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg Horses and Raccoons 007.jpg (69.1 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg Horses and Raccoons 030.jpg (39.1 KB, 39 views)
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    06-11-2010, 06:33 PM
Thursday June 11, 2009
I was feeling terrible on account of my allergies, which always flare up in the springtime, so I got dad to pick me up from school. As I walked through the door I saw mom sitting in her armchair holding something wrapped in a dishtowel. Yep, it was Coony! He was so much smaller than the other one we'd had-only about as long as my size 8 [women's] foot and as large as my two hands, and his eyes had the glassy just-opened look of a really young baby animal. My uncle had shot a raccoon (presumably the mother) a week or so ago and only today found the baby, which had fallen from his barn loft onto the cement floor-ouch! And please, don't complain "Oh, the poor mother raccoon!" She's a raccoon. They are pests. They are destructive (as you'll learn later on). Not to mention there are so many of them out there.

The baby still only ate milk-well, cream and water, and since he'd gone so long without food we only fed him a little. The one we kept several summers previously had been much bigger and more independent when we got it and it had taken a few days to tame her-this one already snuggled under your elbow and slept in his basket clinging on to his teddy bear (because the babies are used to sleeping nestled to their mommas and like to have something with them).

The cat was terrified of it and shut herself away all day, and Nina, our mentally challenged (lol) Border collie just sat and stared at him. Border collies tend to obsess over things, I've heard, and Nina obsesses over everything animal. I once watched her maul a mouse to death-not even trying to kill it-she was trying to play with it and was pawing and barking and tossing it, and she killed it by mauling it. Lol. She has learned to be more aggressive with stuff now and will actually kill stuff, but back then she was still a big goofy coward.

#1-Coony (a few days after we got him) playing with my iPod. Raccoons always have to be feeling stuff and handling it. It's so cute, especially 'cause their hands are so humanlike.
#2-Again, a while after we had him, he's eating.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Horses and Raccoons 013.jpg (39.0 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg Horses and Raccoons 034.jpg (41.5 KB, 38 views)
    06-11-2010, 07:44 PM
Friday June 12, 2009
The second day, I was apprehensive about owning him. I had been devastated when the first coon was killed, and I didn't want it to happen again. I can still remember the day she cousins were over swimming, and as we were on the back deck we look over and see a little brown pelt laying in the lawn...I said I was going to change, went up to the bathroom and bawled my eyes out. Mom tried to be nice about it, but when I'm upset and crying I don't want to be comforted or be with people, because I don't like to show people that I do cry. Anyways, I know it was mean, but I resented that dog until she died. Less over time, but I never liked her as much as I had before. Yes, it was totally foolish of me for being angry at a dog for following her natural instincts. That old dog (Tippy) had lived with us since I was 1, I had practically grown up with her, everybody in the community knew her; she always used to run over to my uncle's farm and ride with the guys in the potato trucks. She was a good old farm dog-obedient, never would even think of biting or growling at a person, but she hunted and killed pests like you wouldn't believe. She died in January, about 6 months after she killed the coon...she had a stroke in the night, so we got the vet to put her down. It was sad, but I don't think I cried...I think that raccoon was the last pet's death I ever cried over. It's just not worth it-there's just too many animals to have a broken heart over.

These are all pics of the first raccooon.
#1-I don't know why, but she HATED Nina. She would totally flip out every time Nina came near her, and Nina had never even done anything. In the picture the raccoon is attacking the dog, and the dog would never ever bite back, which was just weird.
#2-This picture was actually taken the day before she died. She'd never actually liked going in the pool before, but this time we tossed her in and she swam down to the other end and did some figure eights and all that before coming and climbing out the ladder. It was really hot that day though.
#3-No joke, the dog was NOT trying to kill the raccoon. We'd just brought Casey home from Alberta that summer and her and the raccoon would playfight all the time. It's kinda weird the coon would let Casey, who would beat on her mercilessly, touch her, but she wouldn't even stand to be in the same room with gentle Nina.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg coonnina.jpg (51.9 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg r001-023.jpg (69.8 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg r001-024.jpg (69.9 KB, 39 views)
    06-11-2010, 08:00 PM
Saturday June 13, 2009
You'd have to be one tough nut not to love a baby raccoon. It's impossible to ignore those little black eyes and those wee feeling, always feeling leathery hands and his adorable little chitter.

My dad's friend coincidentally had four baby coons in his barn, and he gave one to my sister. My sis brought hers over for us to "babysit" for a week or so while she and her friend went down East on vacation. Hers was bigger but thinner, while ours was like a round little bear. Hers had a typical raccoon-gray coat and a long, pointed face; ours had a brown coat and a small, wedge-shaped nose. They both were irresistable.

Monday June 15, 2009
Within days they showed their personalities. Our Coony was loud and bossy, while my sister's (she always called it Silly Bear *rolls eyes*) was quiet and calm. Coony squealed shrilly when he was hungry-which was always, and they followed you around like puppies and would ride on your shoulders. They'd move around on you as you walked; occasionally they'd fall and catch themselves on your shirt before scrabbling back up. They'd feel in your hair (mine had an obsession with my ponytail) and snuffle in your ears, then stick their wee fingers in your ears and try and feel what's in there.

#1-Me with the two on my shoulders. "Silly Bear" is the one right behind my head and Coony is the other.
#2-Coony hugging my leg, Silly Bear hugging Coony.
#3-Case playing with them on the boulder.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Coony and Coony.jpg (44.9 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg Leg Climbing.jpg (92.7 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg Horses and Raccoons 001.jpg (70.8 KB, 38 views)
    06-11-2010, 08:26 PM
Saturday June 20, 2009
Silly Bear had gone home, and Coony moved out of the basket in the bathroom to a bigger cage outside that previously I had kept rabbits in. It was a big cage with a divider in the middle, and a hole cut in the divider to access the other side. As you wire the door shut (raccoons can get out of ANYTHING, so you had to securely lock him in) he'd reach through the bars and call out to you. It was almost heartbreaking walking away from that, but you'd feel happy in the morning again when you went down, chittered to him and let him out.

Every morning he came up and ate on the deck. Cat food and Cheesies were his favourite food, but he'd eat almost anything. I absolutely love the way they pick their food up with their hands and hold it as they eat.

Friday July 10, 2009
I felt very, very, very guilty, but inside I was jumping for joy. After barely a month working at a local grocery store, I quit. I felt awful I didn't stay, but you have no idea how much I hated working there. I kicked myself for quitting, but I will never, ever, ever regret it.

Coony was still growing, and he loved to playfight and "rassle". He also liked pens. Like, writing pens. He just liked rolling them through his hands and feeling them and gnawing on them-I suppose he liked the shape and texture.

Sunday July 19, 2009
Dad went out west today. We have friends who live out there and always stayed with them over the summer. I absolutely LOVE it out there. I love the prairies, and the air, and just...everything. It feels like home more than here does. Unfortunately, I was recruited as a babysitter for a neighbour and had to stay home. = (

Wednesday July 29
Coony got bigger and more independent and aggressive every day. Now during the day he didn't want to just stay with me all the time-he went off on his own, exploring. Mom recently showed him the pond, and a whole new world of wonder for a little raccoon. He'd climb the willows and puddle in the water and eat seaweed and bugs and whatever else he found out there that appealed to him.

My sister brought Silly Bear (who had grown a LOT) over and the two played all day out at the pond-pushing each other off the dock, throwing each other around by the scruff of the neck, rolling around in the sister's even fought dirty and would hold poor Coony's head under the water!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Carly's Pics 017.jpg (74.3 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg Carly's Pics 024.jpg (58.3 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg Carly's Pics 074.jpg (41.7 KB, 36 views)
    06-11-2010, 08:47 PM
Sunday August 2, 2009
Coony stayed at my sister's place while me, my mom, my grandma, my aunt and my cousins vacationed in the states.

Wednesday August 12, 2009
All summer I'd worked for one purpose: to get a riding horse of my own. My chance came when my friend told me there were two mares for sale at her barn-this was it! I was nervous, but I told dad about it, and he agreed to go check them out. I was so excited!!

Friday August 14, 2009
We went over and I was able to ride both horses. The first was a big, lanky 16HH chestnut who was the quieter of the two but was a little clumsy. The other, a BEAUTIFUL 15HH bay mare was absolutely gorgeous. I really didn't want to admit it, but she was simply too fiery and too forwards for me. Deep down I knew that she was not the right horse, and bringing her home where I would be riding her outside, without an arena (which she had been trained and ridden in her whole life) would be a disaster. Still, I was so desperate for a horse that I was a little upset when we left horseless. Though now that I think about it, if I got in that much trouble with Tango later on, yeah, I'm really glad dad didn't buy that mare for me.

Dad figured that since we were already on the road we may as well drive over to Tiffany, a friend of his who breaks horses. The same friend who gave my sister her raccoon had mentioned her having a nice little paint mare, so we went to look. When Tiffany led us into the field, all thoughts of bay Quarter horses were left behind as I fell in love. I was stupid, I know that now, but it seemed not to matter because when I rode her she was perfect. I trusted Tiffany utterly and completely and I knew I wasn't getting snuffed on anything-if Tif said she had no vices, was fully broke, all that, I believed her-and I still do, because what happened later on between me and Tang was nothing but my fault.

Tuesday August 18, 2009
After 3 long, agonizing days, Tiffany (returning from a big trail ride up north) dropped Tango off. I was so happy, but within a few days things started to go wrong. I'm not going to tell you our life story because this is a raccoon thread, but it took me a long time to learn and get to the point I'm at now, and we went some pretty tough times.

Wednesday August 19, 2009
You have no idea how much I despise children, and how elated I was that this was my last day of babysitting. No more whining brats, no more pointless arguments, no more pouting, no more being run off my feet from 7-4, no more having to invent and play games with them when I left my imagination behind with my childhood. I was FREE!!!
    06-12-2010, 06:19 PM
Tuesday September 15
After a successful riding lesson at the barn on Tango, I was hanging out in her paddock with her. Suddenly I heard the grass rustling, Nina charging, growling and barking, and a familiar snort. Coony dove for the fence post and shimmied up to the top, out of the reach of the ferocious dog. He was all puffed out in a huff, but I chittered to him and he leapt for the safety of my shoulder.

*I was showing a Holstein calf for 4H this year. I despise Holsteins, and have only ever shown one previously (did horribly). Jerseys, Milking Shorthorns, etc are more my bag. Well, no surprise, I did terribly this year. I can connect with Jerseys, since I've shown them so many times before-they are stubborn as anything, but are smart as a whip-well, as smart as cows can be. Holsteins are just big, lumbering and dumb, and the two of us did NOT see eye to eye. Every show she would act up, run me into fences, move around as we were expected to stand up-we had a mutual hatred for each other. How I wished for a Jersey once again. They'll misbehave just to piss you off, but I've NEVER had a Jersey this insolent. Unfortunately, my Jersey cow had a bull calf that year, so I borrowed the Holstein heifer from a neighbour. And the thing is-he has always done really well with his cows at shows, so I undoubtedly made him ashamed. He was always nice about it, though, and my last show I actually placed top 4 in both classes! 4th in showmanship (when we've always been on the bottom) and 2nd in confirmation. I was quite happy with it.
    06-13-2010, 12:50 PM
Tuesday September 22
The raccoon followed me out to the pasture where the horses were feasting around the round bale. He encountered docile little Buddy and scrambled up the old grassed-over manure heap all in a huff, desperate to get away from the vicious coon-eating pony...only to come face-to-face with Maggie, who is almost 16 hands XD I managed to coax him down and he made a dash for it between 8 pairs of legs. I don't think the horses even noticed him; if they did they didn't care, yet here's Coony, frightened out of his mind sprinting for the fenceline as fast as his wee legs can carry him. He brushed up against Savannah's leg and she lifted it, but the raccoon was under the fence and gone by the time she set it down again. Then I had to hold Nina at bay as Coony followed me to the house for his nightly feeding. Quite an adventure for the little guy!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg More of Carly's Pictures 092.jpg (57.2 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg More of Carly's Pictures 093.jpg (50.8 KB, 36 views)
    06-13-2010, 01:22 PM
Saturday September 26, 2009
I always knew that Coony couldn't stay with us forever, but I wasn't prepared for him to leave so abruptly...

For some reason or other I was wandering around in dad's shop. I took a look into the box that his chicks inhabited and instead of seeing a huddle of warm, fuzzy yellow peepers I saw instead numerous almost-flattened little bodies, all with their heads cleanly popped off. I was confused as to why dad hadn't thrown their bodies away or even shut the heat lamp off and so casually I asked: "What killed the chicks?" Oo daisy, he was MAD! I swear if I hadn't been there, he probably would've shot the coon right there (because there's really no doubt that it was in fact Coony who did it). Instead he caught Coony and we drove him down to the swamp.

The raccoon rode on my lap, and it was difficult keeping hold of him, because the roaring engine terrified him. We stopped and I carried him far, far back into the forest because naturally I didn't want him to get hit on the road. I was a little sad, but I knew he was ready to be on his own because when I set him down he didn't come running back to me for reassurance; he just wandered off and started to explore. Besides, if he was big enough to be killing things, he was big enough to be on his own. And if he was going to be killing farm animals, there was no use keeping him around anymore.

*Two weeks later...*

Saturday October 10, 2009
Dad had gone on his annual moose hunt with a bunch of friends (and Casey) on Thursday so I was doing the chores in his absence. Nina and I entered the barn and the dog became fixed on something overhead. I didn't give it much thought-it was probably a rat or a swallow or something-so I picked up the scoop, gave the calf hay and feed, and then went into his pen to water him. As I turned the tap, there was some straw falling through the cracks in the low-hanging roof, so I tapped the ceiling with the scoop to scare off the rat or whatever was making the disturbance. Instead, a black, leathery, monkey-like hand reached through and then out popped the face of...Coony!

I was in disbelief. He had found his way home, through fields and forests of coyotes and at least two road-crossings between us. Logically he would've been emaciated and scruffy after his ordeal, but instead he was thicker, furrier and rounder than when we'd dropped him off-obviously a nice getaway in the forest did him well! Nina tried to bite him but I locked her in the shop and took Coony back to the house for a good feeding.

Both were taken the morning of his return. I'm sure he was glad to be eating "real" food again after two weeks in the forest!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Carpics 005.jpg (67.7 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Carpics 006.jpg (67.6 KB, 34 views)
    06-13-2010, 02:47 PM
Aw! Too cute! That's incredible that he managed to come home again!

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