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Our Adventures with Raccoons While Camping.
We were camping at a primitive campground at a State park in Ohio. We were traveling and it was late when we pulled into the campground. We decided not to use the tent and just go to bed, we were tired. We started a campfire, to roast some hot dogs for dinner, after we had gotten the things unloaded that we would need.
Dennis and the boys hooked the pump up to the inflatable mattress that we used. The three boys spread their sleeping bags out around the campfire and our mattress was near also. We laid down and Dennis and the boys were soon out. I laid there watching the dying campfire, trying to calm my mind so that I could sleep.
I spotted movement at the edge of the woods and was watching to see what it was. They shortly came tumbling on out of the woods and I could see that it was a trio of raccoons. I had never seen any out in the wild but Dennis had told me about several experiences he'd had with them and I knew that they were not dangerous. I watched them exploring through our camp, as curious about these cute creatures as they were about us. I wished that Dennis and the boys were awake to watch them also but Dennis didn't wake when I nudged him and I knew if I said something they would probably run off.
One of them came over to the mattress and was watching on Dennis' side of the mattress. I laid really still and watched to see what it would do. He finally climbed up on the mattress and I almost laughed out loud at the look on his face. I could tell by then that it was a male. The give of the air mattress was a new experience for it.
It got right up in Dennis' face and was looking at his face, suddenly reaching out and touching his nose. I really wished he was awake now, he would have enjoyed this. He rarely slept this deep, especially when we were camping.
The raccoons finally left, but they left me with a sense of awe at having been so close to nature. The actions around our camp that night left me fascinated with raccoons and laughing at their antics.
We were moving to Ohio and decided to camp for a few days while we looked for a rental. We all loved camping so it was no hardship for a week or two. We found a campground just over the border in Indiana from the town we wanted to rent in. We set up our tent and our awning. The boys would sleep in the tent and Dennis and I would sleep under the awning. We didn't like to be enclosed when we camped unless it was windy or cold.
We settled in to sleep one night and were quietly talking. We heard some noises coming from the other side of the tent and suddenly, three raccoons tumbled into camp. We were laying there watching them. They are really funny. One of them found a trash bag and got into it. The oldest boy was going to catch it for that. He was told to take it to the dumpster. There were some cans from baked beans in there and scrapings from plates. One of the cans had some beans in it from the scrapings.
The raccoon was eating the beans, dipping its paw in and scooping them out. It moved over next to us and ended up sitting on Dennis' chest. Then it noticed that Dennis' eyes were open and it stuck its paw out to him, as if offering some of the beans to him. Suddenly, it slapped the beans down on Dennis' bare chest. I ruined it and started laughing. It was so funny. The raccoons all jumped and ran off into the woods, leaving me laughing like a loon and Dennis with baked beans on his chest.
We stayed at this campground for a week and had a few more visits from the raccoons. They were all enjoyable and funny. No more baked beans though.
When Dennis and I got married, I had a dog. He was a 9-year old Sheltie/Poodle mix. He was sweet, cuddly and loveable but not real smart. He had been on thyroid pills, for an under-active thyroid for 5 years. He and Dennis did not get along too well at first. Beau was jealous of all the attention he was not getting and Dennis was irritated by the poor dog's lack of sense.
The dog was my baby and so Dennis finally got used to him. He had not had a pet for years, so it took some getting used to. I had never been without at least one, so didn't think I could. We went camping the following spring and took Beau with us. He had been camping with me a lot. We were camped along a river in central Arizona, near Cottonwood. We were looking at moving there and were looking for jobs and housing.
One morning, Dennis got up and went for a walk along the river while I was still sleeping. The dog went with him. He was thirsty, so he went down to the river for a drink. He slipped when the bank dissolved out from under him, and fell in the river. It had a fast current and Dennis' thought was that I was going to kill him if he allowed my baby dog to drown. He went in after the dog. He finally caught up to the dog when they went around a bend in the river and got swept into a still section.
He swam over to the dog, who was panicking because the fish were biting on his toes. It was very deep in that spot and Dennis could not reach the bottom. He could feel the fish nibbling on him also but he wasn't worried about it. The dog started climbing to get away from the fish nibbling on him and ended up on Dennis' head. Dennis finally got hold of him, to get him off of his head and tossed him up on the bank. That poor dog sure was relieved to get out of the water. He never had been much for swimming anyway. He didn't even like baths.
It was a little harder for Dennis to get out of the water as the river had steep banks along there but he managed to climb out. They came back to the camp just as I was getting up. I am not sure who was more disgruntled. The dog, who just wanted a drink or my poor husband, who had ruined a good pair of shoes going after the dog. He figured it was worth it to keep me from getting mad at him though.
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