The battle against the animals escalated at 1:30 am Friday morning. A dog in the neighborhood was frantically barking, and I finally pulled myself away from email and Facebook checking to realize with horror that the frantically barking dog was Deogi. He was at the back of the yard barking at something behind the bushes, and the motion light had turned off. And, he was naked. Generally, he gets to run around without his collar.
I raced upstairs to grab a flashlight and a collar and then I plunged into the darkness to get the dog. Much to my chagrin the neighbor two doors down was already in her back yard and trying to shine a flashlight over to see what was going on. On the other hand, much to my relief, the neighbor two doors down was in her backyard trying to see what was going on. I figured if things went south, she would call the police and possibly vault the fences to save me. She’s one of the good neighbors.
I got about ¾ of the way to the dog when my flashlight beam landed on the opossum — back arched, teeth bared, mangy fur sticking out everywhere. My commands to Deogi went from hoarse, neighbor conscious whispers to fairly desperate and loud snapped out phrases. I stopped at least 10 feet out. I’m sure I was a sight as I stood there gesturing and yelling at the dog. I wasn’t going any closer to the giant opossum fangs shining in beam of my flashlight, but I was fearful that the dog’s barking was going to drive the opossum to enraged violence.
Finally, my tone of voice indicated to Deogi that I had become more of an impending threat than the opossum. He backed away enough that I could swoop in and grab him up by the scruff of the neck. I was so mortified, terrified, and angry by that point that I didn’t bother with the collar. I just took a firm grip on the scruff of his neck and marched him inside as I shouted over to the inquisitive neighbor that a possum was the root of all the trouble. As we disappeared inside, I heard another neighbor laughing. She told me later that she found me so entertaining that she recounted the story to her coworkers. Yay. It’s always great to be “that neighbor,” especially at 1:30 in the morning.
When I asked Deogi later if he actually wanted to get rabies, he just wagged his tail.
I, of course, published the news of the possum invasion to my Facebook. And, it didn’t take long before I was able to secure two traps, so I could enter the next phase of the wildlife fight.