Meet Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy--the four raccoons that Ava raised this Summer.
They were orphaned this Spring, so Ava (more than willingly) took them under her wing and raised them until they were ready to go out to the wild on their own.
Our German Shepherd, Vreni, adopted them and treated them as if they were her own puppies.
Ava built a cage for them outside, but every so often let them into the house for a little fun.
They are quite tame and friendly. And like to snuggle.
This is the fourth batch of raccoons Ava has raised.
But it's never been four at a time before.
In the middle of Summer they started growing a mile a minute.
They learned to climb trees--a very important skill if they want to survive in the wild!
We faithfully video taped them during their different stages so as to make a movie later on.
It was hard for Ava to know that they would eventually be leaving.
But we had several months of enjoying their mischievous ways.
With friend, Adam F..
What to do with a misbehaving raccoon. Do not try this on a wild raccoon.
Meeting a beard for the first time. (friend Bruno R.)
Eventually, Ava started letting them out at night (raccoons are nocturnal) and bringing them back to their cage in the morning. Then they started not coming back in the mornings--they would be gone for a couple days at a time. One of the raccoons left for good on their own, and the other three Ava released several miles from our house (so that our dogs would not hunt them).
The last one was released this past week while I was in TN. They sure are fun little animals to be around.