Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sugar & Spike - Raccoon Baby Update

This is an update about the baby raccoons which were found orphaned under my front deck this spring. You can read all about it in this blog post which has a link to the continued story. They are living with Frank's sister Theresa until they are ready for their planned released into an animal reserve north of our city.

Noting CrazyCris' good point in the comments below, I'm adding this to address her very real concern about people thinking they should have raccoons as pets. Please keep in mind that Sugar and Spike are not intended to be kept as pets. Raccoons do not make good pets as they become more aggressive and difficult to handle when they reach sexual maturity. Theresa is kindly providing foster care until these orphans are ready to face a more natural environment.

Sugar and Spike are doing well with their loving human and canine foster family. They were an estimated 5 weeks old when we found them on April 22, which makes them approximately 10 weeks old now, though these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago.

The two of them are very affectionate, curious and amusing. If left to their own devices, they'd get into all sorts of trouble.. like falling behind sofas, climbing lamps, arguing with that other raccoon in the mirror, making puppy dogs jealous, stealing from pockets and stealing your heart. All are illustrated below. Please remember to click each photo to enlarge.

Playing hide 'n' seek behind the sofa. Shhh, don't tell anyone where I am!

I thought I saw another raccoon in that window..

Come on out and face me!

High five! You look just like me!

OK so I'm easily distracted.. what's this?

If I can just get one foot over....

And ease myself up ....


Lavender.. gimmie!

Got it!

Better than catnip

Guess who?

Whatcha hiding in here?

Protect me from those creatures.

And they lived happily ever after.. the end.



Michele said...

Hehehe... love how the raccoons run amok and cause "havoc" around the household... it's cute. More fun that a couple of kittens, obviously!
Great photos and thanks for the update!!

Maggie May said...

Oh, Hilary, they are so cute!
Good to have news of the little creatures.
Will they be able to be released or are they too tame now?
Superb photos.

CrazyCris said...

how absolutely wonderfully adorable!!! You do realise this is a bad example for people who might "consider" wild animals as pets, right?1 When such adorableness is on cue the first thing that pops into my mind (in spite of my biologist's instincts and training) is "I want one!!!" They're lucky to have found such a welcoming home.

That "falling behind sofas" bit got me really laughing! Reminded me of when my first dog had her second litter of puppies. They were in the garage, and somehow on the first night one of them manage to crawl away and get into the stacks of we had wood piled up for fire. My mom woke up in the middle of the night to the puppy's crying, she couldn't get back out! That stack was higher than a person and we had to pretty much take it apart to get her out. To this day we still don't know how on earth she managed to squeeze into the thing...
And then there was the time they first tried the stairs leading up to the roof... and were too scared to come down! At night of course, so there we are at x a.m. carrying 7 dalmatian pups back down.

Baby animals are soooo crazy and such fun!!! :o)

Jinksy said...

I'd never seena a LIVE fur hat before exploring this post and earlier pictures! Better than Davy Crockett's...

Phyllis E said...

Hi Cuzzie!

Love the mirror pics. Reminds me of the first time Quintzy saw his reflection in a store window. He started barking at himself.

Q loves watching animals on TV. On occasion, he even watches my laundry tumbling in the front-load washer (there's a clear window in the door of the machine).

He also barks at his own echoes.

Those babies are cute. Don't know that I'd have them in my house, though.

Cuzzie P

Deb said...

so these little creatures live in your home? by the way, I have the very same dragon fly table lamp and floor lamp!
I decided to stop by and read your blog because we comment on many blogs together.
I'll be back!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, those photos are absolutely adorable!!! You've really made me see raccoons in a different light. I had a few looking into my window a days back and I thought they were so cute! Love the photos of the raccoon on your hubbie's head!!! (Hubbie right?)

Daryl said...

I never thought I would see Benny so docile .. and those pix are sensational .. now I want one of my own, do you think Gus and Rose would like to play with them?

Mental P Mama said...

So adorable;) How lucky they were to be born under your porch....

Michelle H. said...

Hee-hee! I can only imagine how they will act while older.

Too cute!

Marlene said...

it was so nice to recieve a update on the raccoon babies..I always wonder how they are since i read your story..they are sooo adorable..! Thanks for the update!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

just adorable!

Zuzana said...

The baby raccoons are so incredibly cute that I in a way do understand why people want to keep them as pets. That is why it is important to remember that they are, just like tigers, lions and any other cat or dog like wild life - a wild life.
The pictures are just simply great; I love the narrative with each shot.;))

Dawno said...

Hurrah for the foster family. It's great that they are willing to help them get strong enough to be released, and that they understand they'll have to release them.

As always, wonderful pictures. Hope Frank will share something about how Benny felt about being around them.

Reb said...

OMG they are so cute. It is comforting to know they will be going back to nature though.

Country Girl said...

Hey, I want a hat like Frank's, with a racoon hanging off of it!!

steviewren said...

I bet it is fun to watch their antics. I love that shot where the baby only have one foot on the back of the chair.

Unseen India Tours said...

Wow This IS So Cute And Lovely...I Love Your Blog..

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks for the update, Hilary! It's good to know the babies are being so well cared for, and will be released when they can fend for themselves.

Love the photos, as always!

ds said...

They are so cute! I am glad that they will be released into their natural habitat soon, though. It really is best for all concerned. But it sure is fun watching their antics! Thanks for sharing.

Linda Pendleton said...

So cute. They are so curious...glad they are doing well.

Leah J. Utas said...

They are so cute. Glad to know they'll be out in the wild soon.

JC said...

AHHHHH how cute. Thanks for sharing them. Great pics.

Susan English Mason said...

My favorite one is "Guess Who" which was also a very good Canadian band that I saw in Toronto.

Nancy said...

Oh, they are sooo adorable! What a dear for Frank's sister to take care of them until they can be released. Thank you so much for the update, and the oh so cute pics!

Cloudia said...

Glad Daryl sent me here...

Tabor said...

Love the active photos...please I must request that you do not release them in my area of the woods. I have my share already!

blunoz said...

They're adorable! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Shammickite said...

I'm wondering if these particular raccons will grow up to have no fear whatsoever of humans. Even the "born in the wild" racoons don't seem to care if humans are around, I have them in my back yard and cavorting on my roof all the time! Interesting creatures, their paws are just like human hands.

Hilary said...

✿ Thanks, Michele. They do go a little crazy but they sure are amusing. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks, Maggie May. They're too tame to simply release just anywhere, but their foster Mom has a wildlife reserve/sanctuary where she will release them in a few months. Thanks for the kind words. :)

✿ CrazyCris, I do indeed realize that people think "adorable pet" when they see them, but I think I've also made it clear over the past posts that they would never be in human custody had they not been orphaned. It was this or their starvation. Thankfully, Theresa (their caregiver) is a very experienced wildlife rehabilitator who knows what to feed them, how to handle them and when to release them. I did take the time to add more details to this post after you left your comment, for those who haven't read prior posts. Thanks for pointing that out. :) Thanks also for sharing your wandering puppy story. Wee critter can get into all sorts of trouble. What would they do without us? ;) Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

✿ Jinsky, I agree. It's far better to see them alive and breathing and doing their own positioning on the head. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks, Cuzzie Phyllis. I used to have a cat who would play hockey with the NHL.. that is, she'd sit in front of the television during a game, and paw at the puck on screen. It must be a hoot to see Quintzy barking at the washer. It would make a great video. As for the kits, it takes a very special person to open her heart and home to these cuties.. and Theresa is that for sure. Thanks for the visit, Cuz! :)

✿ Thanks, Deb. I'm glad you came by. This is not my home, but Frank's (my SO) sister's home. That is a really nice lamp though. I actually only noticed the dragonflies when I uploaded the photos. I guess my focus at the time was on the kits. Thanks so much for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks very much, Rain. Hubbie, no. Significant other, yes. ;) But I love the image of the raccoon kit on Frank's head too. I'm glad you're enjoying your local raccoons. Thanks for the kind words. :)

✿ Daryl, I don't think that Benny was so docile because of the kits, but more because of the sheep dogs. They're much bigger and louder than he is! I know you know that they really don't make good pets, but it sure is tempting, eh? Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for sending your friend, Cloudia my way. :)

✿ Thanks kindly, MPM. That luck ran two ways. They're a joy to know. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Michelle, in one word.. aggressive. They'd be a lot harder to handle once they reach their adolescence, which is when they'll be freed back to (mostly) nature. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks, Marlene. I'm glad you're enjoying the raccoon tales. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Gary, I agree :)

✿ Thanks for your kind and wise words, Protege. They are indeed wild, including the cuteness factor. They're not meant to be pets, but lucky for Theresa, she gets to have them as pseudo pets while they're at their cutest. And lucky for the kits, they benefit from all of her love and nurturing until they're ready to care for themselves. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks very much, Dawno. Frank's sister has been doing this a long time. I was so relieved when she said she would take them because I knew she would give them great, experienced care while in her hands. As for Benny, he seemed mostly oblivious of the kits - probably because of the two MONSTER (in his eyes) sheep dogs. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ I agree, Reb. I hope they cope well once they do. Thanks for dropping by. :)

Hilary said...

✿ Country Girl, it's the latest style in hats. What do you suppose George would make of it though? ;)

✿ Steviewren, they're incredibly fun to watch. Almost like a cartoon come to life. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks kindly, Unseen Rasjasthan. And thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks always for the kind words, Baggie. I'm hoping I'll see them at least once or twice before they're released. They're a joy to watch. Thanks always for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks, DS. I totally agree. They don't belong with people, even if Theresa is the best foster mother ever. It's just a little detour on their life's journey. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks very much, Linda. Much appreciated. :)

✿ Probably not before the end of the summer or into the autumn, Leah, but that's sure the plan. Thanks for your visit. :)

✿ Thanks very much, JC. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

✿ A fun connection, Pouty. They are indeed! :)

✿ Thanks very kindly, L of L. I'm glad you enjoyed the update. :)

✿ Aloha, Coudia, and thanks for the visit. Thanks also to Daryl. :)

✿ Thanks, Tabor. And we'll try our best not to, but in case they do show up, YOU can keep us updated. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks, Blunoz. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

✿ Shammie, they may well be but they'll have the advantage of being released among many other rehabilitated animals, where food will be available for them. Presumably they'll be encountering people up there. Thanks always for stopping by, and congrats on that beauty of a grandchild! :)

Frank Baron said...

At least this time he didn't poop in my hair. :)

Bogey said...

Like kittens and pups they definitely are adorable when they are that age. But as you said, once they become more mature, all bets are off. They do take to the camera quite well though don't they. Thanks for the update!

Kerri Farley said...

I am so glad they are doing well! They seem to have grown quite a bit...from all of that loving care!!!
It makes my heart happy to know that there are such kind people in the world!!

Kappa no He said...

Adorable! And "poop in Frank's hair", I thought his hair looked even more soft and manageable than usual. You might have stumbled across something!


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

That's quite the raccoon hat Frank is "wearing!" I love how you captured the details of their paws in your photographs. It is good to know they are being so well cared for prior to their release into the wildlife sanctuary. You & your son (and Theresa) saved them from certain death.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Oh my goodness they are so cute!

However, I will NOT be inspired to try to keep one as a pet. Just the words "racoon" and "sexual maturity" in the same sentence are warning enough.

Reasons said...

Too cute! I remember our cat taking on a very large racoon when we lived in Canada - no feelings of inadequacy there, a typical cat! Thanks for posting these.

Dianne said...

Good news for nature!! Yay!

thanks to all who helped them

I love the mirror shots and the ballet dance to try and conquer the lamp

and poor Benny!! he appeared to be surrounded but he did have a safe lap

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, so cute. Call me what you will, but can they be potty trained? Just HAVE to ask!

Cheffie-Mom said...

What mischievous little guys! Thanks for the update!

photowannabe said...

Amazing ballet dancer and shadow boxer. Great photos of these rambuncious toddlers.

Pat - Arkansas said...

They are just adorable! Too bad they don't stay that way.:) I'm glad they have a good temporary home. It would be difficult (for me) to release them to the wild when they could so quickly work their way into my heart with their antics.

Bubblewench said...

So glad to see they are doing well! Nice they have a foster home. What fun shots! So adorable!

MaggieGem said...

Once again, great shots! Thanks for sharing, nice to know this guys are doing well.

SandyCarlson said...

What a delightful post. I love the way you are caring for these critters.

Your story makes me think of a book I just read--A Lion Called Christian. A book about love, as one of my students said. A beautiful, generous love. That runs both ways.

Shrinky said...

These could melt a heart of stone! I have never seen a real life racoon, we don't have them over here.. these photo's are simply amazing.. but, er, the practical Scot in me begs to ask - don't they poo everywhere?? Giggle.

Suldog said...

Way cool.

(I especially like the off-hand reference, via the racoons names, to the old comic book series [which guys weren't supposed to dig, it being about babies and all, but I enjoyed it and don't tell my teammates or I'll get all sorts of grief.])

Shammickite said...

Aw, darn it, you missed taking a pic of Frank with raccoon poop in his hair!
Off to B'ville for a couple of days to help with (and admire) my new grandson!!

easytravel said...

thanks for share great picture, lovely racoon, it's very cute. I'll wait you on my blog also.thanks

Redbush said...

The captions match the babies so well, Hilary! I had to giggle when I saw the photos! I'm glad he didn't poop in Frank's hair either!

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful creatures. We had a family here two years ago. I really liked them around, but the neighbors didn't. So they grew up and mom weaned the babies and took them up and over the fence one last time. I often think about them.

Our family never got to come in our house. They lived outside under my shop but I used to watch the young ones play. Stop and bat at a daisy. It was interesting.

These photographs tell a story that few people will understand. It is a relationship hard to imagine but perfect in its way.

The photosw are just stunning.

Voices from the past >

joesanchez said...

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same and still retain the ability to function...One should, for example, see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise." ---F. Scott Fitzgerald

Andrea said...

They are so cute....wonderful photos! Yes, I am at Bread & Honey this would have been lovely to have met you! I'm sure our paths will cross another time. :)

Hilary said...

✿ That's true, Frank. It was still super shiny and glossy from the last treatment. :)

✿ Thanks, Bogey. They are indeed quite adorable, lovable, cuddly and all those things, but they are not meant to be pets... so we get to enjoy their affection for just a little while longer and send them on their way. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Hi, Kerry. I'm so grateful for the Theresas in this world too. They are growing well under her loving care. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks, Terrie. Yes, it shines like never before. We should bottle that stuff! Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks for the kind words, KC. Aren't their little "hands" just adorable? With their strong, sharp nails, they can really cling.. hence Frank's hat. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Crabby that is a tad scary, eh? They sure are cute for the meantime though. Enjoy the photos. I'm sure there'll be more eventually. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Ack, 123. I wouldn't want to see such an encounter. I hope both walked away in good shape. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks, Dianne. I'm glad you're enjoying the photos of these little darlin's. Thanks always for your very kind words. :)

✿ MT, would you settle for litter box trained? ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks for stopping by, Cheffie. :)

✿ Thanks, Sue. I like your descriptions. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks, Pat. I can't imagine how hard it must be to give them up after caring for them for so long. They're just so loving and sweet right now but they do need to live their lives as raccoons so it will be for their best. Sigh! Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks, Bubblewench. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and post. :)

✿ Thanks for the kind words, MaggieGem. :)

✿ Thanks kindly, Sandy but it's Frank's sister Theresa who is foster Mom to these sweeties. I've seen the video of Christian the Lion when he was reunited with his people. It's a guaranteed tear-jerker. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

✿ Shrinky, no they don't poo everywhere (any more). They only poo in Frank's hair. Well they did once. I believe they're litter trained, but Theresa can correct me if I'm wrong.. if she's reading. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks, Suldog. I won't tell a soul! I didn't know there was a comic reference. These guys were originally named Sugar & Spice by the woman who first took them in over the first night. Since Spice was a male, we figured his name was too girly and that Spike suited him better. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

✿ Don't worry, Shammie. If we're lucky, there'll be other opportunities. ;) Enjoy that new grandson of yours! :)

✿ Thanks for the kind words, Easytravel Much appreciated. :)

✿ Thanks very much for the kind words, Redbush. I'll bet you're not as happy as Frank was. ;)

✿ Abe, thank you very much for your ultra kind words. I do remember your beautiful photos of the raccoons climbing over your fence. Luckily, they had not been orphaned as these two are. That's the only reason they're indoors at Theresa's home. Hopefully they'll cope well when it comes time to let them go. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thanks for sharing that quote, Joe. Thanks for the visit. :)

✿ Thanks, Andrea. I'm sure you're right about that. At least I hope so. Good luck at the Bread & Honey Festival. :)

Swetha said...

ha ha ha :) really lovely pictures! did u take them all??? it was cute looking at it!

Margaret Hall said...

Love, love, loved the post, and the pictures are precious~!!! If they are released, they surely will be missed! Thanks for sharing...CUTE...!

Hilary said...

✿ Thanks, Pranksy. Yes, all photos on the blog are mine, except for the rare and noted exception. Thanks for stopping by. :)

✿ Thank you kindly, Margaret. They will indeed be released and missed. Thanks for the visit. Please return soon. :)

Tink said...

Aw. Thanks for the update. I was just telling someone your raccoon story the other day.

matt said...

Hi. Its so nice to read about someone who cares for nature so much and can take in its beauty. I love your photography too its amazing... Would you be willing to share some photo's with me.

Hilary said...

• I'm glad you enjoyed it, Tink. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you for the kind words, Matt. Much appreciated. I'd like to know for what purpose you'd like some photos, please? Thanks for asking. :)

Unknown said...

I am SO excited! I just copied all of the posts into word and now I am going to take this racoon booklet up to kaish to read before bed : ) I am taking my camera so I can show you how excited he is : )