Being married with kids is usually a good way to avoid leading a wild life at night -- well, other than trying to get the kids to bed, which is still an ongoing project at this moment. This is partly due to a problem with wildlife at night.
We let Ruby the Dog out to let her clear out her tanks before going to bed. This is normally not a complex process, especially on a cold, dark night. It probably would not have been tonight either.
Except that Ruby the Dog saw the raccoon.
Barking ensued. Barking that could wake the dead. Lots of barking.
I was already upstairs by this time. Gretchen spent some time calling Ruby, trying to get her to come in the house. This might have worked if the raccoon had any sense and had decided to go down the side of the fence where the dog was not.
Instead, the raccoon sat on top of the fence post and hissed at the dog.
Who barked. A lot.
Eventually, Gretchen asked me to try calling her from the office window which did approximately zero good.
What I really needed at this point was old Urse, who would have just eaten the fence. On the other hand, I didn't really want to fix the fence, so probably just as well.
Finally, I went downstairs, put on my coat, grabbed a flashlight, and headed to the bottom of the yard to try to persuade Ruby to come in.
"Boss! Boss! Look what I found!"
Yes, I know.
I eventually found a piece of debris -- some sort of plastic basket -- and chucked it in the raccoon's direction. I missed high and to the left.
A plastic bucket also missed high and to the left. These will need to be recovered from the schoolyard tomorrow.
I found a big old stick. That missed low.
The raccoon was going nowhere.
However, apparently my presence and intervention with the raccoon was enough to satisfy Ruby who finally followed me up to the door and into the house.
I closed the door. Quickly.
With luck, the raccoon will decide to be somewhere else tomorrow.