‘For most people, a raccoon is not a good pet,’ says Caryn.
‘They require constant supervision and they are so much more intelligent than a dog or cat.
‘They can literally unlock your front door and walk right out.’
‘Most raccoons won’t answer to their owners but he will answer me and come when I call him, it’s pretty cool!
‘I got him September 9th of 2019 and I’m currently on the list for a baby raccoon, from the breeder.
‘We got him from a young couple when he was just under five months old.
Learn everything you can about your dog’s habits and behaviors. If you and I were having a conversation over coffee and I asked you to tell me about your significant other, or your kids, or any other special person in your life, chances are good that you could say quite a bit about them. In fact, you may know more about them than you think.
‘Exotic pets like raccoons can’t be brought to a shelter or humane society and they can never be released into the wild.
‘They are euthanised unless you can find someone willing to adopt them. We took on the challenge!’Rebel quickly settled in and bonded with Caryn’s eight-year-old dog, Remington, becoming fast friends.
Caryn says: ‘They are best friends, so much so that when Remington goes outside, Rebel paces back and forth at the door chattering until his friend is back.’
That friendship is important, as raccoons hate being alone. They are pack animals so need constant companionship.
Rebel lives indoors most of the time, but likes to go on boat rides all summer – as Caryn lives on a lake.
He has his own enclosure complete with a hammock, where he snoozes.
He requires special care, including regular vet checks and a feeding cage, as he’s a messy eater.
‘Raccoons eat what we eat,’ says Caryn, ‘it’s a balance of meat and protein and fruits and vegetables.
Learn to read your dogs body language. Since no dog I know of is able to mosey up to the kitchen table, pour himself a cup of coffee, and confess to all of the things that annoy, frighten, and stress him out, I suggest that the next best thing is to learn to read your dog’s many signals and body language. This is how your dog will communicate with you.
‘He loves eggs, and eats one every day for breakfast. He also gets a raw chicken leg once a week and eats it bone and all.’Caryn’s lifestyle in rural Indiana allows her to keep Rebel, but she’s keen to tell people that raccoons aren’t ideal pets for the average person.
She explains: ‘Rebel uses a litter box just like a cat and they are trainable to an extent, but raccoons are very stubborn and will only listen to commands when they want to.
‘To live with a raccoon you must live on their time and their schedule. I have a very flexible schedule, so it works…but it wouldn’t work for the average person.
‘Living with a raccoon is learning their moods and body language. It’s a daily struggle to entertain them.
‘But the cuteness and love they exude far outweighs the trouble and mischief they cause.’Do you have a story to share? Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk .