Every day after school the Raptor and I dutifully walk up to the school to pick up E. Then we dutifully walk back. As soon as we enter our house, the dog insists on rushing to the back door to be let out so as to investigate his yard and make sure no pesky squirrel has infiltrated his domain. And every day I mindlessly open the back door to allow the raptor to escape into the fenced yard.
Today was no different. I opened the door and the raptor hightailed it out of the house. Only once he was halfway across the yard did I see what had caught his attention. There, about 7 feet from our shed, was a lumbering possum trying to make a run for it to hide under the building. I started screaming at the raptor, who was in full terrier attack mode, to try to get him to stop and return to me. But it was too late, the dog was on top of the opossum (which was just as big as him.)
Everyone knows what an opossum does when it is attacked, right? They play dead. But I have never seen one do it until today. Had my dog not been the cause of its sudden fit of slumber, I might have found it insanely funny. One moment it was standing up, then just as quickly it was on its side curled up in a tight little ball. I managed to get the raptor to listen to me and called him back. Then I picked him up by the scruff of his neck and tossed him in the bath tub.
Because, you see, my state is rampant with rabies. All I could think was that he had rabid opossum saliva all over him and I didn't want him coming into contact with E or anything in our house. I scrubbed him ruthlessly with shampoo while checking him for bites. He had one small sore on his leg, but truthfully, he's clumsy and that could have been from anything.
Now, the thing I haven't mentioned is some very bad stuff has been happening in my life. Really bad, horribly bad. Mind-numbing, kill a lesser person bad. I've been holding everything together and dealing pretty well. But when I saw the raptor hit that opossum...and then I started thinking that I would probably have to get a rabies shot series....well, the dam burst. I called Hubby and screamed into the phone "I NEED YOU TO COME HOME RIGHT NOW!!!!" I don't even know why he had to come home, all I know is that he had to come RIGHT NOW! He came home and I called my dog's vet who told me OPOSSUMS DON'T CARRY RABIES. They told me to call animal control who assured me that my vet's office was right and we would all be fine.
So I calmed down a little, but several hours later as I was sitting with some church people at our church dinner recalling the events, I was still slightly agitated. It became worse when the man (a local police officer) I was telling the story to said, "At least it was only an opossum. You're lucky it wasn't a bear. We get a lot of calls about bears ON YOUR STREET!!!"
Where's my ativan? I did not need to hear that!