Archives for September, 2013

Our GPS – Gypsy’s Possum Surveillance

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Hello to All,

We have had an opossum problem this summer. We noticed it for the first time, when our motion-detector light in the back yard came on about four a.m. one morning. Rick was awakened by a tap, tap, tap on the doggie door and noticed the light was on. He got up and saw a possum with its little paws up on the doggie door either licking or wiping its face on the doggie door.

Of course, I thought Rick was crazy, until a couple of nights later, I heard the tap, tap, tap on the doggie door, saw the light was on, got up and observed the possum doing the same thing.

We asked our veterinarian, Dr. Maria Williams, who used to be a wildlife vet, about this behavior. She said the possum was most likely marking its territory.

Rick, being the thrifty type, did not want to purchase a trap for a one-time use. So, he consulted YouTube, and constructed a trap out of our old puppy carrier. He baited it with peanut butter, and sure enough, the next morning we had our possum. We named it George, in honor the late country singer George Jones (nickname “The Possum”) who had recently passed on.

We released George into nearby McAllister Park and thought that was that.

A while later, we noticed Gypsy obsessively sniffing the deck. First she would focus on one particular spot, then move to the next, etc. She would not leave it alone. We didn’t think too much of it, until we saw another possum running across the deck one evening. So, Rick set up the trap once again, and the possum was captured in the trap the next morning. We named this one G2.

We learned to take Gypsy’s cues for G3, G4, G5, and finally, G6.

Gypsy is no longer obsessing about the deck, and has taken up her normal hunting duties in the rest of the back yard. For her efforts, we have nicknamed her our GPS, for Gypsy’s Possum Surveillance.

Some pics:

Gypsy with G6 in the trap

Gypsy with trap

G6 in the trap

G6 in Trap

G6 set free at McAllister Park

G6 set free

Until next time, the best to you and your dogs,

Jean

Sep 16, 2013 | 2 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior