Our GPS – Gypsy’s Possum Surveillance

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

2 Responses to “Our GPS – Gypsy’s Possum Surveillance”

  1. Amy@GoPetFriendly Says:

    Oh my goodness – they are so cute! I’m so glad that you guys found a humane way to move them and that they can live out their happy lives at the park. That’s quite a little GPS system you have there!

  2. The Mutt Room – Whole Dog Living » Happy 14th Birthday to Gypsy! Says:

    […] Gypsy definitely has some graying about her muzzle, but all in all, gets around really well for a 14 year old. She loves to hunt in the back yard, and takes her job of home security quite seriously. I wrote about one the examples of her guard duties in the post: Our GPS – Gypsy’s Possum Surveillance. […]