CSI: Garbage Can Mystery

Ok, so, I don’t know how many people who read this remember Rose, but she’s the brown lab who tends to show up and hang out at our house for hours on end, until we leave a nasty message on her owner’s machine and she (the owner) finally gets off her ass & comes to fetch the dog. The problem, apparently, is that sometimes this stupid woman doesn’t feel like walking Rose from her back door to her dog pen in the backyard, so she just opens the back door, and naturally, Rose wanders off instead of going to her pen. And because she used to find food at our house (until I made the “no Rose in the house because she scares the bejeezus out of the cats and I’m tired of prying them off the ceiling” rule), she usually comes straight over. Steve thought she was cute back when he first started building the deck because she’d hang out with him all day and keep him company. Now, she drives him crazy because she’ll do things like walk across the deck that he just applied a stain to, and leave big muddy pawprints all over it. Basically, Rose is a very sweet dog, but she’s dumb as a box of rocks and she doesn’t take a hint when her presence is unwelcome. If I knew where she lived, I’d take her home myself; unfortunately, I only know the vague direction of her house, I don’t know which one is actually hers.

Anyway. Sometimes if our trash can is full, we might set a hefty bag next to our big outdoor trash can. If Rose is around, we can pretty much guarantee that she’s going to tear it apart looking for food and leave garbage strewn across the driveway. Fun. This morning, however, it was quite a different sight when I walked out of the house to head to work, and this is what unnerves me. All of the hefty bags? Were inside the trash can. And our big huge outdoor garbage can? Was turned over on its side. The garbage bag that was closest to the top had been pulled more than halfway down the driveway before it was torn apart and destroyed. I don’t think it was Rose, because: (a) Yes, she’s a lab, so she’s not a small dog, but I don’t think she’s strong enough to turn the garbage can over. It’s big and heavy, and I just can’t imagine how she could do that by herself. And, (b) if she got her paws on the garbage bag, she wouldn’t pull it away from the scene of the crime to destroy it. She’s just not that bright.

So, now I’m having my own little CSI investigation to try to figure out what the hell kind of animal could do this. Here are my list of suspects:
1. Our cats. Yeah, right. They don’t dig through the indoor trash can, I seriously doubt they’d attack the one outside. And I don’t think all of their strength combined could turn it over.
2. Deer. We have two that hang out in our yard on a semi-regular basis. They like to eat the grass. I’ve never seen them go anywhere near the trash cans.
3. Coyotes. Steve has seen one in our yard on a couple of occasions, which freaks me out to no end. But I think they’d be more interested in eating things like, oh, our cats than foraging through the trash. Although I suppose it’s possible.
4. Raccoons. I’ve heard stories about raccoons that are smart enough to take rocks off of garbage can lids so they can rummage through the trash, and when they’re done they replace the lid, as well as the rock, back on top of the can. But still, I think it’d take several raccoons to knock over our garbage can, and I don’t know that they’re a real work-together-to-solve-a-problem kind of animal. Rodents generally aren’t. Still, given my other options, I hope to God that it’s just raccoons.
5. A puma. We heard that a neighbor of ours found a puma eating one of her sheep. This freaks me out even more than the coyote idea. I mean, if I found a coyote attacking one of our cats, I might have enough adrenaline to go after it with a baseball bat or a frying pan or something. But a freakin’ puma?!?! What the hell would you do? I don’t have a gun, and I refuse to get one, so I have no clue how I’d react to that situation. Sorry, kitties, but I guess you’re on your own there. Still, I don’t think pumas are a very forage-through-trash type of animal. It kind of goes against their whole sleek, sexy, stealthy image if they’re caught licking the remnants of a Twinkie out of a cellophane wrapper. That mental image seems very un-puma-like.
6. A bear. This seems like the most obvious culprit. A bear is big enough to knock over the trash can, strong enough to drag the trash bag down the driveway (a good 10 yards or so), and they’re known to rummage through trash looking for food. So ok, maybe it’s a bear.

WTF?!?!! Holy motherf#$%ing hell, how did I wind up living in a place where a motherf#$%ing bear could come as close to my home as my driveway?!?!! Do you know how close I sleep to the driveway? I mean, ok not very close, because I’m inside the house, upstairs, and all the exterior doors are locked, but still! A bear?? Ack! Scary!!

So I’m freaking out about that. Meanwhile, this site about pretentiously idiotic baby names is absolutely hilarious. And true. I mean, seriously, did anyone name their kid Madison before “Splash”? Sample excerpt:

We aren’t having kids for another year or two, but we like Kellyna Nychole, Taryn Mykah and Mykenzie Kathryn for girls.

This woman was indicted under the Flagrant Over-Use of the Letters K and Y Act of 1983.

That site is a bit of a time-sucker, and I’ve had a hard time making my laughs sounds like coughs so as not to alarm my office mate, but it’s great. Go read it when you have time.

2 thoughts on “CSI: Garbage Can Mystery

  1. Btw, I just realized how insanely long that post is. Sorry y'all. Give yourselves a treat if you made it to the end. 🙂

  2. Raccoons are actually more closely related to bears. They are pretty smart but they're not usually thought to be considerate enough to put the lids back on garbage cans after they rifle through them. They do stay together in groups when food is plentiful and they seem to be more than happy to work together in getting into things. The solution is to make your garbage cans more secure. You can trap them and move them to a spot distant from your home but others will move in to resume the work they started.

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