I walk Rose daily around 9:55 PM. Halfway up and down the cul-de-sac. This is our routine. Every night, I feed Rose a spoonful of pumpkin, then walk her. Our agenda is for Rose to urinate one last time before bed. Although sometimes she does not go. Oh well!! We have witnessed some interesting wildlife on our nightly strolls. I am wary of these creatures, as though they are mass murderers, because Rose's "hunting" skills cannot be trusted!! How will my Beagle/German Shepherd cross react if she faced an aggressive rabid opossum? Fight or flight? Would she allow some wild animal to brutally tear her apart? Honestly.... These queries are best left unanswered!! So I attempt to protect Rose.... Whenever possible. About one year ago, on January 31st, 2010, we were embarking on our evening stroll. When I noticed something moseying about in our neighbor's side lawn. Obviously, night had befallen. Everything was dark. Minus one bright streetlight. So I could hardly see anything!! Meanwhile, Rose was literally face-to-face with this mysterious creature. At first I thought that we encountered a neighbor's feline. Until I could vaguely recognize "his" body figure. Short and fat. A bushy tail. Four stubby legs. Gasp!! A raccoon!! Suddenly, sans any warning, my protective maternal instinct kicked into full gear!! Seriously!! I yanked Rose back, probably a little too hard. But this was an unsettling experience!! What can I say? My baby was face-to-face with a raccoon!! We must have scared "him". For "he" waddled away across the street as fast as "his" stubby legs could move!! It was then when I could finally see. Sort of. It was "his" gait that gave "him" away. Slow and leisurely. Not swift, or graceful like your typical cat!! What a thrilling, yet startling surprise this was!! I am so grateful that Rose was not attacked by our "New Year's Eve raccoon"!!