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will race to the fridge, whenever they hear someone getting ice out of the refrigerator. Claudio and Carmel have interestingly, been buddies since the beginning. They often wrestle good-naturedly and chase each other around the house. When Carmel tires of her rambunctious playmate, she takes off to unknown parts for a break. Jason thinks it was probably by watching Carmel use her cat box, that she taught the coon that he should use one also. Claudio is also very cat-like in that he has his own agenda, and comes around for attention when he wants, and then disappears to curl up for naps. Jet’s younger sister, Winry; aged eight, is also a great help with Claudio’s care. It is Winry that usually takes him out for walks on the leash, to help him get some much needed outdoor exercise and expend some crazy raccoon energy. Jason shares that the downside to having a raccoon as a pet is that, “They are extremely curious, and will get into absolutely EVERYTHING! Claudio loves to get into the trash can, will open cabinets and delve into anything that’s left out. Nothing’s off limits.” Raccoons paws look more like black, leather gloved hands, and are adept at opening doors, latches and even able to unscrew jar lids. It’s a little like having a toddler on the loose. Unlike wild raccoons that are usually nocturnal in nature, Claudio has adjusted to his human family’s schedule and is usually awake when they are, and sleeps when they do. Besides his daily walks, Claudio has also been on regular road trips to Colorado. “He did really well in the car, and just hung out in back with the kids.” Jason relates. The family were really surprised when they made an impromptu bathroom break at a rest stop, and found another couple outside with a raccoon of their own. Jason said, “It was about a month younger than Claudio, but they checked each other out and were friendly.” Claudio has also gone Kayaking on the lake with Jet and her mom, Trisha. Jet recalls, “At first he accidentally fell into the water. We had him on a leash, so I could easily scoop him back up. But then he kept purposely jumping back in. He loves the water!” Jason also had an unexpected guest one morning, when Claudio hopped in the tub and joined him for a quick shower. Claudio is probably less than half grown at two months old. He currently weighs under ten pounds. The average raccoon in the wild can weigh anywhere from twenty to thirty five pounds, and have a length of about three feet from nose to tail. That’s the size of a medium dog. The heaviest raccoon ever recorded was over sixty pounds in Texas. Captive raccoons can live more than twenty years, but the lifespan of a wild raccoon is much shorter and averages one and a half to three years. Hunting and injury from vehicles are the most common causes of fatalities. Jason says that he thinks part of the reason Claudio might prefer to be in the house, is because it’s so much cooler inside, especially during the heat of summer. Life with children and pets is always an adventure. Jason and Jet agree that the best thing about having a pet raccoon is being able to watch it grow and see how it’s so very unique from every other pet they have. They’ve enjoyed getting to learn Claudio’s personality and habits, and to learn what his different purring, soft growls, grunts and snorts mean. For the Yaggie children, Winry and Claudio vCLAUDIO continued on page 25 Prescriptions Filled. Expectations Exceeded. We go the extra mile to ensure you receive the friendly service, fair prices and pharmacy expertise you deserve for your entire family. Michelle Lamberty, R.Ph. We can help make taking your medications easier by synchronizing your refills so you can make less visits to the pharmacy. We offer free in-town delivery. Visit our website at www.rogersfamilypharmacy.com or sign up for our convenient mobile app and you can simplify your life by refilling or transferring your prescriptions to us online. 218 W. 4th Street, Yankton, SD • 605.665.8042 • www.rogersfamilypharmacy.com HERVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019v11

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