When we let her out to void her various body cavities in the back yard, she likes to run to all the corners of the yard as soon as we open the door, and typically a squirrel or something will run away as she does this. When I let her out last night, there was instead a growling and roaring as though another good-sized dog was back there and she was fighting with it.
It being pitch black, I didn't really know what was going on, but they were running down the side fence and scuffling on either side of it, with the "dog" scooting up and down the fence all the way—i.e., it wasn't a dog. My next guess was "large stray cat", but as I ran up and grabbed the dog and tossed her indoors, it became clear that it was (a) a raccoon and (b) very much not running away.
Right about this time, my younger brother's birthday party party (our parents, his school friends, some of their parents, and maru_mari) showed up and asked why I was yelling at the dog. I yelled at them to get the light off my bike, light the raccoon in the shrub/tree right in front of me where it was hanging out, and call 911.
Since "small wild animal" + "not running away when threatened" = "rabid animal zomg we're all going to die" in my world, I was pretty much hoping that the local animal control officer would show up with a noose on a stick, capture and box the critter, take it back to base and cut its head off and tell me whether it was rabid or just randomly psycho. Instead, what showed up was a random cop, who said that the only tool in his box was to shoot the raccoon, and he wasn't going to do that because it was in a tree.
So at this point I've got conflicting advice. I spent a while staring at it and it wasn't obviously symptomatic: a bit of snot coming out of its nose, and plenty bold, but not foaming or chewing on itself or twitching or whatnot. Neither I nor the dog have any wounds that anybody could find. Allegedly bold raccoons may just have kits nearby, or be in a mood, or whatever the fuck.
Apparently the theory is that the dog needs to be quarantined for several months and can't have any shots, and depending on the definition of "exposure" I may need to go through some shots with some really nasty side effects. All in all, not the best way to spend an evening.