Teri Wilson
October 06, 2015 1:06 pm

Meet Pumpkin!

Pumpkin is a completely adorable rescue raccoon, but shhhhh, don’t tell her. It’s kind of a secret, because Pumpkin totally thinks she’s a dog. We can’t imagine why . . .

Awwww! How exactly did this happen? I mean, it’s not every day you see a raccoon chilling out with a canine bestie on what definitely looks like someone’s plush memory foam bed. (We’re a little envious of Pumpkin right about now. It’s nearly nap time, after all.)

As Rose Kemp (owner of the raccoon, the dog and possibly the fancy bed) told The Dodo, Pumpkin fell out of a tree in her backyard when she was just a month-old raccoon baby. (Fun fact: since raccoons are so closely related to bears, baby raccoons are called “cubs”).  She was super tiny, weak, and had broken her back leg in the fall. Kemp waited around for Pumpkin’s mom to return, but she never showed up. (Sob!) But before you break out the crying face emojis, this story has an adorably happy ending!

Kemp lives in the Bahamas, where the number of raccoon rescue groups is zero. Because she is clearly an awesome human being, she decided to take the raccoon cub in and make her part of the family. Kemp and her daughter, Laura Young, gave Pumpkin a name and cared for her just like her mama would have. This included round-the-clock bottle feedings, but again, they’re awesome humans so they were down with that.

Pumpkin is all grown up now and lives with Young, her husband William and their two rescue dogs, who have become the raccoon’s besties. The three of them are giving us major #squadgoals. Seriously, look at them:  

Young says, “She instantly bonded with us and our two rescue dogs and follows me and our two dogs everywhere we go. She now thinks she is a dog . . . she is able to play and be rough with them and she respects them when they have had enough.” Um, like maybe now?  

No worries. Pumpkin may like to play, but she has also clearly perfected the art of relaxation.  

Here she is looking at drawings of raccoons and thinking, “What a perfectly adorable dog.”

Pumpkin may think she’s one of the dogs (I mean, obviously), but she’s also picked up a few things from the humans in the household. Like cooking . . .
 

And table manners.  

Plus she’s totally a coffee drinker.

    She even uses a French press. (Because of course she does.)  

Real talk, though: Raccoons are most definitely wild animals and aren’t meant to be pets, which Young herself is quick to point out. “Raccoons are NOT pets,” she says. “They are wild animals, so they are quite moody. Unlike dogs and cats, they are not domesticated. Like a spoilt child if she doesn’t get her way, she will let you know.” In fact, in most parts of the U.S., keeping a raccoon as a pet is illegal. Not so in the Bahamas. (Lucky you, Pumpkin.) Pumpkin’s situation is unique, since she was orphaned as a cub. But even though she grew up being handled by caring humans, Young says caring for Pumpkin is still a 24-hour-a-day job.

We can’t help but be impressed with people so committed to animal rescue. (All of the heart eyes!) Finding such a lovely family means Pumpkin is indeed one lucky raccoon. Or, er . . . dog?

To keep up with Pumpkin and her adorable canine crew, follow her on Instagram here.

Related reading: 

These animals totally think they’re other animals—and we’re just fine with that

11 Tiny Animals Who Have No Idea How Tiny They Are

[All images via @pumpkintheraccoon]

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