Fox - We saw our fox as we were leaving on vacation. Let me back up - we have an old, ratty fox. Squinty eyes, mangy fur. When we met him his tail was bone with a tuft of fur at the end, but it's grown in a little. His tail's like a Brazillian landing strip now.
What I'm saying is: he's a distinctive fox. We spotted him on the first day of vacation when we were driving out of the subdivision on the way to the airport. One o'clock in the afternoon, padding down the sidewalk, like he was going to his Job as a Fox early because these people were leaving and someone had to watch the house.
We felt it was a good omen.
Boo Boo The Poodle - Our hotel, the Portofino Bay Universal resort hotel, is a "pet-friendly hotel." We were on the bottom floor, where I think all the pets stay because the rooms have sliding glass doors that open on to the piazza and the little lake there. Actually, our room is at very far right of this photo:
(No, I didn't take that photo. I got it off Wikipedia.)
We had two very quiet pugs on one side and a lonely poodle on the other.
Our room adjoined Boo Boo's via a locked door. We heard the poodle bark often, we heard his parents argue, and we heard them say, "Bye, Boo Boo" when they left for 18 hour stretches. Boo Boo barked like a fading smoke alarm: just when you'd forgotten about it: beep! there it is again, just for a moment.
I met his owner one day on the lake. "Has he been keeping you awake?" the owner asked. "Oh, he doesn't bark at night." I said POINTEDLY.
Ducks - Of course, there were ducks, and of course I fed them room service bread, as you do. I fed them twice. The first time it was by the clock tower in the photo above. Then, two days later, I was sitting right outside our room (as I say, to the right on the photo above), when I saw a duck in the center of the lake swimming my way and quacking. By the time he got to me he had five of his friends in tow, demanding bread. I had to oblige. It felt very much as if he saw me across the lake and called out, "Hey, there's that plump lady who fed us Tuesday. Let's hit her up."
Raccoon - Well, the vacation began with the good omen of the fox trotting to our house, but the first thing that greeted us on our return was a dead racoon splayed across the backyard. Of course, I thought it was a mafia hit, but the corpse had no holes. I thought then it had been found in a trash can and flung in to our yard, but that thing weighed fifty pounds. Then, naturally, I thought it had died of the distemper that is affecting raccoons in south St.Louis city. But, none of our raccoons have shown any signs of distemper in the hours of videos we take of them.
I don't know. The raccoon party may be dying down at our house. It's been two years, surely Gary must be tired of this hobby by now.