It seemed like a normal evening, last night--I went down to say goodnight to my wife, the dog was on the deck and I was finally getting to bed early. I went upstairs and suddenly heard barking, it knew it was Rusty and it was time for him to come in Pretty soon, I heard every dog in the neighborhood barking and this was up around 11:00. I said to Deb that we had better let Rusty in. Deb told me that he would not come in.
Rusty was still loudly barking when Deb told me to grab something and come out. It was about 11:15 and cold rain was falling down. This is the Seattle area, where Mother Nature does not always get the message that it is the middle of May and winter should be over. I could not find my baseball bat but grabbed an oar from our inflatable boat and some shoes and ran to the back yard. Rusty continued to bark and I could see him. He was barking at a bush. There was some kind of animal in the bush. We had flashlights but neither mine nor Deb's could illuminate the back corner of the yard to a point that we could see what was going on. We knew there was some kind of animal in the back yard that was vicious and could not only seriously harm Rusty, but us as well. I was afraid to poke at the bush and after one half hour, Rusty was still barking loudly, undoubtedly waking up every single person in our cul-de-sac. We tried shaking a treat jar at Rusty, but it was no use. He would keep barking at the animal and there was no stopping him. We decided to call the police. Maple Valley is an incorporated city, but contract with the King County Sheriff for police protection. We dialed 911, but the County deputies would not come out. It seemed like a hopeless situation. The animal had gotten out of the bush and was in the corner of the back yard, I ran around to the back of the fence, but I was unable to see what what was going on, Rusty was still barking (he would not stop) and an animal was snarling.
Finally, our neighbors from the corner, Alan and Kim came out. They brought a stool and a more powerful flashlight. They looked down and saw what was happening, Rusty had killed a possum and there was blood and a nasty scene. I went into the bushes, where Rusty was still barking maniacally, the possum was laying on the ground. I shine my flashlight, I could tell it was not dead. Alan took the oar and trapped the possum. Debra grabbed Rusty, who had now barked for 45 minutes straight. I threw a rock at the possum but could not get a square hit. Debra got my baseball bat and Alan came into the backyard and we were able to kill the possum and put it out of it's misery. We put it in a plastic bag and dropped it into a trash can. We bid good night to our heroic neighbors and called the vet. We found out that possums do not carry rabies and there was no need to bring Rusty (who was now panting heavily) to the animal hospital. This morning, Rusty was subdued, but seemingly feeling fine as we all went to work. Thank you to our neighbors, Alan and Kim.