Oh, the drama of owning Smooth Fox Terriers! They’ve been called large dogs trapped in small bodies and they truly have no idea that they are just this side of being lapdog sized. But after last night’s drama, I think Oscar is going to be picking his battles very, very carefully.

We have a completely decked over back yard (which is about the size of a large postage stamp) which is surrounded mostly by the walls of other Victorians or our neighbors’ own back fences and decked back yards. We’ve sealed off most of the access to underneath, especially since the time Lucy wriggled under and had a close personal encounter with a skunk.

But Oscar is a lot skinnier and a lot more determined. Somehow he got under the deck and met up with a really evil looking raccoon. One that appeared to be nearly twice his size. How do we know the size? Because we spent more than two hours last night crawling as far as we could get under our deck, between fences and over neighbors’ fences with flashlights looking at the two of them. Seems Oscar is a brilliant tactician. Even when we sprayed a high pressure hose in there to try and break the deadlock, he managed to keep the raccoon wedged in one corner or another. Soon the growling and snarllng from the raccoon got very ugly and Oscar started to sound a lot less hesitant about the whole thing.

However, we were working against 400 years of breeding resulting in a dog that has been engineered to follow varmints into dark places and never give up until one of them is dead. Those are the terrier rules of engagement. There was no way Oscar was going to end this. Someone had to end it for him.

By 45 minutes into this madness, Andy started dismantling our deck to try to get to Oscar and the raccoon, who immediately moved beneath the hot tub which wasn’t going to be moved by anything smaller than a crane.

Another 45 minutes into it, another section of the deck destroyed, water sprayed everywhere and we called in Animal Control. Luckily they had one of those long noose thingys. When Oscar poked his head up with a look on his face that said, “Get me out of this mess”, the officer hooked him and dragged him up. No word on what happened to the raccoon.

Luckily, he hadn’t been bitten, so the officer didn’t quarantine him. Unluckily, you can’t have that much adrenaline pumping through a fifteen pound body without bad effect. He immediately threw up, got rid of some other stuff and then crawled into my arms whimpering.

So now you know what they mean when they say, “Tenacious as a Terrier”.