Let's just say I had interesting pets as a child. 

Growing up, most kids got puppies or kittens as their family pet. Not us. My sisters and I wanted some cooler...something unique.

Like a raccoon.

Yep, you read that right. Growing up we had several raccoons (throughout the course of many years) as house pets, and it was awesome. Turns out, they're like a dog/cat hybrid, which is the best. Pictured above is my younger sister holding the original Oonafurse. I'm not sure where the name Oonafurse came from, but every single raccoon we ever had was named Oonafurse, AKA Oonie Coon. There was probably five or six total over the course of my childhood.

Now, there's some things you need to learn before getting a pet raccoon. First of all, you have to be certified to have a raccoon as a pet. We didn't, which isn't right, but since when have I been the best at following the rules?

Secondly, you can't just snatch a raccoon out of the wild. They need to be very young when you take them in, but not totally dependent on their mother still. In many situations, we rescued the baby raccoon. For example, their mother was hit by a car or they were seen wandering the streets all by themselves.

Now let's skip to the fun part. Raccoons are so much fun. They love to be scratched and clean things with their hands before eating. It's the cutest thing. We used to put minnows in the sink or bath and let the raccoons fish for them. They also love to play and run around. If you scratch them, sometimes they purr like a cat. Oh, and if you have a cereal cabinet...keep it locked. I can't tell you how many times I had to drag Oonie out of the Lucky Charms. It was a battle every time.

When it's time to release them, it's always sad to see them go. But, just like every other wild animal, they belong outdoors with their own kind. We give them a temporary home and show them love and Lucky Charms, then we let them go.

I love my dog, don't get me wrong, but raccoons also make some pretty rad pets. Just do it the right way if you're going to do it.

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