“My husband, Gilbert, started doing wildlife rehab for at least 10-11 years. One time while I took my parents to visit my brother in Florida, my husband called me and told me that a lady in Milan had found a baby raccoon in a dumpster. She’d called the conservation officers and he’d picked up the raccoon from them. He said, ‘She doesn’t have any fingers or toes because they were burnt by all the chemicals in the dumpster - they had dried up and fallen off.’ He’d actually had her for a few days before he called me. I was just getting ready to come back and I was so upset with him for taking this raccoon because I knew we wouldn’t be able to release it. And if we did, she wouldn’t survive, so we’d have to keep it. And I was absolutely beside myself because I could just picture us with this raccoon forever. And I didn’t know how long they would live. But when I got back, I fell absolutely in love with her.
My husband was with us for 6 more months and then he had a fatal stroke. This was in 2008. And so we took the raccoon to the funeral and she kissed him goodbye.
So we’ve had her ever since. I met a lady, whose husband’s adopted wild raccoon lived to be 25 years old. So I’m assuming they can live that long. She will be 10 this year. She and my daughter, Angie, share the same birthday - April 21. I think it was a sign we were supposed to keep her and we’re glad we did.
We named her ‘Angel’ because I figured she must have had some angels watching over her. So now I have two Angels living with me.”