Precocious Pumpkin Young

This little raccoon literally fell into my life when I was going through a tough time. She gave me purpose and gave me confidence.

I found newborn Pumpkin with a broken leg hanging out under the shade of a tree in the Bahamas. In the Bahamas, we do not have access to wildlife rehabilitation centers, so taking her in was her only chance at survival

Her mother never returned for her, and - as there wasn't an animal rescue nearby - I took her home.

As I discovered what a character she was I started posting about her on Instagram.   

She quickly became a star after her rescue and fans flocked to see her adventures. She & her sisters soon added fans from both Facebook and Twitter as well.

From munching biscotti biscuits, enjoying avocado and undertaking a late-night snacking mission on pizza, Pumpkin has provided plenty of entertainment. 

Pumps, to her fans, was also a force for good - raising attention and funds after Hurricane Dorian struck the neighbouring Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama in September.

But she wasn't just an Instagram star. For me and my family, Pumpkin was more like "a permanent toddler". For the last five years this little girl was always by my side, through happiness and tears. I like to think she helped prepare me for motherhood.
Pumpkin and her 2 Sisters, Toffee & Oreo
loved being together

Pumpkin would lick the tears from my face and it would make me laugh and smile. She did this so many times. She wasn't camera shy, loving to pose for photos.

She would also often share the spotlight with our 2 rescue dog siblings, Toffee and Oreo wanting to play with and on them, groom them and use them for her own personal pillow.

When Pumpkin's story went viral we were overwhelmed by the opportunities that started being presented. 

I signed with a literary agent from Trident Media and from there St. Martin's Press approached us, and Pumpkin, The Racoon Who Thought She Was a Dog Book was published. (See link in resources)

For first timers who haven't actually had the opportunity to meet our beautiful girl while she was still with us ... here are some personal details about "Pumps": 
  1. She's a bit of a diva, aka "Princess Pumps", adores avocado, eggs (sunny side up), edamame, lettuce.
  2. She prefers to stay indoors in the cool air-conditioning.
  3. She loves to sleep, eat, and cuddle with Toffee and Oreo on the couch while watching TV.
  4. She loves to play hide and seek.

Pumpkin was rescued at such a young age so she has only ever known our two dogs and so she really thinks she is one of them. 

The  detail  that  I find  the  most  fascinating  is  that when  Nature called and Pumpkin needed to go, she went  the  way  that  you  or I would,  although  it  did involve  more  of  a  balancing act.  I didn't  teach her how to. Pumpkin taught herself.

We had to say goodbye to our  Pumps in October of 2019 but  not before our human baby daughter was born.  Still I was heartbroken to lose my pet racoon.

Our daughter  inherited our love of animals  and still  has  Toffee and Oreo  to  look after her. 

Laura & William Young with Pumpkin
My husband said it perfectly, "she is now forever dreaming of avocados, eggs, and sips of my leftover tea."

Pumpkin's Instagram account will remain active in some form to honour her memory. I will continue to keep this account. The format will change but it's important to me to honour our girl Pumps. I know how much you all loved and adored her. She is going to be one missed raccoon.
Thank YOU to Our WOW Pet Angel Sponsor whose mission is helping individuals & families through the process of losing a pet

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