Thanks to the Potcake Pups Who Raised Her, Pumpkin the Raccoon Thinks She’s a Dog!


Let’s cut right to the chase with this one, lest you think you’ve stumbled across some bizarre raccoon-themed website: Pumpkin is the name of a raccoon who not only thinks that she is a dog, but who lives with two rescues named Toffee and Oreo. A new book chronicling the trio’s unlikely life together in the Bahamas is out now.

But how did this situation come to be? Let’s dig into their communal backstory and find out.

Pumpkin’s story

Image via Laura Young.

According to lore, when Pumpkin was just a 1-month-old baby raccoon, she managed to fall out of a tree and break one of her back legs upon landing. At that point, her raccoon parents decided to abandon her. Luckily, two Royal Bahamian Potcake rescues named Toffee and Oreo stepped up and became her new surrogate parents.

This chain of incidents went down in the Bahamas, where Pumpkin and the dogs cohabit with Laura Young, a human with a very high tolerance for living with a creature you might affectionately call a “trash panda.”

Pumpkin’s transformation

Image via Laura Young.

As Pumpkin was carefully nurtured back to full health by the humans in her life, she began to take cues from Toffee and Oreo and started to act like a dog. These days, it’s said that she continually follows the pooches around and will even engage in play sessions with them.

So who’s Toffee?

Image via Laura Young.

Now that we’ve met the raccoon in this trio, let’s get to know her canine companions a little better. First up, Toffee is the Potcake with the white and brown coat. As you can see, she’s serious about her napping business and won’t let a little cushion tomfoolery from Pumpkin disturb her slumber.

And here’s Oreo!

Image via Laura Young.

True to her name, Oreo claims a white and black dappled coat. Just like Toffee, she seems to tolerate Pumpkin just fine — even when she’s attempting to snatch up her beloved Mardi Gras beads.

Hold up, what’s a Potcake?

Image via Laura Young.

You might be wondering what exactly a Potcake dog is, right? Well, they’re a mixed-breed that you can find living on various Caribbean islands. Apparently, the name Potcake derives from a local dish of rice and peas that was traditionally fed to dogs. Let’s also assume they are remarkably tolerant toward your average domesticated raccoon.

Snuggle bunch

Image via Laura Young.

On the basis of Pumpkin’s Instagram account, it appears that she very much enjoys running up to Toffee and giving her kisses. That, and cuddling up to her pooch pal.

Survival of the fittest

Image via Laura Young.

Naturally, when it comes to treat time, both species are equally competitive about snagging those tasty morsels. Although it appears that Pumpkin is the only one of the bunch who continually rampages through the house stealing any and all food on offer.

Pumpkin’s message

Image via Laura Young.

Despite speaking only raccoonese, we have it on official authority that Pumpkin would like to convey the following message to the world:

“Friendship and love can be found in the most unlikely of companions.”

You can follow more of Pumpkin, Toffee and Oreo’s adventures over at their Instagram and Facebook pages. The book Pumpkin: The Racoon Who Thought She Was A Dog is out now via St. Martin’s Griffin.

And be sure to watch our video tribute to Pumpkin!

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