I am the proud parent of these three pooches. As such I also own an implement commonly known as a pooper scooper. Being a bit of a slouch, I rarely use it for its intended purpose. But use it I do. It comes in handy in doggy vs. wildlife emergencies, especially if there is gore present.
Release That Possum - a Two-Step Process
I have successfully reclaimed a fat possum that may or may not have been feigning death after my dogs got it. I scooped it onto the flimsy tines of the rake, sprinted to a nearby ravine, hoisted it for a long-lob. The possum rolled down the rake handle and plopped onto my foot. This was in clear violation of my no-physical-contact rule and resulted in a brief freak out before I moved on to the next step.
The Croquet Mallet
If you find you are unable to hurl the object, turn the rake sideways and nudge it. In this case, down the slope. This technique is inefficient as the tines are not designed to move something this heavy. Even though I only managed to roll the critter under some brush I considered it a job well done. Out of sight is where that possum needed to be.
The Flip Tool
The scooper does well with eviscerated rodents. Gently slide the tines under the corpse and with a quick flip of the wrist, send it flying into the overgrown garden outside the fenced-in area. This method is quick and to the point.
This next one is a real challenge. Picture ground hog entrails spread across the yard like glistening gray ribbons. The goal here is to gather them up before the dogs eat them. It is crucial that you do not look at the guts or touch them while doing this. Stand sideways, cover your eyes, and use the rake to pile the straggling bits into a tidy clump. Warning: Be sure to have a plastic bag close at hand. If you don't you'll have to run in the house to get one and upon your return you may witness one of your dogs snarfing up the entrails.
At this point you will chase the dog around the yard with scooper in hand flailing your arms and screaming, "Drop it!" The dog will ignore you, and outrun you while munching its way through the tasty treat. Unfortunate but at least you won't have to look at those innards again.
When your dog has finished with the guts, it will run under the bushes where it has stashed the disemboweled carcass of the ground hog. The wily hound seems to know you cannot - will not crawl under the bushes after it. A few jabs with the scooper will distract the dog so it stops gnawing the head. When the dog is sufficiently annoyed, it will snatch up the remains and prance through the yard playing you-can't-catch me. Patience. When the dog drops its prize to resume its meal, creep up to it, swing the rake with all your might and impale the carcass with the tines. Hang tight while the dog tries to pry it loose. Remember, you are in charge. Calm. Assertive.
Don't be fooled. You are not scooping poop, and the pong from the dead ground hog will make you wish you were. Carefully slide the rake under the fuzzy remains while keeping the dog at bay with sideways kicks. Slowly ease the critter into the plastic bag making sure no part of it touches you. Done.
The Life Saver
This made for a nice change. Rather than coming in at the tail end of things, I was able to avert a disaster. I knew when my dog stood with raised hackles barking at something on the ground it could only be one thing. A snake. Not to worry. Grab the pooper scooper and use it to herd the dog inside the house. Once all canines are behind closed doors, stand as far away from the snake as possible and wave the rake in its face. Eventually it will stop trying to bite the rake and glide under the fence and out of your life.