Recently I read a story about a deer stuck in a pond. The story ran in my favorite online newspaper, Cumming Patch. I mention this because they run my blogs and it would behoove everyone to pull them up and read them over there. (Those of you who remember Petey Pablo, disregard any similarity to “I’d like to give a shout out to Segram’s Gin – because I drink it, and they’re payin’ me for it”.)
The story was about a young doe trapped in a retention pond. Workers noticed her stuck in the frigid water, left her over the New Year’s holiday, and then called emergency services to come and rescue her on Wednesday. This leaves me speechless. At least someone called someone sometime and the little lady was finally pulled from the water and it is said she ran off, gratefully, into the woods.
I’m surprised I didn’t get the call on this one. I was out of town and wasn’t answering the phone, though, if they did call. I get a call from the county animal control, the police or someone with an animal emergency almost every day. Geese with broken wings, opossums in a drain pipe, fawns in a fence. It’s impossible for me to say no and but when I am called to come and collect something, say a pack of coyotes, I do sometimes answer these people with the statement “I’m just one girl”.
What I started out to do is raise babies, not really rescue the big guys. Still, my entire family has lived the last ten years in the middle of creature crisis. Years ago, my son, The Boy, once held a giant vulture in his lap all the way to a baseball game, played the game and then was forced to hold him again on the way home. It’s a lot to ask of an 8 year old. We once had such a rambunctious young buck in the car that it took both of my kids to hold him still in the back seat, ducking hooves, until we could get him home and look him over. We lost a baby opossum in the Ritz Carlton at the beach and all hell ensued until we found her. The first time my friend, The Trophy Wife met my little boy he had two tiny fang sized scabs on the sides of his nose. When she asked him what happened he explained that he was bitten by a snake. He then went on to tell her that his mother asked him to hold still with the dangling snake on his nose while she went to get a camera. Amazingly, she still became my friend. We’ve traveled with ground hogs, squirrels, raccoons, you name it. If they needed to be fed, they went along with us. It’s been a trip, to say the least.
I love the stories in the news that end up like this one about the deer. If you google animal rescue stories, there are great ones every day. From people taking in stray dogs to countries building land bridges over freeways so wildlife can cross without injury. My own sweet Dad once stole a dog right out of someone’s fence because he saw it being horribly mistreated. It was the only thing I ever knew of that he did “wrong” and nothing shows more heart.
Raising deer has been one of the best things in my life. They’re like doberman pinschers in they don’t show much facial expression. But like the dogs, they are super intelligent, loving and funny. This is why I get so worked up about deer hunters. There is no difference in hunting deer and hunting dogs, but I won’t get into that here. The fawns I’ve raised have had such weird, individual personalities that I remember each one fondly, just like a teacher remembers her students. I remember their names, their quirks and I hope for the best for them out there in the “big free world”. And if they happen to come across a human, and I hope they don’t, I pray it’s someone with a beautiful soul like these rescue guys.
I think a heart for animals shows there is hope left in humanity. The thought of these men on the emergency crew, standing in the cold, wading in the freezing water and spending hours to save one sweet little doe, that others would gladly get pleasure from shooting, warms my heart. It’s my personal believe that one day we’ll all stand before God and he’ll be so happy about the fact that we loved and protected his beautiful creatures that he’ll overlook all the swearing at other drivers, the gossiping about our in-laws and the possible, eh, probable overindulgences with wine. Take a minute and let that opossum or squirrel cross the road. It’ll do you both some good.