Sunday, December 19, 2010

Doctoring Wildlife... Day 14/30

Today's post is written by my sister Linda. I have a wonderful picture of this fawn with our German Shepherd that I'll upload and share before the end of these 30 days.

Dad was always bringing home orphaned, wounded, or unwanted animals. When I was about 10 years old, he brought home an orphaned mule deer fawn. An older couple had been driving near Lowman and saw an eagle trying to pick up the fawn. They picked the baby up and brought it to us. He was only a few days old and was so young he could barely stand up. We fed him warm milk using a baby bottle. Our German Shepherd was very maternal, and took to the fawn like he was her own puppy.

The fawn grew quickly, and took to following me and my friends on our treks around the remote area where we lived. He followed us along little mountain trails and through creeks, and loved our adventures. He couldn’t stand the thought of missing out on some fun.

One day, he followed us to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor’s dog saw him and began barking and chasing him. The poor little deer turned and ran for his life, right through a barbed wire fence. The fence ripped a big gash in his front leg right at the armpit. (Do deer have armpits?)

When we got him back home, mom and dad doctored his wound the best they could. There was no keeping him off it, the little guy had no intention of taking this wound lying down! Because the barbwire was rusty, dad decided to give him a tetanus shot too. So I held the deer still, and stroked his neck while dad prepared the syringe.

As soon as dad sunk the needle in his butt, that deer went straight in the air like a rocket, and took off up the hill doing that bouncing-running (stotting) that deer do when they're afraid. As he bounced, that syringe bounced and bobbed right along with him, still stuck in his butt, the pain of it’s movement making him bounce and run even faster.

Dad squawked in disbelief (or disgust). I screamed and began to cry. Dad took off up the hill after the deer, running as fast as he could to try to catch him. Both were soon out of sight. Tactfully concealing her laughter at the humorous sight, mom began trying to comfort me, telling me that dad would find our family member.

Dad and the deer did eventually return home together. I have no idea how far the deer ran, or how long it took dad to catch up to him, but dad would have chased him to the next county if he’d needed to in order to bring my sweet deer home to me.

The deer’s wound healed fine and dad learned to hang on tight to the syringe the next time he had to give an animal a vaccine.


Dee said...

We all loved that deer. When we first got it, it had a tiny fuzzy little face, those pretty white spots all over its back. It was so adorable, we fawned over the fawn !
Even our wonderful sweet German Shepherd mothered it, licking its face, lying down with it. It was so sweet to watch.

JACKI said...

this is a cute story... and I'm glad it had a happy ending. I was beginning to worry that it wouldn't.