Trust Yourself

Two days ago, while tending to JP & Patch, my horse & donkey in -13 degree weather, I saw a pile of feathered fluff in the snow. It was a shivering blue jay, w/ its head tucked into itself, trying desperately to get warm. With that, I picked him up & put him in my coveralls. We went to the house, found some Turtle fur fleece warmers, & I placed him in a box in the heated basement.
All I could get him to take was water, placing it on the tip of his black beak. He would swallow it, but I couldn’t get him to take any more, at least not yet. And he was emaciated. But he still pooped, and pooped…
I brought him to work w/ me. My co-workers are used to me showing up w/ critters. I bring my parrots in sometimes. I even had a mouse in for a day. The beautiful jay preferred to stay on my arm or finger. So the whole day was entering data one-armed. He was way too quiet for a wild bird. I know this. But his heart wasn’t racing. He flew up onto my computer screen. He flitted over to the window & looked outside, without pounding at the window- just sitting there. He learned step up faster than any of my parrots.
I didn’t think I’d be able to rehab him properly, so I asked my co-worker, who also takes in critters. She found this lady close to where I live, who’s been doing this for thirteen years So, after spending the whole day w/ this sweet bird, I dropped him off there. She was a very sweet, caring lady. She held him, said how thin he was, & didn’t really hold much hope for him. With that , she placed him in this bright flannel box w/ a heating pad.
I called the next day & her husband said he had died by the time she went down to check on him.
My heart hurts. He trusted me. We bonded. I held him all day. When others came around, he’d get closer to me. But my guilt is two sided (like a typical Libra) If I kept him & he died, I’d thing I should’ve given him to the lady. Since he died so soon after I left him, I feel I let him down.
If/when it happens again, I’m going w/ my gut & will take it on myself, as long as no physical injury is apparent. They find me, so it’s only a matter of time. But next time I will trust myself.

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Goose Patrol

Having animals makes every day an adventure. If you think you’ve made it through a day without an issue, you haven’t gone to bed yet..
This time of year, it’s dark when I get home from work. The first thing I do going up the driveway is shine my headlights in the paddock to make sure JP & Patch, my thoroughbred & donkey lawn ornaments are standing on all feet & OK. Before I pull into the basement/garage I make sure the geese are accounted for. Their shed is under the deck. Three of them are together on one side w/ a border fence between them & the other two, who can come & go as they please during the day.
Well, the chinese swan goose was missing.
My husband isn’t so fond of this one. See, they all adopted us. The first four dropped in, literally, in March of 2008 (one month after my dad passed away). It was a nasty flooding storm & they were terrified enough to all take off. Domestic geese aren’t the best fliers, & worse landers. It was dark, I was feeding my lawn ornaments, & they dropped out of the sky – scared the tar out of JP, Patch & me.
Anyway, (sorry for the detour) last summer this last goose showed up outside the goose shed.
OK-another quickie- late spring I saw a gagle? of wild Canadian geese walking down the road, one parent in front, one in the middle, all the kids (about 12) in tow, w/ this white chinese swan goose walking behind, head up, proud as punch. As you know, the wild ones leave, & the swan goose was left behind. She must’ve seen our place.
Back to her most recent story. First thing I did was find my truck driver husband who was trying to sleep & yelled, “Where’s the goose?!!”, like he would know. But I just wanted to make sure he didn’t have anything to do w/ her disappearance. We’ve had lots of snow, so a few days ago I made a path down to our little stream so the geese could go play in it. Flashlight in hand I went searching & calling. With that I heard this faint “honk-squeak” & put the light on her. She was way down the stream, far away from the path & on the other side of two branches that she bent under to get to where she was. These geese can’t see well, especially at night, so she was stuck in the stream. It was already 15 degrees, so I trudged through the snow & into the stream to pick her up & carried her back up to the shed. As an official critter caretaker, thinking about myself entering the frigid water did not come into mind.
She’s doing fine today. Her name is Yin Yang. She follows me to take care of JP & Patch every morning. She bites me every chance she can, but she also lets me pick her up to warm her feet.
Now it’s time to go to bed.

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Where’s The Dog?

My husband is a truck driver. His job takes him over the Canadian border about once a week.
At the border, tractor trailers are required to drive their rigs through an xray machine, to detect bombs, unclaimed cargo, & anything that’s not supposed to be there.
This day, he went through as usual & the officer came up to him & said “Get out of the truck!” With that, he climbed out & the officer went into the truck, rummaging around. Finally, he came out & said, “Alright, where’s the dog?”
My husband said “What dog, there’s no dog in there.” Again the officer asked where he hid the dog. Finally he believed him & let him go on his way.
I knew what the officer saw..
See, back in 1997 we lost our beautiful Golden Retriever to cancer after eleven years together. Before his illness, he’d ride w/ my husband in the truck, sitting in the passenger seat like the co-pilot he was. The seat was even made for him w/ an extension on the seat part so he could sit & watch where they were going.
It was easy for me to know exactly what that xray machine picked up. Luke puppy came to visit my husband & wanted to go for another ride.
Our loved ones never leave us. But they do make themselves known in the most interesting ways!

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Welcome All Critter Caretakers

Another year, & hopefully we’ll make it a safer world for all of our furry feathered friends.
I’m new at this, so if any suggestions are floating around, I’d appreciate it.

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