|We like to think of our little 10 acres as a wildlife refuge, but two days ago on July 12 it decidedly was not I was out behind our house admiring the blooming flowers when suddenly our neighbor’s three dogs found a baby deer nestled in the grasses and began chasing him. He cried loudly for his mother. He sounded just like a baby lamb. He was so frightened. Mom came running but stopped at the horrifying sight of three very fast dogs leaping and biting and me running and screaming at the dogs trying to get them to stop. I was running as fast as I could (which is pretty slow compared to the deer and the dogs) as they weaved back and forth among the grasses and trees. Finally, they cornered the baby in the creek. He was under the water except for his little head and obviously trapped by both the creek banks and the dogs. Thankfully,I was able to get him into my arms and carry him back to the house. He was soaking wet and bleeding badly from a bite on his hip. They nicked his ears and neck too. I saw the momma deer at the beginning of the chase so I knew she was somewhere watching. Before I took her baby into the house, I called out to her and told her I would bring her baby back to her, hoping I could keep my promise.
The bleeding finally stopped, and I called our local wildlife rehabilitation center–Operation Wildlife in Linwood, KS–and after describing his injuries, they agreed I should bring him in to them. As it turned out, the OWL staff found no broken bones, sutured him up, and gave him something for shock. They felt the best bet would be to try to reunite him with his mother and ask the neighbor to keep her dogs at home for a while (which I did).
So here’s the miraculous part. I brought him back home just before nightfall. I set him down on the ground close to the deer path, intending to either nestle him in the grass and keep watch or follow him as best I could. And then I looked north toward the treeline. There she was about 100 feet from me waiting for her promised little one. He was a bit wobbly but off he went to join his mother who would know better than any of us how to feed and care for him.
I walked the deer trails on our 10 acres the next morning hoping not to find him, and I didn’t. I believe Momma has taken him to a safer area. I feel so grateful that I was where I needed to be to help that precious baby deer and his mother. Holding him in my lap and close to my heart once I reached the house was a memory I will cherish forever. As we both caught our breath, I was amazed at how he seemed to trust me and somehow know that I meant him no harm. Time stood still as I felt his heart beating and gazed at his astonishing beauty–his perfect ears; his big, soulful eyes; the white camouflage dots on his silky back; his tiny hooves. It is said that those who are awake in this world live in a constant state of awe and amazement at the miracles all around us. It is moments like these that wake us up to the truth. All beings love life and freedom. May we all do our part to protect them and do them no harm They are not ours to hunt or eat or wear or dominate. They are here, like we are, to celebrate life in all its wonders.
Operation Wildlife was wonderful and definitely helped save this little guy’s life They always need donations, and they have lots of animals to rescue, rehab and release, especially this time of year. So if you can, consider sending them a donation. You can donate online at www.owl-online.org.
Peace to all beings all the time–Judy