Jan 14 2016
If you have read my journal for any length of time, then you know I am a wildlife rehabber/rescuer and in the years since starting this I have rescued and released hundreds of wild animals.
I have seen abuse, and starvation and illness and broken bones. I have seen people try to sell these wild animals and people try to help with them. I guess I have seen the good and the bad in the human race. Sometimes it is hard to get the bad out of your head, amazing just how cruel people can be. I have held these animals as they died from starvation, and Master has spent hundreds of dollars on vet bills (thank god we get discounted vet bills or we would go broke) only to release the animal a few weeks later. I can now treat UTIs and Yeast and eczema , I can subQ or intermuscular an injection. I can tube feed or bottle feed. I have been shit on and pissed and puked on more times then I can even count!
I have said numerous times as I have held a dying animal in my hands and cried, that I am done. I am not doing this anymore. It is too hard.
And then the vet calls, and off I go to get another one.
And the circle begins again.
And I have lost a few, too starved or too sick or brought to us too late or too injured and in those cases, I am thankful, that they had a warm safe place to die. That they were not shivering under a bush, scared to death. And that keeps me going sometimes..
I have saved..hundreds. I cannot even begin to count (well I could I keep records on them all ) and we go thru the process, the first 48 hours, and we play with them and love them and care for them and teach them to fly (yes seriously ask Master how I do this, it is not easy lol) or teach them to climb and we SEPERATE from them, and put them out in a safe place to experience the weather and dogs, cats, night noise. And in a few weeks or months. I shed a few tears as I say good bye and watch them leave.
Not ALL of them leave, you can go in my yard in the morning and late afternoon and on any given day there is an array of wildlife, flying, running around us waiting for food. And we feed them and we recognize some of them and we laugh and go on.
BUT, a few of these wild animals, tug so hard at my heart strings, that I just cannot bare to let them go. And I am struggling with that..now. His name is Gizmo. He came to us Aug 30, at about 5 to 6 weeks of age. With a broken foot. I just wanted to cry, the people were passing him around like a toy and I swear evenytime they moved his paw, he cried out. It was too late to see the vet, so I came home with our new guy, made him comfortable, gave him some pain meds and waited.
Come morning we rushed him to the vets to set and cast his broken leg. It was broken in two spots. We came home with antibiotics, pain meds and this little itty bitty squirrel that look like he had a baseball bat for a foot.
We called him Gizmo. And I would feed him with a bottle (squirrels actually nurse till about 12 weeks old) And he would lay on me and fall asleep. And he would sleep there for hours. And He never complained about his cast and he never tried to chew it off. He was and is such a happy little squirrel. Finally after a few weeks the cast came OFF!! And He was able to climb all over me and play and jump and so we moved him to a bigger cage. And a few weeks later, he was moved outside to the fish house to begin his transition into the wild.
And here comes the problem. He (ok maybe I) have never seperated. I call his name and He finds the fastest, quickest, most efficient way to get to me. And He jumps on my shoulder and tries to bury his peanut in my hair. Or He sits in my lap and eats his peanut. It is SO bad that I have to get master to get Him off me and I run out the door with Gizmo running after me!
And I laugh and I think ok Gizmo you are 5 months old it is time to be free! (Baby squirrels stay with momma until they are 15 to 20 weeks) and I say to Master "Next week we will open the door and set him free." and then I see a Hawk and think, naaa not this week. Maybe next. and next week rolls around and the weather report says "severe thunderstorms with the potential for tornadoes: and I think..naaa not this week..maybe next.
And Master says "it is time. It is not fair to the other three squirrels we have waiting to run in the fish house." And I reply "yes Master I know but...(insert whatever excuse I can come up with here." and Master says "soon Gizmo has to go."
I dont want to let gizmo go. I want Master to build Gizmo his very own BIG enclosure so that Gizmo can stay with me, I dont want to cry when I release him and worry that A hawk will get him.
I WANT GIZMO
Yet I know, I know that soon Gizmo will go in heat and His mind will be on one thing, finding a girlfriend. I know that a day of freedom in the wild is better then a lifetime in a cage. I KNOW ALL THIS. But tell my heart that. I know they call people squirrely for a reason. Squirrels are like 2 year olds jacked up on a mega dose of caffeine and no parental supervision.
And yet my heart says, just one. Just keep one squirrel as a pet. Keep this one. Keep Gizmo.
And so I continue to battle with letting my little boy go. Maybe next week.
I am finally a grandma