Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Deer in the Headlights

Yesterday, I was driving Anna to her evening art class. It was dusk, and I scanned the roadsides for deer. Just nearing the end of our road, we passed a deer that was lying in the grass. I asked Anna if that deer was dead, and she said she wasn't sure. It's head was down, but it looked oddly composed to be dead. I proceeded to take her to class, not knowing what I'd do anyway as I still mentally turned it around in my head as to how one helps an injured deer. No, I couldn't do anything. Maybe, like many wildlife I find, leaving it alone, it would recover and run off.

On the way we saw two herds in the fields on either side of the road, twenty at least, as cars whizzed by at 55 mph. Anna successfully deposited at class, I determined to at least look for the deer on my way home. I slowed, and there it was, lying down in the grass, but now with it's neck and ears up and alert. Putting on my emergency flashers, I got out and the poor thing tried to run. It's back leg was broken through. Someone had hit it and left it to die in this frigid weather.

I called everyone I knew who hunted, and as luck would have it, no one was home. I called directory assistance to get the sheriff, but the office was closed. Finally, I called 911. "What is the nature of your emergency?"

I apologized for using the service to call about a deer but could they please send the sheriff? The man's voice audibly relaxed, almost happy to take this "emergency" call that was easy and he could handle. Ten minutes later, the sheriff arrived. I explained. "Well, ma'am, I'm sorry but all I can do is put it down." I told him that's why I had called, I wanted him to shoot it, to put it out of it's misery in this cold and before the coyotes tore it apart alive. He was very nice when I said would he mind if I left, not wanting to witness it though I thought it was the right thing to do. He for the first time looked at me and smiled, saying that they do this all the time and he didn't mind. I repeated my gratitude that he was doing this and left.

Later, I returned along the same route to pick Anna up from her class, and there lay the deer along the road, dead. Sad, but happy that it was no longer in pain, no danger to passing cars, and not freezing. Today, it'll feed some vultures, and the cycle continues.


Dad called my sister yesterday and said he was going home the next day. Although this was based on a comment by the pulmonary therapist not a doctor, it does appear that he will be able to go home sometime this week. It is wonderful to see his continued progress. Though still winded, he got up and walked yesterday.

Yesterday, it was so cold that when I let out the two chickens that I currently freerange, they roosted on a garbage can and shivered. They let me catch them (an indication of just how cold they were) and I returned them to the crate in the garage (my current solution to the lack of a heated coop for them; dh is not amused).

I still feel like I've just emerged from having the flu. I'm trying to catch up but my limbs feel heavy, my eyes want a nap. It will come, I'm sure.


pita-woman said...

#1) glad your dad's doing better
#2) glad it was you & not me that saw the deer... you know me, I'd probably have brought it home & tried nursing it back to health & been blogging about my new pet-project (pun intended). You did the right thing.

Cloudia said...

Love Anna's paintings; and love you for your care of animals!

Barrie said...

Great news about your dad!

chuckmccky said...

Glad to hear your dad is better! Is he in rehab now?

Actually I have been keeping up with your posts but not had time to reply. I am embroiled in a mess changing brokerage companies (if companies would only follow the instructions you give them!) ..but that is another story or another blog.


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