The people who bring us orphaned and injured native Texas wildlife and their stories begin to blend together after a time, but what I’ve often noticed is that saving this one animal or this one litter or clutch takes on a life of its own. One that is much bigger that the simple act of kindness in bringing an animal for care and surrendering it to a wildlife rehabilitator for treatment.
Deep emotions are frequently revealed when at last someone says “Yes, I can help”. This single act could be a turning point, never to be forgotten; the discovery of an avocation; a cathartic release that even though a loved one had not been spared, the person COULD save this animal. A weight could be lifted that was much greater than most persons would ascribe to the life or death of an animal.
Animals whether they are domestic or wild bring to us ways of dealing with emotions that we either didn’t know what to do with or realized that we even had.
I’ve heard stories – the man who’s wife of many years died of cancer brought a fluffy yellow duckling to us to save. In some small way he was filling that empty uselessness he felt as she slipped away from him.
The man who needed to be needed and in a quirk of fate, even though he wasn’t a big animal lover, began building cages great and small.
The 12 year old son that watches all of this and can trot out every speech I’ve ever made, then quietly help me decide that this one can’t be saved and can’t be left to suffer. But there are so many more successes, the occasional broken heart is worth it.
It does make a difference
The Wildlife Center had been closed for an hour. It was the end of a very long day. I was just getting ready to leave the Wildlife Center when the phone rang. Normally after hours I would not pick up the phone but something nagged at me to take the call. On the other end was the rescuer of patient number 09-100957. A young boy had found an injured female Cardinal and his aunt was trying to find help for it. She said her nephew was nine and was very concerned about the bird and wanted to make sure it got help. I gave her directions and did another round of feeding while waiting on the boy and his dad to get to the Wildlife Center. The bird had a slight head tilt and appeared to have a head injury. I was able to stabilize the Cardinal and put her in a warm incubator. I was so impressed that a nine year old boy would insist on getting help for his special little bird and that a dad would drop everything to take the bird to the Wildlife Center. My new little friend Parker even made a donation to help care for our newest patient. Thank you to a boy, his dad, and an aunt for caring for one of our native wildlife creatures and getting it the help it needed. FYI, Parker’s Cardinal was recently released in good health.