I have this weird thing about me. Well, I guess I have several weird things about me but the one I'm specifically talking about is this:
If I spend time with an animal doctoring it, or trying to help it through a situation, I get way too attached. I've always had the 'I can rehabilitate you' attitude about people and animals. Does that make sense?
For example, several years ago my mother gave my (at the time) three girls 3 baby ducks for Easter. We named them Rack, Shack and Benny. (You mom's should get that one.) They stayed inside till they got too big and stinky. Then we moved them outside into a old bunny cage until they got a little older and strong enough to run around the yard by themselves. There was a pond on the church property and we lived in the parsonage. We had beautiful visions of these ducks swimming on the pond and helping to beautify the church property.
Well, they got sick, bad sick almost like a bad drunk. They couldn't hold their head up and their eyes rolled back in their heads. I searched the internet...what was wrong with my ducks? I ran to the local farm store and got a huge bag of antibiotics they sold for cows and figured out how to treat my precious ducks. They wouldn't swallow, so with a syringe and towel, I sat on my back porch all day with their little heads in my lap as I forced antibiotics down their throat drop by drop. After several hours they began to 'sober up' and I was amazed at their recovery.
Well a few weeks later the same thing happened...This time I found them laying at the edge of the pond. One of them had it's head bobbing up and down out of the water. It couldn't control it's head and it was trying not to drown. The others were near by (they were inseparable) and both also showing signs of distress. So I again played a vet and nursed them back to health. It was
after this that I realized the problem. I made the changes in their diet and they grew to be big beautiful white peeking ducks. They wouldn't ever go back to the pond for some reason and would sleep with our cat. They would waddle behind us as we walked over to the church. Everyone loved them. They were so sweet and would eat out of your hand. Although we never had the beautiful scene of them swimming on the pond, and they ate every single flower that was in my yard, we still loved them.
One day, a friend came over and said, "What's wrong with Benny?" I ran outside and saw Benny hiding under the porch and the two others no where in sight. Benny was hurt. Had blood oozing, but dutifully came to me when I called. She(yes, they were all girls) was so sad and scared. We later found a trail of blood and feathers going down the yard and out into the woods. It was obvious that something had dragged off Rack and Shack and had tried to get Benny too.
I grieved and doctored Benny. Every two hours I was up and giving her antibiotics for two days and trying to treat her wounds...she wouldn't eat & started getting really bad. I was devastated. Michael had to 'put her down' and I couldn't stand to even hear the sound of the gun. So I went and sat in the mall parking lot and waited until he called me telling me it was over. I remember calling my Grandma from there and crying my eyes out. She was so sweet and offered to pay for me to have a vet do it.
I grieved for weeks and still grieve when I think about them.
Well, this morning. My sweet dog whom I've loved through his problems and difficulties came up missing. (He's adopted and came with some issues) He's had his share of mental and physical problems and I've done all I can to help him. Doing all this only made my love for him stronger, as it did with my ducks.
We went to chain him up this morning cause we were about to leave and he was nowhere to be found. Our neighbor helped us look and told us another neighbor saw him with another dog(female?) heading out through a vineyard. We drove all over the entire village calling his name. As we went along other men helped us. Calling his name...as difficult as it is for a Portuguese person to say 'Major'. Eventually and not without the help of the others we found him. He was relieved to see us. I told him that women weren't worth all this trouble and we brought him home.
Tonight, again as I was doctoring a boo boo on his elbow and giving him the 'talk' about lady dogs I was reminded of how attached I get to animals. I've never been a 'animal person' really. Maybe it's because I know I'll get too attached. Who knows....maybe I'm just weird. Maybe I just need pets like fish that I won't have to doctor and rehabilitate, just flush them down the toilet.
So, after typing the longest post in history, I am happy to say that Major is inside and laying on his blue blanket. Hopefully he is considering his actions today and deciding he doesn't want to do that again.
Special thanks to The Domestic Fringe for hosting the carnival and and to the AMNH for donating the prizes.