Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Missing Piece of My Heart

Two days ago, my younger dog found a baby chipmunk.

I was getting ready for work when I heard Luke barking and carrying on like a mad-dog on crack. Pulling my gown down as far below my ass as it would go, I went to see what he was throwing around and jumping at. When I saw the little creature, I picked up the mad-dog and took him in the house, grabbing a paper towel on my way out.

I picked him up with the paper towel, (because you KNOW Bounty is tuff), not knowing what it was or how it might react to me. The poor little thing was soaking wet, cold as ice and bleeding from somewhere. For several hours I assumed he was a squirrel. In the shape he was in you couldn’t tell. You could tell he was a baby, though his eyes had opened and he did have all his fur, he was still very young.

I didn’t want him to die in the cold grass all wet and scared and alone so I brought him to work with me along with an eye dropper I keep around for occasions such as these.

When I got to work I mixed up a little warm water with sugar, just to see if he would take anything. He was so cold. The only way I could think of to warm him up was to stick him down in the empty space in my bra cup (doesn’t everyone have a bra that doesn’t fit properly) but my boss didn’t know I had an animal at my desk and I was trying to keep it that way. Then it occurred to me…my FOOTWARMER!

I keep a foot warmer under my desk, because although I am the queen of hot flashes, they only affect me from the ankles up. My feet, on the other hand, tend to get chilly from the fact that I keep the ac turned down to 40. So into the nice and cushiony foot warmer he goes.

About two hours later I take him out to offer more sugar water. He barely sips a drop or two, but he is looking better. He is almost dry and I can tell I was wrong about him being a squirrel.

For 56 hours I kept Chip with me. I bought enough puppy replacement formula (suggested on every website I found pertaining to abandoned or injured baby animals) for 100 more Chips and was giving him that every 3 hours. He was looking better a little at a time. This morning, he actually jerked his little head up and looked at me and grabbed the dropper with his two front paws and sucked like there was no tomorrow. When I got him out 3 hours later, he didn’t look too hot. Wouldn’t take any formula.

I kept him in my lap after that and just 20 minutes ago, he died.

I have questioned whether it is good or not that I have this “thing” about animals. I absolutely cannot leave an injured animal. All my life when I have seen a turtle in the road, I have to pull over, get out, pick it up and move it to the grass so it won’t get run over. I made my former husband pull over once when I saw a dog on a chain and it had some kind of bucket stuck on its head.

He was a big dog, and dogs kept on chains out in the yard can get mean because of the sheer misery of being lonely, (please, if you can’t keep your dog inside, don’t get one) but I could not keep going and not try to get that bucket off. It was hot and the poor baby couldn’t even get a drop of water.

So husband #1 pulled over and I walked real slow up to the dog, telling him how I was his friend and please don’t bite me when I pull the bucket off and if he felt he had to bite me to please not bite me in the face.

I pulled the bucket off and threw it away from the dogs’ reach and ran like a bat outta you know where back to my car.

When I was very small I used to just cry and cry at the movies when the cowboys would get shot and cause their horses to fall down. My mother would get on to me and fuss that I “care more about the animal than the man who just got shot”. (Don’t ask me to make sense of my mother.)

It is not that I cared more about the animals; or then again maybe I did. My pets were the one "constant" and safe thing I had in my life growing up. Besides, I figure people have a mind and can take care of themselves and not put themselves into precarious situations. Animals for the most part depend on us to help them be safe.

I guess it goes without saying that I have a special place in my heart for animals. All of them. Animals know it too. Not trying to sound like a Dr. Dolittle here or anything, just saying that animals will take to me in situations where nobody else could get near them. I’ve seen this happen many times over in my life.

I am so sorry my dog found this beautiful creature. I had picked him up out of the wet grass that morning just so he wouldn’t die alone and cold, but I guess that part of my heart kicked in without my even wanting it to.


Anonymous said...

Poor Chip :( At least he died with a friend nearby!

I believe that it's true an animal can sense who is an animal lover and who is not. They are generally more drawn to those who are.

RIP Chip!

Raine said...

AWwwwwwwwww its hard on you but at least he passed in warmth and with a full tummy, much better than in the cold grass. I'm sorry he didnt make it