This post has absolutely nothing to do with writing. Also, I cross-posted this at The Bradford Bunch blog.
I am super, duper bleeding heart animal lover and have been since I was a kid. This is evidenced by our 8 cats, 2 rabbits and one dog. Most of them were hard luck cases. All but one of our cats were strays. Our dog we found slated for death at Animal Control.
Our rabbbits, one of them anyway, was slated to be Great Horned Owl practice prey at a Raptor Rehab program I was volunteering for. I, uh, smuggled him out. I love birds of prey, but I couldn’t volunteer there after that.
The owl food was the black one.
So, when I opened my patio door last week and spotted this guy on the deck near the dog house I was charmed completely. I grabbed my camera, which is always close at hand because I don’t want to miss any toddler photo ops, and took this picture:
Close up of itty bitty teeny tiny tortoise face:
It didn’t look damaged, so I thought he just got lost. It didn’t occur to me in my non-caffeinated state (it was morning) that he could not have gotten onto the deck without, uhm, “help”. I didn’t know what kind of turtle he was. I failed turtle identification class.
Worried it could be a snapper, I carefully got him into a container for transport:
I didn’t notice the blood when I took the picture…..
I moved turtle to our pond, where likely he was living before he had “help” getting onto the deck:
I wished him a happy and productive reptilian life and assumed my good turtle karma had gained a few points. That’s when I turned around to gather the container and saw…The Blood. Taking a closer look at the turtle, (remember, still not caffeinated yet), I saw his shell had been crunched upon and the soft underside (his actual body) had been bitten.
I knew instantly who the offender was:
Our dog. The scourge of all wildlife in our yard. Springtime is brutal around here, let me tell you…. Obviously she’d determined turtle was a really cool dog toy.
So I went back into the house and called my local vet to see if I could bring turtle in for treatment. They don’t treat exotic pets, she told me, but pointed me in the direction of a vet who does. So…. I gathered turtle up from the pond and put him back into the container with a little yummy pond water for his comfort. I rousted the kiddo from her high chair and off we went.
The strangest passenger I’ve had in a while. I don’t think turtle was all that amused.
Finally, we reached our destination:
Turtle was handed over to a really cool vet who does pro bono wildlife rehab work on the side. Turtle has a fighting chance, but the lining of his lung was punctured. She thinks she will take a couple months to get him back up and running and they might have to put a feeding tube down his little turtle throat. I can call later to check on his condition. If turtle heals but cannot be returned to the wild, I told them I would take him as a pet. He turned out to be a water turtle, not a snapper.
After making a donation to the program (what a cool program!) we came back home. Whew! Not the morning I’d had planned.
Why’d I take pictures of the whole thing, you ask. Uhm, I’m just a dork that way. *shrug*
Tell me about your animal companions! I love to hear about pets, animal rescues, really about anything warm and fuzzy. I’ll give away chocolate to one of the posters. (Yes, I’m running the contest over here too. *g*)