May 2012 has turned out to be quite a busy month. I released Gino, my overwintering opossum boy, next to a swampy area and nearly a mile away from traffic. As most releases go, it went quick: Gino carefully set foot out of his carrier, felt grass and dirt under his feet, and bolted about 10 feet away before stopping. He turned his head and gave me one last look and then disappeared into the tall grass. - While this may sound disappointing to those who expect fanfares, it actually means that I did my job well and preserved his wildness. That is the whole point of wildlife rehabilitation: raise or nurture them until they're ready to go back in the wild, yet never forget that these are wild animals that need to remain wild at heart.
A juvenile chipmunk boy must have walked out of his mother's home and straight into a cat's mouth. He arrived with his right side partially degloved (fur hanging down with muscle and flesh exposed) and was in severe pain. I gave him pain medication and then ran out to meet up with a friend whose daughter is developing a line of ancient Chinese medical ointments because this was the perfect time to try out the medication. It worked wonderfully. The little guy has put on weight and has grown and is incredibly lively now. I will hold on to him a little longer until the wound has healed completely and then set him free again, away from city cats.
A robin nestling arrived earlier this week. Usually I don't take birds, but it can be tough for people here in Massachusetts since there are so few rehabilitators licensed to take birds. She is doing well, she has gotten the hang of swallowing large earth worms and keeping them down even if they try hard to crawl back out of her beak. In the few days since her arrival her chest and abdominal feathers have grown and she is already busily exercising her wings. I wonder if it itches as feathers grow?
And yesterday I got a surprise call: a woman who befriended me on Facebook just about a week ago called highly upset: Her Lionhead rabbit had given birth four weeks ago and developed a cold last Sunday, so Monday she was taken to a friend so as not to infect her litter. The babies, who are still nursing, were given to another friend to bottle feed them. Excellent protocol, it's always good to separate sick animals from healthy ones. What she didn't expect, however, was that the mother had been impregnated again the day of giving birth. The father had been removed immediately when the babies were born, but apparently not fast enough. When she finally found the time to clean the now empty cage she discovered six newborn bunnies who were all still alive but hanging on. Realizing that she was in over her head with these newborns, she called me in hopes that I might be willing to help the babies. Of course I said yes, bring them right away, since they needed fluids badly. Upon their arrival I was surprised how strong they still were despite having been without food for nearly four days already. The woman estimates that they were born either Sunday or Monday morning, but we will know for sure when their eyes open since that is on Day Ten of their little lives. - So far, all are doing very well and now drinking nearly their full portion.
As for crafts, these are my newest creations: two shadow boxes. The first one is larger, and it was a birthday gift for Darlene from dutchpapercraft. She loves it. The second one is smaller, and I just finished it late last night. Darlene's gift features a maple tree and day lilies, the second one has sweet peas climbing up on a trellis. Every piece in the pictures is hand made, including the basket in the second picture, and the background is hand woven for added texture.
The price for the sweet peas and flower basket shadow box is only $39.95 plus actual shipping costs. I don't charge for handling or other such nonsense. The box measures 8" high by 5 3/4" wide by 2 1/2" deep. Right now it is the only one available. It took me four days to make all the pieces and then create this work of art, and the paper is sprayed with a preservative so it won't be affected by humidity.
I always welcome your feedback or suggestions. If you like my blog, by all means, please spread the word. I sell my crafts to help offset the high cost of wildlife rehabilitation, and if you buy directly from me I don't have to add in the profit Etsy or eBay or anybody else pockets on their sites. If an item is not in stock I can make you one, but please allow for the time it takes to do so.