Jul 13, 2015

Circle of Life

In times of death, life goes on.

Mark and I had to deal with sort of a shitty situation this weekend.
Nothing directly affecting my friends or family, although, in a way, they were kind of like family.

We live in an area that is abundant with wildlife. Like, ABUNDANT. Within our fence line, we have a family of hawks, two families of raccoon's, a thousand birds, a hundred squirrels, dozens of chipmunks, a handful of gophers, and a family of deer.
All on our property.

And that doesn't include anything that chooses to hop over the fences from time to time.
So anyways, we had a mom deer that gave birth to a baby doe a few weeks ago. Just behind our garage. And the mom deer, and dad deer, and baby all roam around the "safeness" of our fenced in lot, to sleep and graze and raise their young.
And my dogs have unfortunately been face to face with them. But those deer are much, much larger and more intimidating, and my oldest bulldog did not try to attack them. My youngest did, and luckily the baby deer was quick and thin and could hop through the front gate.  She was too young to hop over, but the daylight gave her easy access.

We were lucky. There was no blood on our hands.

Until Friday.
Mark was mowing the lawn and noticed blood leading into the woods. It was everywhere. And it was turning black, so whatever happened, happened the night before. We did hear our dogs barking very early in the morning, but thought nothing of it because they were safe inside.
That poor little baby deer did not make it through the night. She was stuck in our fence, and without protection from mom. And whatever got her did a number.
Mark said it was hard to deal with.
He scoured the woods for hours looking for......everything.
He called me, out of breathe, as he had been digging a burial hole for this poor little soul.
The bad news was tough to hear but for some reason, not being there, in the moment, made it easier for me to handle.

He tucked the little baby away as best he could, said a little prayer, and covered the site with cayenne pepper to keep any additional scavengers at bay.

I didn't go over there all weekend.

Sunday morning, I took a quick perimeter trip around the property. It's a new routine that has to be done because I do not want my dogs to come face to face with any other animals.
And there, just inside the clearing, mere feet away from her babies burial site, was the mom.
Just laying there.....waiting. Waiting for her baby to come home.

I called Mark.

He could hardly understand what I was saying while I tried to choke out sentence fragments through tears. She's just laying here. She is waiting for her baby to return. She doesn't know Mark, she doesn't know. She is right next to her baby and she doesn't know.

I was devastated with the visual of this poor mama alone in the woods, with her baby buried mere feet away from where she lays. Hoping her baby would return home to where she was born. Not knowing she is gone forever.
I just cried. Unnecessarily ugly and loud.
Crying for her loss. Crying because she just couldn't comprehend what had happened.
She was so trusting and innocent. And a life that she had just brought into this world is gone forever.
She trusted our land, our home, to bring a life into this world and it was this land that caused her babies untimely death.
Our fences, to keep our dogs safe, and wildlife out, were the same fences that prohibited her baby from escaping. Her baby was too tiny to jump those fences and couldn't break free from whatever took her from this world.

Mark suggested I turn my attention back to our home and spend time with our dogs. That it is a tough situation but nature is nature and it happens. And I know that, but it still didn't make that site any easier to handle.
So I sat in silence, sipping my coffee, and just watched these two.

I kept thinking about the whole "wearing your heart on your sleeve" thing associated with having kids. Like, could I even handle that? I can't even handle watching a momma deer lose her baby and I didn't even spend more than minutes around this little family.

And then, just as quickly, Crash launched himself from this seat to the ground, landing on his face, and nearly giving me a heart attack, all so he could go bark at the wind. And back to reality we went.

Who knew you could get gray hairs from a dog?
Thanks for reading, loves.


  1. Oof. I would have lost it, too. Definitely one of the reasons that having kids scares the crap out of me. Love the realness of this.

  2. That is the worst, I'm sorry you had such a sad moment! Why do we get so attached to all the little creatures roaming around? We have foxes, bunnies, squirrels, and birds that I have "adopted"... but Tigger is a hunter and will eat them, so I make a point of giving them run time when I open the back door. I especially love the bunnies, which I don't even know why.

  3. Oh my god I bawled reading this. I could feel the momma deers grief. I am so sorry this happened and so sorry you had to witness this. I'm so sad for the momma and you.

  4. I have tears!!! Ugh, this is heart breakingingly sad. That poor poor mom......how wonderful it was of Mark to take care of it all so kindly. Seriously, I'm impressed.

    And yes, if I actually stop to think about my own kids in this sense I don't breathe.