When my wife and I stumbled across a fawn yesterday evening, I felt a familiar pang. Oh, Christ. This thing is still going to be sitting here tomorrow. And we’re going to have to take it in and bottle feed it and find a home for it. How do you house a fawn? How much is this going to cost me? And so on. All the while the fawn lay there, perfectly still, perhaps five feet from me. Instinct told it not to bat an eyelash so long as we were nearby.
The fawn was fine, of course. That’s what fawns do during the day — they lie perfectly still, surrounded by brush, waiting for their mothers to return in the evening. Or so Google assured us when we got home.
That thought process was repeated twenty four hours later when, today, I came across a pair of Jack Russells while hurtling down our driveway in our Volvo. The filthy collarless girls approached me warily, squatting to urinate in fealty as they belly-crawled along the gravel driveway. Recognizing that I was out of my league, I hollered for Amber, who dashed down the hill in her flip-flops. The playful pups, stinking of skunk and crawling with ticks, cheerfully followed her back to the house while I dashed off to help my brother move a couch.
I returned home an hour later to the sight of a freshly-laundered pup. The younger of the two, whose age is measured in months rather than years, had been totally cooperative while getting a bath, even playful. She excitedly squirmed around on a towel in the yard while the older one — apparently the puppy’s mother — looked on approvingly.
Amber told me that they’d lapped up water desperately when presented with a bowl, and all but inhaled the shredded chicken they were provided. Each was entirely trusting of me within no more than five minutes, jumping up on my lap and licking my face. (The skunk-sprayed mother not having had a bath just yet, this was both cute and horrifying.)
I don’t know how we acquire these critters. It just happens. We found a kitten last year, finding it a home only after we all but threatened to stir-fry it. Before that we had Emma and Wendy, who were ultimately adopted by my sister-in-law. (Wendy now loves having water run over her in the sink; you’ll have to see the picture to appreciate how funny that is.) Then there was the three-ounce newborn kitten we found in 2001. He didn’t make it. There were another dozen or so in there somewhere. And I don’t even like cats.
Dogs, of course, are a different beast entirely. I daresay I’d rather care for a fawn than a puppy.
I can’t believe I just wrote that. Give me the puppy over the fawn. What the hell would I do with a fawn?
So we’ve got these two pups now. They’re sleeping outside, in a little shelter we constructed, since Ado Annie rules the house. We’re going to put up signs, in case they have some people somewhere, but I don’t expect anybody will claim them. For the next week or so we’ll try to find them a home — preferably together — and then I guess we’ll have to take them to the SPCA, though we’d much rather not do that.
They’re awesome little dogs. If you’re looking for a dog, or you know somebody who’s looking for a dog (or two), we’d sure like to hear about it. We deliver. And it’s easier than caring for a fawn. Probably.
June 27 Update: Good news — the puppies are being reunited with their people. Sad news for any of us who’d hoped we’d be getting a new dog, though. It also turns out that they are mother and daughter.