Dick and Susan are neighbors who live across the back fence from us. Susan is an animal lover like me. We both have rescue dogs, and we both love watching our backyard wildlife: birds of all kinds, frogs and toads, jackrabbits, squirrels, and deer. But today I want to tell the story of Miss McDougal, a deer who is probably alive today because of Susan.
Susan had been feeding a small herd of does for some time. They show up on her lawn almost every evening for the grain she sets out for them. One day she saw that one of the does had a badly fractured leg. Her right ankle was swollen and bloody, but what horrified Susan was the jagged bone protruding from the skin. The other deer pushed the injured doe aside, and she didn’t get any of the grain. After awhile, she hobbled away through the trees.
Susan didn’t expect to see her again. She even hoped she wouldn’t return, so she wouldn’t have to watch her suffer. But the doe kept coming back, so Susan felt compelled to help her all she could. She shooed away the other deer so the doe could get to the feed first. The doe seemed to know Susan was helping her. In time, she let Susan stand within three or four feet of her. Susan named her Miss McDougal.
One day Susan saw that the protruding bone was simply gone. After that, the wound began to heal. Now Miss McDougal still has a limp, but she gets around fine. Susan showed before and after photos of the fracture to her veterinarian. He has no idea how she can stand and walk on that leg with the chunk of bone missing.
Sometimes Miss McDougal shows up outside Dick and Susan’s dining room window and looks in until Susan gets herself out the front door with her dish of food. And sometimes Susan stands outside and calls Miss McDougal, and she will emerge from the trees and trot across the street. Apples and tomatoes have been added to the menu, but Miss McDougal is especially fond of tortillas, as you can see from the photo.
|Miss McDougal eating a tortilla.|