Category Archives: animals

Cars and Deer Don’t Mix!

This morning I drove to Franklin to take a silversmithing class…something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  It was in one of the many gated communities that have sprung up along Hillsboro road…nice homes, small yards, little to no trees, but in the safety of a gated community.  When H was little I wished we lived in one of those, so she could play in the neighborhood with other neighborhood kids, but now that she’s older I’m glad we stayed where we are.  Our old neighborhood has large lots, tons of trees, and an assortment of wildlife at any given time.

It’s not rare to see a beautiful deer leap across the road in front of you, but until today I always admired them from afar.   I had mistakenly thought that they were afraid of cars.  After my class I was driving home down Hillsboro Road, and about 500 feet in front of me a beautiful gazelle jumped off the hill to the left of the highway, glided across the road and down the hill to the right, into a small set of trees.  I remember admiring the pure beauty of one of God’s creatures doing what came so naturally…running.

Then, before I could really register what came next, I saw another one, running into the road right in front of me.  I slammed on my brakes, and in that split second, she froze, bending her front legs and looking right into my eyes.  The next thing I knew, I had hit her.  I skidded to a stop, thinking I had run over her and she was behind me.  Screaming inside the car, I pulled over and took off my seatbelt to run back to see how badly she was hurt.  That’s when I heard the most horrible sound…a braying, long, drawn out wail that sounded like it was inside my car with me.  She was still under my car…I must have hit her and dragged her with me while I was trying to stop.  Words can’t describe the horror I felt, the utter and complete sense of not knowing what to do.

My moaning almost matched hers as I pulled my phone out to call 911.  I tried to stay calm while telling the operator where I was, but when I hung up the phone I was all alone in the car with this poor critically injured creature trapped under my seat, making the most god-awful noise I had ever heard.  I didn’t know what to do…by this time I was hysterical.  Every time I would think I was getting myself under control, she would start wailing again and so would I.  Finally, a volunteer police officer came and told me to get out of the passenger side, so I wouldn’t disturb the animal (or see it), and a couple of men picked up the front of my car to try to relieve the pressure.  I was pacing back and forth, thinking I needed to call my husband, but in the state I was in I knew if I called him he would be really worried.  So I finally just sat down on the side of the road and curled up into a ball, crying. Then two angels…two women stopped and came over to check on me.  Their kind words and most importantly, very strong hugs, helped to calm me down.

I called J, spoke with the deputy, and made sure my car was drivable.  I don’t know what they did with the deer.  I think they put her out of her misery somehow, because she finally stopped crying.  I know I probably over-reacted, but I will never forget the look on that deer’s face the instant before I hit her, or her long mournful cries.  I also know it wasn’t my fault, but I hate that the construction all over their natural habitat  forced them out into traffic.  It didn’t damage my car, and I wasn’t hurt, so I guess I was lucky.  But that poor deer, just following her mother or sibling or friend on a nice spring afternoon wasn’t.   I guess the lesson for me might be that if I see one deer, that there might be more very close by, so I need to be more aware.  It’s a lesson I won’t soon forget.

Our family is growing…plus Fresh Corn Potato Salad!

Life at our house has taken a dramatic turn…after much thought, discussion, and debate, we decided to adopt a new baby.  So here we are, beginning our 50’s with a baby in the house.

Our dog Rosie is now six, and is very active. Three years ago, she had a touch of arthritis and the vet told us she needed to lose weight, so we put her on a green bean diet. (Cut food in half and supplement with green beans). Now she’s 30 pounds lighter and loves to run and play and does so with no limping. We thought it would be a good idea to get a new puppy so she will have a buddy to run and play with. We were told it would keep her young. Although she gets a little annoyed with her right now,  they are already playing together and we can tell they are going to be great friends.

She has the only child syndrome, though, and needs to learn to share her toys…

I haven’t had much chance to write, with the housetraining and swim training and walking and cleaning up accidents around the house…

But I just had to share a recipe that I kind of threw together today with stuff I needed to use up in the refrigerator before I went to the grocery. I’ve been trying to find good recipes that will go with J’s fish and H’s tempeh or tofu or whatever vegetarian protein I can find. I’m tired of the usual rice and veggies. I had a couple of ears of corn from the roadside farmer’s market, a bag of spinach, some cherry tomatoes and half a bag of baby potatoes. This recipe actually has about 10 grams of protein per serving, so it could be a vegetarian entree if you want. This recipe serves 4, but you can double it if you have a larger family.

Corn and Potato Salad

4-6 ounces small yellow potatoes
Two ears of fresh corn kernels (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup minced shallots
1 1/2 TBSP white balsamic vinegar (or rice vinegar)
1/2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

3 cups spinach, trimmed (or arugula)
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

feta or goat cheese to sprinkle on top

Place potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 11 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to chill. Cut potatoes in half. Combine potatoes, corn, tomatoes and bell pepper in a large bowl.

Combine shallots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir together and slowly pour oil into mixture while stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle over corn mixture, and toss. Add Spinach, toss. Sprinkle with basil and feta cheese (if desired).

I made  pecan crusted trout for J, topped some marinated tempeh with the pecan/bread crumb topping and baked it with the trout, then added some sauteed green beans and it was a big hit with my family.   (**Big time saver for the trout…I found Progresso Italian Style Panko and combined that with some crushed pecans to top the fish and tempeh. )You should try it now, while we can still get some of the fresh veggies from local farmers. Yummy!

Finding an Injured or Stray Animal

Thursday afternoon we were on our way to the airport, driving down Lynnwood Boulevard, when suddenly J said, “Oh, my God, it’s a cat!” He did a quick U-turn and H and I saw what he was talking about.. It was a tiny kitten (probably 8-10 weeks old), curled up in the very middle of the street, looking like it was taking a nap in the sun. Cars were whizzing by in both directions, so we started beeping and yelling to try to keep them from just running right over the little thing. J stopped traffic and walked over to pick up the kitten to get it out of the way. It had raised its head and meowed, so we knew it was alive. But when he picked it up, we saw it was bleeding a little from its nose. I was in a little bit of shock…my husband HATES cats, so it was amazing that he had stopped. He took the kitten over to a yard and put it down very gently, and it just kind of fell over, so we realized it was injured. H volunteers at “Love at First Sight”, an animal adoption center, which is right across from Murphy Road Veterinarians, so she asked if we could take it there. One look at her face, and J just crumbled. H held it in the backseat and we made the quick detour on our way to the airport. We thought at first maybe it was just slightly injured, but it couldn’t stand up and it was gagging all the way to the vet, so we think it was bleeding internally and probably choking. The people at Murphy Road were very sweet, and careful about what they said to H because she was crying, but they said if they didn’t think they could make it better, they’d stop treatment and euthanize it. We feel like that is better than it bleeding to death in the middle of the road, or worse, if another car didn’t see it.

Then, last night on our way home from the dinner, we saw a black lab wandering down a very busy road. It had a collar on, so it obviously was someone’s pet who had wandered away or gotten lost, so we tried to catch it to see if there was a phone number. He was very skittish and ran off, so we went on home, but J and H couldn’t stand leaving, just knowing he was out there wandering on the road, so they grabbed some treats and went back out to try to find him. They could never get him to come to them, so we’re hoping he lived in the area and made it home. It’s funny, now I think we’re going to see all the lost/injured animals that we probably never noticed before.

I started thinking about that, and the fact that when we took the kitten we needed a towel or something to wrap around it, and the fact that we’re lucky it was little and H was there to hold it. I don’t know what we would have done if it was a bigger animal who was injured more severely, or aggressive. We were also lucky the vet was only a little out of our way, and that they were kind enough to take it in. So I started doing some research.

The Humane Society of the United States has some good advice. If you know in your heart you are going to be a rescuer, there are some things you should have in your car at all times: Cell phone, phone numbers of local animal control, a shelter, and a 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic; cat carrier or cardboard box; collars and strong leashes for dogs; heavy blanket; water bowls and water; strong-smelling foods, such as canned tuna or dried liver (to lure the animal to you); and an animal first-aid kit.

I hate to admit that I have seen animals injured on the side of the road, and didn’t stop, either because I was rushing somewhere or didn’t know what to do. At the very least, from now on I’m going to keep a towel in the car, and program the numbers for animal control, the humane society, and the emergency pet clinic. From now on, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to just drive by.

Why is it that we give human characteristics to our dogs?

Rosie is walking around the house looking for Jake…

Why is it that we give human characteristics to our dogs? My Mother-in-law called and said that Jake missed Rosie.

After spending about 6 hours looking at each other like they weren’t sure what they were looking at, the two black dogs played together like two 4 year olds. As long as what they did didn’t interfere with the other one, they got along just fine. Rosie even gave up her prize seat on the ottoman. Jake pretty much lived up there, while Rosie seemed content to sleep on the hardwood floor.

They even shared the rawhide bone. Walked around the house with it in both their mouths at the same time!