Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

babies, mice, and rain

billy and butch

Yesterday was a wet and sort of gross day at the sanctuary, at least in terms of weather. Cuteness abounded, however, and we got to spend time with the baby goat, who has been named Sally after Sally Fields in “The Flying Nun“, and the baby lambs and their momma. I think the momma sheep is “Bessie” though Terry might have said “Betsy” or I could be misremembering completely. The babies are Billy and Butch, with Billy being a mostly white fellow, and Butch being a black sheep like his mom. Butch is the bolder one of the two, and he’ll come right up to you to check you out, and even had thoughts about trying to escape the barn where they’re living until they have a clean bill of health and can join the other sheep and goats. Billy is curious as well, but more inclined to stick a bit closer to mom.

When we were in the chicken barn doing our normal chores, I was taking care of the water bowls. I brought one back in and was about to put it down when I saw a mouse on the cement block that we put the water bowls on. Mice live in barns, you often catch sight of them scurrying around, but this one was laying on his side. I thought he was dead. I would like to say I handle these things well and that my excuse for just standing there was that the water bowl was in my hand. And that is partially true, the water bowl really was in my hands, and it is big enough that I couldn’t have done anything while holding the water bowl, but the reality is that I don’t handle these things well, and so I was sort of stuttering and saying “oh my god, there is a dead mouse!”

Turns out he wasn’t dead, though he obviously wasn’t doing well. Terry said that sometimes they just get cold, and if you warm them up they perk right up. She picked him up and held him under the heat lamp. He gasped a few times, and we kept thinking that this was it for him, but then his breathing seemed to get better and he was doing sort of better. I got a mouse box that they created just for situations like this from the storage barn.

The mouse box is a little cardboard box, sort of like a shoe box, but either for kids shoes or for something smaller than a typical adult shoe, and they have cut holes in the sides near the bottom as well as one in the lid, and taped pieces of wire mesh over the holes. There’s a tiny little dish in there they can use to put mouse food (which I suspect is the same as chicken food) and water in. We put some hay in the bottom of the box, put the little mouse in it, and Terry brought him up to the house to see if he’d do better once he warmed up.

When I left a little while later he was still breathing, so I guess time will tell. If nothing else, if he doesn’t make it, he’ll have been warm and comfortable for his last little while.

Terry always impresses me with how well she handles situations like that. She and Dave always seem to be prepared for helping even the littlest of their residents. The mouse ladders, a little mouse infirmary box. It is one of the things I love about spending time there. Everyone counts.

I got to feed little Sally her bottle before I left too. All in all, it was a really great day at the sanctuary, despite the drizzling rain!

Sally's flying nun ears
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5 responses to “babies, mice, and rain

  1. rich March 9, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    The story of the preparedness of Terry and Dave and how they care about every resident of the sanctuary is awesome. Be it a mouse who chose to live there or a blind calf who moved there for a second chance at life they take care of them 100%.
    I love the name Sally it seems so appropriate.

  2. girl least likely to March 9, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    a big ol’ +1 to what rich said. what a great story!

  3. Deb March 9, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    @ Rich – as much time as I’ve spent there, it seems I still learn new things quite often! I hadn’t known that they had a mouse infirmary box ready, and that they’ve taken mice up to the house in the past to give them a chance to get better. As for Sally – those ears are something, aren’t they? Terry said that when she gets really excited they stick straight up like a rabbit’s! :D

    @ gllt – glad you enjoyed it! I was actually thinking of you, and how interested you’d been in the mouse ladders when I first mentioned them ages ago, and wished I’d gotten a picture of the mouse box for you. :)

  4. Mary Martin March 12, 2008 at 10:26 am

    She is soooo the flying nun, at least from the back. I just love the mouse story. “Everyone counts,” at least at Poplar.

  5. Deb March 12, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Yeah, I laughed so hard when Terry told us why Sally was named Sally, and of course then I did my best to get a picture of the ears! lol.

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