A True Story and Real Life Dilemma

oppossum

The following is a true story. By the time this is posted, I will have added a photo. For now, the story is more important:

Early in our camping experience last summer, my granddaughter and I heard my Jack Russell Terrier barking and came upon a baby opossum peeking out from behind our generator bin. It was frightened and clearly a bit young to be wandering around on its own.
I called the dog off and she scampered out of sight. (I say “she” because Nature makes females a bit more sturdy and independent early on. I will never know her true gender but my guess is an educated one.)
She appeared once more that day around our log splitter. This uncharacteristic sighting made me snap a photo and assume “something” had happened to her mother. When I told my husband, he said he had seen a dead baby opossum in the nearby bushes, the day before. Seems my “guess” had more legitimacy after that.
It was Sunday, and we were hours from leaving for home. I had learned from other lessons of interfering with Nature, that my human instinct to “get involved” was not always wise for either the wild animal or for my heart. I felt I just HAD to give her a chance. She had survived, so far, and although I could not take responsibility for her, I didn’t have to all-together turn my back.
Just before I left, I took a large handful of dry dog food and piled it, undercover, near the generator bin. With a heavy heart, I went home.
The next week, the dog food and opossum were gone.
I thought of her often throughout the summer. I also accepted the “not knowing” of what happened to her a mixed blessing.
Around the middle of October, my dog came strutting back to my campsite with a prize catch. My heart sank! He had caught and killed a juvenile opossum. It was from under the place where I had, months before, left the dog food. Even this moment, my heart is racing and my stomach is turning at the telling of an “almost” triumphant tale.
I have little doubt that the opossum was the orphan I had met in June. She HAD survived but had not learned enough to continue to survive.
This winter’s harshness has made me consider her violent end a possible blessing against the option of freezing or starving. Without a mother, her instincts may not have well prepared her.
The moral of this story, that I hold on to, is that I HAD cared. That I HAD tried to help. I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) have done more and that I really need to let go of the heart-sickening guilt I keep revisiting.
There would be those who would say, “You didn’t care or do enough.”
I would beg to differ.
The sick feeling in my stomach while writing this is still there.
I also had asked myself a number of questions. Here’s a few:
Can I find her in time?
Is her mother temporarily trapped in a dumpster and might she return?
How could I safely capture and transport her in the same car as my dog?
Would I really be offering her a better life by interfering?
Would my husband’s opinions on my decision matter?
Is there a law against bringing wild animals into a day care setting?
Would the Animal Hospital accept her?
How terrified would she be in all this?
Yes…I DID care deeply but I knew that caring didn’t give me the “right” to affect absolute changes nor did it protect me from possibly doing more harm than good.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I hope in telling this story, “little opossum’s”, AND my dilemma, speaks to you.
Don’t forget…I also may be wrong in my conclusion that every sighting of an opossum was the SAME opossum. And that my friends, is where hope lives.

Psych-Out

Human psychology is so very curious.

On Facebook, there’s a game circulating which asks people to list some unknown facts about themselves. Immediately, I was struck by the different types of answers and that, some “private” people, just didn’t want to play.

As a person who shares her ideas and opinions (more often than many would care to hear), I find “private” people curious from the “get go”. This is not a judgement, at all. I just wonder what they are feeling and thinking? Since they aren’t inclined to share…I may never know.

That said, the answers, from those who wanted to play, fell into several categories.

1. Things that have happened to them.

2. Their personal tastes and preferences.

3. Accomplishments and choices they’ve made.

4. Ideas/philosophies

THIS is absolutely interesting to me.

While some, chose to reach into their childhood for tidbits, others stayed in a “real time” frame of reference… this also, was interesting.

I’m not a psychologist and we cannot be sure that “how?” people answered isn’t influenced by their own environment in that moment BUT it must, on some level, say a lot about their self-image.

Now, don’t expect me to draw conclusions. This blog post is just about pointing out something that I found curious and wanted to share ‘cuz sharing is what I do! LOL 😉

Doctor Hopper

designallDoctor Hopper, a handsome dude,

 Only eats from happy food.

A helping hand or handmade gift,

Gives this fellow quite a lift.

He always shares and travels miles,

Seeking kids who offer smiles.

Wanting things, just isn’t why,

A person, sometimes, needs to cry.

Being glum is not okay.

It’s not your birthday every day.

A sour frown’s no good to eat.

Insects only like what’s sweet.

You’ll find this superhero bug,

In every single happy hug.

The doctor wants the world to know,

Nectar comes from the love we show.

Cheer for your friends, and family too,

Keep him fat, he counts on you.

Readers are Created not Born

There’s a wonderful public school initiative that asks children to read for 30 minutes a day. I think it’s a good start but the “art” of reading is not in the “time spent” but about comprehension.

I say this with some hands-on experience in my day care situation. One of my charges is a fourth grader who asks me to keep track of his after school reading period. The sad part is his reading is done with one eye on the clock. I ask him about what he’s read. Occasionally, he has an answer but most often, he doesn’t have a clue.

A few days ago, I asked him to read his book out loud to me. He’d chosen a book about the American Revolution which, by the sparkle in his eyes, was a topic of interest. As he read, there was stumbling on unknown words. Many of these words were critical to his understanding. I pronounced the words and gave him the definitions. Light bulbs of understanding and interest were coming to light like I had not ever seen with him before.

In addition to listening, I was reacting with excitement to the content. “Wow! The colonists were really out numbered!” …” Of course the king would be angry. He wanted their money and obedience to continue, don’t you think?”

Well, the 30 minutes turned into almost an hour without one glance at the clock. He clutched the book like a newly discovered treasure when he packed to go home too. My friend went from reading to reader without even realizing it. I told him to look for a book about Valley Forge if he wanted to know more about the trials of war. (I cannot wait to see if he does.)

So, there is a difference between minutes spent reading and the sharing that makes a kid into a reader.

Curious fun fact~ The very first entire book that I read, in one sitting, was in sixth grade and was Washington at Valley Forge.

Washington at Valley Forge

Washington at Valley Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To Dabble or not to dabble?

There are so very many fun challenges on WordPress. Some offer creative writing topics, poetry and photography too.

I am enjoying an ever widening circle of friends and interests BUT there are only so many minutes afforded for me to use creatively.

Finally, this week, I am feeling as though I have stepped from newbie to intermediate blogger. It took much dabbling and time.  Many kind fellow bloggers have offered their advice and knowledge helping me along. So this is my “two cents” to others. 🙂

Many challenges ask for committed responses…taking time.

Awards are so special but …take time to post and re-post.

Poetry, photography, and story writing have called to me from different directions. For short spurts, I specialized in them. This helped me to find my voice and polish my technical blogging skills. I still have much to learn…

This message is to other bloggers in the same quandary. Not enough time? Don’t feel guilty…write on!

I think dabbling is the right thing to do. My advice is not to get “roped” into any one venue. Dabble, dabble dabble your way forward.

Dogs Best Friend

Today is my sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday Donna!

She and her husband are exceptional dog parents. They adopt older dogs by choice. Older dogs have lots of emotional baggage and an even shorter life span to share.  These “hard to adopt” canines are lucky indeed.

I am also fascinated by dog behavior and its compatibility with humans. The film attached is a remarkable “eye opener” to what makes dogs and humans click.

This blog post is in honor of Donna, Mike and their dogs, past, present, and future.

An important reminder to all dog owners. They count on you for their happiness and this is an emotional bond that should never be taken lightly. The reward is a pal like no other.

National Poetry Month- Let Us Celebrate!

 It is day ONE of National Poetry Month.

No fooling…Let’s share poetry every day.

Awesome educational sites have many ways to join in the celebration.

Please check them out.

Just search National Poetry Month to find them :-).

My Fave Nature Shots

?set=a.404107658827.192941.530328827&type=3&l=c1a9ddb593

The link will take you to my Facebook album of Nature photos. I’ve never really shared my photo passion, as often as, my opinions. Since I have had a big surge in my subscriptions, I thought I’d share. Many folks who follow my blog love photography and Nature. My opinions, well, they’re only opinions. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

~Susan