This is a more somber post…well somber for me. For other people probably not so much.
Tuesday evening. I arrived at home as usual and went inside while talking to my mom on the phone. I took Eevee out to potty. Then I got off the phone to feed the adult dogs. Everything was routine. I scooped the food in the bowls and let the dogs eat.
Clara had pooed in her crate, so while everyone was eating, I took the towel outside to shake off. I wasn’t paying much attention until I was about to go back inside. I see a baby opossum squirming around. Oh no! Buddy had gotten a hold of a baby opossum. I had let Clara out and I quickly called her back in.
I went back outside and saw another possum and another one, then I saw the mom. All were struggling to live. I felt awful. Why had Buddy gone after them (he thought they were toys)? Why was she out during the day? How did she get in my backyard (I have a six foot privacy fence)? Other possums usually walk across the fence, or climb through the trees.
I went back inside and called my mom and told her. I cried. I didn’t know what to do. I called the animal shelter hoping to catch the control people before they left for the day. Wouldn’t you know they closed early. I tried another place and they said they’d get someone from their local branch to call me (spoiler alert, they didn’t call me that evening).
I called BF and told him what was going on. Then I waited for him to get back. The dogs were restless in the back. They were used to going outside to play.
The mom and babies were still hanging in there when BF got home. We loaded them up in a carrier, wrapped them in towels to keep them warm, and put them on the front porch while trying to figure out what to do with them. I had BF walk the yard checking for more babies. He didn’t find any, so I figured that was all she had.
I located a twenty-four hour vet in the city I work in (about twenty miles from me) and called them. They said they would take them. We loaded the family up in my vehicle and drove to the vet. GPS took us a round about way, but we made it there. By the time we got there, mom and one of the babies had passed away; they were bagged up. The other two were hanging in there. They were put on a heating pad and would be fed later (the babies were skinny and if I remember correctly so was mom). We left. They assured me that we’d done the right thing. Still, I felt guilty. I love possums, not as much as foxes, but still…
We arrived home after eight. The day had been exhausting. We relaxed the rest of the evening.
Wednesday evening, I went outside to find three more babies (dead) in various places in the yard. One of them had died right where mom had laid. The other two were farther back in the yard hidden in clover. Two of the babies had no marks on them. I figured they died of “natural” causes (probably hypothermia). The third baby had a scratch on its eye and no other marks. I guessed a cat or raccoon had scratched it, but it ultimately died of hypothermia. I disposed of the babies and when BF got home, we walked the yard again making sure there were only three babies. Thankfully that was it.
He researched about why possums would be out during the day. Either they were disturbed while sleeping or food was scarce and they had to venture out to find food. I’m thinking the latter due to the skinny state of the mom and babies as I have no clue what could have disturbed them other than the resident (annoying) raccoon family that has taken over the space above my porch.
On a lighter note, we thought we had found a dead squirrel, but upon closer inspecting we realized it was a chipmunk toy that had been abandoned to the elements. Eevee took delight in playing with her “new” toy. She tried taking it to Buddy so they could play, but he wasn’t interested so she played with it by herself.
Oh and Buddy and Eevee are getting along really well. He’s slowly learning not to chase her. She’s learning to stand still when Buddy tries the chase her. Needless to say, Buddy doesn’t find her as interesting anymore. I was hoping they would become friends, but it looks like they’ll settle in the same relationship as the rest of the dogs. All my dogs get along, but for the most part they go about their business outside content that they are not alone but equally content that they aren’t being bothered by each other.
I love my dogs.
Until next time, everything that squeaks is not always a toy.