This Week in the Life

Well, Chapter 16 and 17 are off to the writing group! I did some brief work on chapter 18, but there's still quite a ways to go. I created a list to help guide the last half of the project, and since I love lists, this is very exciting (but does not actually move the progress bar at all...)

I spent the majority of this week sick and sitting around, so you'd think it would help the writing process. But in actuality, it doesn't. The cold plus the cold meds combine to significantly curtail all my creativity and motivation. Instead, I watched some really old SNL and played with silly putty in between naps. Yes, I am awesome like that.

So most of my progress this week occurred in the last 36 hours. I don't like pushing it so late, it feels rushed and I worry about the quality of work. But, you do what you have to in order to keep things moving!

This week, work was almost like summer! 20-some admits for three or four days in a row. Not even near the record, but still busy!

We have lots of fun patients at the moment. We have nearly 100 eastern gray squirrels and mallards all together, which accounts for a good portion of our workload. 2 adorable little coyote puppies arrived on Saturday, and they are just as cowardly cute as ever. We have baby barn owls coming out our ears - or should I say shredding our ears? Barn owls are super cute and fuzzy when they're little, but they ARE the original banshees! Only a month to go before 5 of our 7 yearling bears go back where they belong, and hopefully our winter residents (migratory birds who missed migration) will be on their way this week.

And last but most cutest, we have 5 smelly baby weasels. They're so wiggly and long, with mouths all full of kitten teeth. I swear, if you condensed their smell, it would probably double the number of weasels we have. Their eyes should be opening in the next few days, if they haven't opened already. I don't have pics of our current babies, maybe I can pick some up tomorrow, but I do have pics from a juvenile weasel from MI in 2008. Here ya go:

See? Cute! And that's just a big kid!

Babies are always much more fun than adults. We still need to be very careful not to allow the animals to get used to humans or view us as a food source, but infant care is much more hands-on than wild adult care. In most instances, babies don't automatically think of us as predators, so our presence isn't quite as stressful to them. And best of all, babies have great release rates!

I always look forward to this time of year, because in between the sad things like cat-mauled finches and gunshot crows, there are healthy babies who just need a little help. Don't get me wrong, some of the most rewarding patients are the adult animals that survived awful injuries to make it back out into the wild. But there is always high mortality in a trauma center, and it can be wearing. Babies are cute and fun and funny; they help remind all of us who work in wildlife rehabilitation what we are working for.

So happy spring, everyone!

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