Operation Bambi

When I was a kid, I rescued a group of newborn possums. I blocked out the tragedy that befell the mother.  I tried my best to save them. I failed.

Yesterday, I was on my cell phone chatting about this and that with a friend.  My other friend who had just left my house rang through. She could hear from the sound of the ring that I was on another call.

[I’ll call her back]

My house phone rang immediately after that.  Ruh roh…..that’s the emergency code for no, this can’t wait… pick up the goddamn phone NOW.

I did.

“I need help!  I have a baby deer in my car!” she said in a panic.

[What?! How is your dog handling this situation?]

Funny what goes through your mind when someone calls and says they have a baby deer in their car.

This is my same friend who called when she was run over by a car while on her bike, came to dinner after getting run over by a golf cart despite the hematoma on her shin and bits of rubber tire still embedded in her thighs, rescued a number of dogs, volunteered during seal pup season and would risk life and limb to save an animal in distress. This is one tough cookie and when she says she needs help?? She ain’t jokin’.

I jumped in my car and called the SPCA on my way to meet her.  I was connected to Wildlife Rescue. They assured me they would come right away.

[Man, I love our SPCA!]

I was there in about three minutes and found her in her car with a newborn deer on her lap. It was the size of large cat albeit with super log legs.  It lay limp with surrender, completely spent. It had gotten separated from its mother on one of the gnarliest, curviest sections of 17-Mile drive with no shoulder no bike lane and pretty much surrounded by stone fences, driveway gates and jungle-like underbrush.  The mother undoubtedly jumped a fence which baby couldn’t manage. My friend did her best to slow down the line of traffic that just kept relentlessly flowing.  No one would stop.


Until a nice couple took pity on my friend who was now prostrate in the middle of the road trying to get some help. She was used to this kind of thing having been run over numerous times in the past but I’m sure she feared her luck may eventually run out at the worst possibly moment.  Thankfully, it didn’t.

They were able to get the poor thing away from traffic.  It collapsed on a driveway and my friend scooped it up and took it to her car.

After I arrived, we waited in the car for Wildlife Rescue all the while trying to figure out how we would mend our shattered hearts if the mom couldn’t be found. “We’ll raise it ourselves” we vowed even though we knew that wouldn’t be possible. My mind raced back to the possums and my woefully inadequate mothering skills.

[Shake those thoughts this instant!]

The Savior came as promised. A caring young woman wearing a jacket emblazoned with the SPCA insignia and driving a Toyota Tundra with emergency lights on top.  Hell yes!  Lights! This was, after all, an official rescue.  A rescue that would hopefully result in a deer baby / mommy reunion.

We spotted a doe in the area.  She was staring at us intently, motionless. The Savior gently coaxed the baby toward the doe and on wobbly legs the newborn bolted toward her.  The Savior followed as far as she could.  My friend and I hung back waiting for news.

Oh happy day! The little one was spotted in the company of not one but two doe farther up the path.

And we were joyful.