Loving *All* Creatures, Great and Small

Do you know what dogs, birds and mice have in common?  My unconditional love of all creatures, great and small.

This last week I encountered all three.

Dark Eyed Junco

Bird's Nest with eggs

Dark-eyed Junco Nest

In late March I wrote about my amazing discovery, a small dark-eyed junco nest.  Mama junco built her little house in a Nandina shrub growing on my client’s patio.  She lined the nest with fur from the resident Lab.

Mama junco ‘posed’ for pictures a week ago Friday from a nearby tree. I left with a bounce in my step, looking forward to seeing her again the following week.  When I returned Tuesday there was no sign of her. She’s either abandoned the nest or met with a darker fate.  It’s been a full week since any of us have seen her. Perhaps the recent commotion around the front door sent her packing.

I’ve wondered if she registered the potential for trouble and simply decided to start again elsewhere.  My client generally enters the house from the garage, so the front door, near a sheltered patio and elevated from the street was probably a good spot.  Now realtors, inspectors, potential buyers and garden bloggers are traipsing past her tiny home. My hope turned to sadness by weeks-end as I passed the lonely collection of tiny speckled eggs.

Field Mouse/Cat Mouse

Mouse Relocation Tools

Mouse Relocation Tools

Thanks to the milder weather, I opened the back door early as I went about the start of my day.  Rounding the corner to our entry way, I heard a tiny squeak in front of the neighbor’s cat.  The cat, named Mighty Mouse, brought in a tiny field mouse, alive but obviously stunned.  I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a small plastic tub. I shooed the cat, covered the mouse and called my son for help.  He isolated all four cats in different rooms while I tried to figure out what to do next.  I could see tiny feet poking out and hoped she wasn’t injured.  I placed a weight on the tub and ran for my crafting mat. Slowly and gradually I slid the mat below the tub until the mouse was completely trapped between the layers. I released the mouse at the edge of the deck, hoping she wasn’t someone’s mother.  She was wet from the grass and stunned, but seemed unharmed. I went inside for the camera, reasoning that if she was gone when I got back, all was well. Much as I wish I had her picture, I’m happy she moved on.

A Lab Named Rosie

Rosie

Rosie the Magnificent

Rosie the Lab

Lining Nests for 13 Year’s and counting

I finished my week in the company of Rosie, a gorgeous sweetheart of a dog.  Her loving ways and sounds of contentment when you give her a scratch are endearing to all. Rosie is perhaps too old to chase mice, but several strands of her lovely fur line the now-abandoned nest of the dark-eyed junco.  She’s still in the game.

How about you? Do creatures play a role in your life?  Do you have a story to share?

28 thoughts on “Loving *All* Creatures, Great and Small

  1. I hope the mama bird isn’t really gone. I too saw a mouse this last week and got a picture. Trying to get enough steam to write the post. Labs are special dogs. I love most dogs. You have such a good heart to try and rescue the mouse when most would find a way to destroy them.

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    • When I didn’t see her Tuesday, I hoped it was a fluke, but by Friday, when none of us had seen her, we figured the eggs were no longer viable. Labs are special dogs. They’re great with families, tolerant and patient and super smart. Rosie taught herself to ring the bell hanging on the door when she wants out or needs her water bowl filled. So clever.

      Thanks for your kindness.

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  2. My dogs are more important to me than anything or anyone save my husband. They are both rescues and I try to do as much as I can for the local animal control and shelters – i fall woefully short, though. I try to be a voice for the truly innocent creatures of the world.

    Spashionista (Alicia)

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    • You don’t fall short at all. It seems the few, work hard for the many. You are a good soul. Thanks for making a difference in the world, with your dogs, with the rescue, and with your thoughtful blog.

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  3. You don’t fall short at all. It seems the few, work hard for the many. You are a good soul. Thanks for making a difference in the world, with your dogs, with the rescue, and with your thoughtful blog.

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  4. Oh my goodness, Rosie looks JUST like my Millicent. Such a beautiful dog. I always used to leave her fur outside after I brushed her as I knew squirrels and birds use it for their homes. She likely provided hundreds of little creatures with warmth, in her long 16 years of life. 🙂

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    • I love that you left her fur outside. I just started doing something similar after brushing the cats. I also save my dryer lint and hang it in mesh bags high in a tree.

      Millicent kept you in good company for 16 years. That is a nice, long life for a large dog. She must have been so sweet.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  5. We lost our Mourning Dove this past week as well. She had two eggs in her nest, I suspect crows as I saw a huge gagale of them in a tall pine tree about 4 houses away. I am as always bummed out when that happens.

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  6. OH no! No baby birds? Heartbreaking 😦 Could they be hatched at a bird rescue or something? I’m so happy you’ve included a picture of Rosie, it softens the blow in the sweetest way. ‘Lining nests for almost 13 years’, how sweet 😀 She looks sooooooo soft too. I’d be in heaven at that job, except for all the back breaking work that is. BTW, how are you managing?

    Your Mouse on mouse action sounded exciting, I laughed like crazy at that picture because I recognized the craft mat. Poor thing, I’m glad you were there to come to the rescue. I had a similar episode with my friend Karen. She actually came over with her key and let herself in and abducted my cat which she then carried back to her house. She had the tiniest mouse in the house, but Ginger wasn’t interested and just sat there looking at it. When I got home, I went over and did the exact same thing, a pot and a piece of cardboard and took it outside. We are alike in so many ways…..I’d say you’re adorable, but that would mean I am too LOL.

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  7. This is a lovely post and an example of how thoughtful you are; rather than ploughing your way through anything in nature for your own ends, you embrace the lot. Yep, even slugs get relocated! I admit I am a slug killer sometimes but many go in the green bin. Inspired by you, I will green bin all my slugs and snails from now on!

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  8. I can never bear to harm anything either – even slugs! I relocate them and if they manage to crawl across the lawn and risk being eaten by the birds and then brave the sharp gravel… well, they deserve a munch on my salad before being relocated again!!

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  9. I love the creatures too, or “critters” as I like to call them (my nod to Ellie Mae Clampett who came from Tennessee, where I lived too for many years).

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