» animals Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk!

Meet Brawndo, the baby squirrel.

Annoying, but obligatory:  please check out the raffle, pass it along, etc.

Sunday, I had the best of intentions to do laundry, clean up, basically pretend to be an adult.  I go through cycles that can basically be summed up with this Hyperbole and a Half story, so when I feel the motivation upon me, I seize the hell out of it so I can enjoy a stockpile of clean underwear and a made bed.

First, my friend Felicia posted that her dog was missing after the fire department broke down their door while they were out (a fallen power line caught a small portion of their roof on fire).  Demonstrating the amazing power of the internet, a ton of people who lived in the neighborhood replied that they would go out and look for her.  Frank and I drove up and down the streets and allies for a long time.  We didn’t find her, but eventually Sugarbear showed up at their back door on her own and all was well.  But I still think it’s awesome that so many people immediately went looking for her.

Just before sunset, Frank heard an awful sound of something crying/screaming through the window.  There was a baby squirrel in the driveway across the street.  Now, I know you are not supposed to touch baby animals.  I KNOW.  But it was getting dark, the temperature had dropped 30 degrees in the past day, and we have a very healthy population of outdoor and stray cats.  I did not like those chances.  So we brought the baby inside and I immediately set about googling on how not to kill a baby squirrel and calling wildlife rehabilitation facilities.  I first called our emergency vet clinic to see if they could help, they told me that they can only euthanize wild animals, and there are no facilities in my city.  It took me awhile to get someone on the phone since it was Sunday evening, but eventually I talked to a lady (Gail) about an hour away who gave me some more numbers and said if I couldn’t get a hold of anyone, she would meet us and take him.

Brian and I found this page very helpful, and combined with what Gail told us, we put him in a large plastic container with some shirts on top of my heating pad set on low, and got him a jug of pedilyte and a baby syringe to feed him with.  As for the other animals, Gozer spent his entire evening trying to run past us every time we opened the door because he knew we had something in there that he wanted.  Chester looked vaguely worried that we had brought home a new baby, and Fatty tried to sniff him during a feeding, but other than that, didn’t care.  The cats were  trapped in the basement with their food and litter while we slept for a few hours.

Taking care of a baby squirrel is hard work, mostly because we had to give him pedialyte every few hours.  I also had to rub his teeny butt and genitals (definitely a boy) with a wet q-tip to encourage him to go to the bathroom.  Other than that, little Brawndo was a champ, he figured out the syringe quickly and as soon as we woke him up to feed he would start trying to suck on our fingers.  He couldn’t jam the tip in his mouth far enough, so I had to keep pulling it back so he didn’t choke on it, which meant he kept crawling out of Brian’s hands and had to be repositioned.

We met Gail in Bloomington, which is where Brian’s sister lives.  She was very happy with the state he’s in, he’s healthy and just needs someone to feed him and take care of him until he can be released into the wild.  It was a great experience, and i’m glad I was able to get him into the right hands.  I was also surprised when she told me I did the right thing by taking him, she said there’ a good chance he crawled out of the nest because mom didn’t come home, and to look out for other babies in the same area.

In the end, over two days I got almost nothing done on my to-do list, but I did things that were way more important.

So if you find a baby animal, keep in mind:

  1. The mom might come back for it, if you’re able to and there’s no imminent danger to it, just watch from a distance for awhile.
  2. If you touch the baby, you are responsible for the baby!  That means getting it to a wildlife rehabilitation or if it’s injured, taking it to be put to sleep.
  3. You cannot keep the baby.  Especially squirrels, it’s illegal in most states.

I would also like to point out that this is why it is important to give money to the people who take care of sick, injured, and abandoned animals and you should donate to Ride to Light already!

P.S.  If you don’t know why we named him Brawndo, it’s because Brian and I have seen Idiocracy way too many times, and we kept joking about electrolytes while he was eating.


posted: September 6, 2011
under: animals, pictures

Have you seen this dog?

If the answer is yes, quit peepin’ in my windows, dude!

So this is Lily, my father-in-law’s new dog.  If you think she looks a lot like Abby, it’s because they are the same kind of dog.  Lily came from a shelter in a nearby town.  From what we can piece together, she was definitely bred, kept outside most of the time (she has such rough paws), and was never taught a damn thing.  She’s six years old and not in the least bit housebroken (we’re working on it) and I had to teach her how to sit.  She kept peeing on the bricks, which is something a dog has to be taught to do (gross, then your patio/whatever smells like dog pee!).  Despite all of that, she is incredibly cheerful and likes everyone and everything, even the cats, which is all that really matters.  She is supposedly six years old but she acts like a puppy.  She doesn’t know what toys are but thinks your hand is there to slobber all over.

She REALLY likes to lay on my bed and stare out of all of the windows (which is what she’s doing in the photo above), and since this is a sun room she has a pretty good view of squirrels, birds, and the people in the parking lot behind us.

Most of the time she actually looks like this:


posted: June 30, 2011
under: animals, family, life, pictures


Finally, after a few teases of nice weather followed by sudden bouts of cold/rain, summer is here.  We barely had any spring days, I pretty much went from wearing long underwear to sweating myself to sleep in a week.  We’ve had some highs and lows in the past few weeks:


First, I went down to Carbondale to kidnap Brian and bring him home with me.  Since he’s no longer in the flight program, there’s no point in him going to school down there.  So we get to live together like normal married people (weird) and we will save a lot of money since we won’t be paying for his rent and bills.  Yay!  Before we left we ate one last meal at Longbranch, where I had the Lemon Garlic Fettucine:


I brought home some beautiful strawberries from the co-op (which I will miss so much), which we immediately turned into a strawberry rhubarb pie.



I planted my garden, and now I can admire it from my bedroom window:



Last weekend, we had some big boos.  On Friday night, my father-in-law was walking his two dogs and one of our neighbors, as they frequently do, let their dogs run out of the house unleashed and one of them immediately attacked Coco.  Yes, this is a totally different dog than the one that killed Bonny.  When he came in and told us what happened, I almost threw up on the spot.  Luckily, Coco was smiling like an idiot and just had to get a lot of staples in her leg and wear a Cone of Shame until we were sure she wouldn’t pull the staples out.  Fun fact:  did you know that as long as a dog is in their own yard, even if it’s the unfenced front yard, they can attack whomever they damn well please and animal control will not give a shit?  I also find it kind of funny (in the horrible awful way) that they attacked the dog who spent most of her early life in a cage cranking out dogs for a puppy mill, so she has the defensive instincts of a turnip.  She doesn’t even understand that she’s supposed to chew her toys up.  Abby would’ve fucked that dog’s ankles up.


Then two days later, as Brian and I were about to head out to the art fair, Abby started coughing in a weird way.  When we got home and she wasn’t there, my stomach dropped and I immediately called my father-in-law to ask what was wrong.  Brian and I drove to the emergency vet clinic just in time to say goodbye to her.  Apparently she had a growth in her throat that was making it hard for her to breathe, so it was best for her to be put to sleep.  This house has had a rough year pet-wise, in less than a year we’ve gone from five dogs and four cats, to two dogs (Harley went to live in Maine) and three cats (not to mention that my sister-in-laws dog died).  Some people might think we’re better off, but somehow we managed to combine two households of animals and make it work, and it is very quiet in here now.

This post is getting kind of long and it feels weird to go, “Dead dog, anyway, art pictures!” so I will make a second post tomorrow.





posted: May 31, 2011
under: animals, food, life, pictures, vegan in illinois

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