Deer in the headlights?

My neighbor has a young doe in a pen in her yard that was hit by a car not quite a week ago. She is maybe a bit over a year old according to the vet. A couple neighbors found her laying on the side of the road — alive. They dropped her off at my neighbor’s house.

Leigh, a vet tech, is trying to stabilize the doe before transporting her to a rehab center a couple hours away.

The doe’s head took most of the hit. She seems to be pretty much deaf and blind, and has difficulty standing because of the neurological effects of the accident. She gave birth to twins a few days ago, but both died… probably from complications of their mother being hit by a car.

I was sitting there with her today trying to imagine all of this: you are a wild animal and know nothing about humans. You cannot see them except maybe as very blurry shapes of lightness and darkness; you cannot hear them as they try to comfort you with soothing sounds; their touch is a most unfamiliar thing to you. You cannot stand very well and when you do, you stumble in circles. Maybe you have pain you cannot understand or explain.

She is also very small — skinny neck, skinny legs.

Wow! In a few seconds, my whole world looked like a walk in the park compared to hers!

She began to respond to my touch and even at one point seemed to almost fall into rest with her head in my hand as I stroked her neck and throat.

I was trying to force feed her some alfalfa that is laced with vitamins and other healthy stuff. No idea if her sense of smell is affected. I know cats will literally starve to death if they cannot smell. I wanted to see what she would do if I forced the food into her mouth. So I would put a wad of this stuff in the corner of her mouth. She would chew on it and try to slide it out the side of her mouth. I would push it back in. She would slide some of it out. I would push it back in. I think I managed to get more into her than she spit out. After that, she seemed more interested in eating her deer block, too.

If she can embrace human contact, I think she will make it. She will never be able to be released back into the wild, but with the right person, I think she can live her life. Sadly, not as it might have been a week ago.

I have seen animals closer to death fight to live and pull it off. I hope this little girl will do the same. She has certainly gotten off to a very rough start.

If you will, perhaps you could include her in your prayers tonight.

FYI: The photo at the top of this post is NOT this little baby. I do not have one of her and you may not want to see one at this point anyway.

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