One day when I was about 9 years old, I was spending the afternoon with my grandmother when my uncle walked in with a tiny box. He explained that inside the box, there was a baby deer, whose mother had been shot. The fawn wasn't going to survive unless someone intervened. He asked my mom if she could take the deer home and tend to its needs. As I peeked into the box, I could not believe my eyes. This baby deer, covered in bright white spots, was smaller than a cat... It was unbelievably cute (equally as cute as that tiny giraffe in that commercial), and I was immediately smitten. One minute I was playing dominos by myself on the living room floor and the next I was holding a baby deer in my lap with one hand. Pure childhood magic.
My mother agreed to help and we took the deer home and named her Daisy. For months we bottle fed Daisy, rubbed her bottom with a warm paper towel to help her go to the bathroom (simulating what a mama deer would do) and helped Daisy learn to stand and then walk. She lived on our back screened in porch where she got used to all the sounds and smells of the outdoors, while being protected from lurking coyotes and other predators. (We lived on a farm.)
Before long, Daisy had lost her spots and had grown into a large, strong, beautiful deer. Daisy was free to go. We had many deer that would come to our house in the mornings and occasionally Daisy would run off with them. But before long we'd see her trotting back from the woods and running beside our car with the other puppies. At night the other dogs would come inside and Daisy would stand outside by our door. We couldn't bare the thought of her feeling "left out" so we eventually starting inviting her in every night with the other dogs. She had her own dog bed and would sleep through the night and then go back out the next morning.
Daisy was a part of our family. Here's Daisy one year at Christmas.
As a kid, having a real deer cuddled next to me by the fire on winter nights was almost too much for my tiny heart to take. She was the best. She was sweet and quirky and would occasionally try to get you to play with her. (Beware of sharp hooves.) Every second with Daisy was like being a part of a really great Disney film... except she wasn't a cartoon... she was a real-live-5 foot tall (when she wanted to stand on her hind legs) animal with a super sweet demeanor and a deep affection for us.
While Daisy is no longer with us, she had an amazing life while adding a very special chapter to mine.
I keep this picture in my "December" section of my calendar each year and as November rolls away and December begins I'm always so excited to put it up on the frig.
Glad I get to share it with you!
Enjoy your holiday weekend everyone!