Young Mouse, Vera the Chicken and Tiggy the Pony
On behalf of Young Mouse, our 12 year old bull-ancestry Jack Russell boy, who came to us at 14 weeks in sickness, distress and depression having been shuffled around as many homes since his birth.
Although he later filled out his somewhat sturdy frame, as a pup his nature dicated his name. As he grew though, he realised he was home, and home for good. He showed his gratitude not only by his devotion, love, understanding and compassion for his human family, but also for any and all unfortunate creatures he happened upon.
He cared deeply for the other family canines and cats; Bee-bop the rescue Border Collie with many problems of her own, Dorothy and Smartypants the elderly cats, and later, Poogie the poodle who moved in when her elderly owner died.
But Young Mouse spent many happy hours with his special friends, among many, many others was Morgan, the gentle pacifistic vegetarian ferret - a star in her own right - brain damaged by distemper as a kit. The girls, a flock of chickens saved from a grisly end, each one lovingly cuddled and washed every day. Xena, a foundling mouse of barely a week old, naked and vulnerable. He took upon himself to keep a close eye on her, kept her warm and clean until she was able to care for herself. She later escaped from her vivarium home and lived happily loose in my bedroom for almost three years, caused no problems (apart from the squeak, squeak, squeak of her exercise wheel in the wee small hours of the morning!) no mess, or household damage, ever.
Then, one fateful morning as Young Mouse and I where passing the closed door of my room we heard a tiny sound behind it. He insisted we check it out, and there was Xena, large and plump and shining like mahogany, crawling towards us on her belly. Mouse touched her with his nose and whimpered. She slowly rolled onto her side and stretched out her paws towards his muzzle and then fell still. She died in my hands a moment later, and we buried her in a hole he dug in the flowerbed.
Then, we rescued a kitten. Crossbred Oriental and Maine Coon, small as the palm of a hand, stunted, starved, one-eyed (or so it appeared at first) and with a half-formed bowel, she had been left to die in a busy stable yard, not considered worth the effort or expense of despatching. But, as weak as she was, she refused to oblige.
Velcro, as we christened her, became his beloved child. He did everything a mother would do for her newborn, and more. And it worked she lived and thrived, she did indeed have both eyes, but one had been badly damaged and had been punctured by a stalk of straw. That healed, her bowel began to work, after a fashion, and she started eating...and eventually turned out to be a perfect short-legged, rotund bellied Jack Russell just like her proud Pa! For a while she even barked and growled like one too, all the habits and traits of a happy healthy JRT! When her dad died, she fell into a depression which is affecting her to this day. She still calls for him, and waits impatiently for him to turn up and be with her...
The feeling is mutual...
If anyone, any creature, deserves a place of honour in the Heavens, he does...
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