Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chilly in the Northwoods

8 a.m. Central time brings us a temperature of 52 degrees in the Northwoods. Pretty doggone chilly -- especially after the teaser weather we had in the 80's for the past few days.

It afforded the opportunity to disinfect the mini-coondos, take down the pens and rake up the corn cob husks buried, and lay down new pine shavings. Would have preferred red cedar chips but that's a trip to the city. Louie decided I should clean the big Coondo right in the middle of cleaning Benjamin & Lillian's perimeter. I had the bucket too close to the fence and he tipped it - then managed to steal the little garden shovel I use to push things onto the bigger shovel. Wouldn't have bothered me but he ran into the Coondo with it and started pulling the rubberized coating off the handle and eating it.

[Little story about the shovel: Years ago while teaching a group of rehabs how to dig for worms - I used that little hand shovel. Used to hang it on a nail outside the Coondo door. One day I looked and Rickitickitavi had it stuck in the group dig hole where the orphans were digging for worms & June Bug pupae. After that, I've always used my hands to teach them to dig.]

After getting things cleaned up, fresh water, etc. everyone got nice clean blankets in the cubbies {except the big coondo - they need to learn how to rough it now}, all got freshly washed and repaired stuffies - old friends to some. It's interesting to see how they can pick out 'their' particular favorite every time. Louie was particularly enjoying shaking Tigger and tossing him around. Benjamin was purring away with the clown teddy bear he had as a neonate. When they have a favorite stuffy, they get one of it's body parts [like an arm] - as far into their mouth as they can squeeze it, and then just chew -- it's almost like a spastic activity of the jaw to watch. But when they get that little chomp going, it's purr purr purr. They do that from neonates until just about every age I've had the pleasure to rehab -- it seems to be a total happiness euphoria to them. When they are neonates or babies, they do that to each other. Most often it's the ear of a sibling instead of a stuffy.

Off to don the long undies and do chores. It rained pretty good since last evening and with the chill of the morning I feed them smaller portions, so they're out looking for what they might have missed. The activity helps keep them work up a good body heat for warmth. Those little hands always feel so cold on days like this.

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