Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

Well. It appears this will be the last post of the year. Hoping everyone had a reasonable good year and that 2008 will be one of the best years ever.

I have another horse ranch site I'm designing. If anyone is interested in horses for sale {these are quarter horses} visit the blog that's just started last night at

This winter weather has caused Hiway to wild up ever so slightly. She has bonded tightly with her Shazbot and is slowly growing away from her attachment issue to me. It's a bittersweet victory with my Hiway girlfriend. But alas, it IS what we want for her.

Please don't drink and drive tonight. If you are going to go party in the New Year, please have a designated driver. Be safe!! And Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Snowing in the Northwoods -- whoda thunk?

Guess you could call it snow. Looks like maybe a whole inch might be covering the GeeWiZ van. Lots of 4 a.m. banging around in the Coondo but no faces peeking out anywhere. The mini-coondo sounds pretty quiet. Hiway & Shazbot must be sleeping. Lillian & Benjamin would rather be out in the forest now. But they'll have to be patient until the weather is more food foraging friendly.

Feels pretty balmy out there at 30 degrees. Might sound odd to some folks to hear 30 degrees feels warm -- guess you just have to experience Wisconsin weather for a while to understand that one. :^)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Strange Weather

It's a balmy 32 degrees up in the Northwoods today. Sun trying to shine through the clouds. All the coonies were up pacing this morning. Pretty unusual to have it so warm this time of year. Things are melting again after a few nights of cold enough to freeze stuff.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Dear Jesus. Happy Birthday to You.

When the presents are wrapped in paper and bows
And You don’t see Your name on any of those
And they’re carefully tucked under fake or dead trees
Help us all to remember to get on our knees
And thank You for giving us all the gifts
You wrapped them in fur and they just need a lift
To get back to the real trees, their forests and streams
Help our hearts to stay strong to follow these dreams
Let our hands be Your tool that help them survive
Help us know what to do to keep them alive
And know when we can’t, it was always Your plan
And You gave us the strength to do what we can
Please help us give You this as our gift every day of the year
And thank You Lord Jesus, for Your Angels so near

Psalm 91:11 (Amplified Bible)
For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve in the Northwoods

We had a thick fog set in for two days that started melting about everything. Yesterday it was beautiful out and all the ice melted that was in the swimming pool and frozen to the ground pans. I gave the coonies some fresh warm water and Hiway & Shazbot particularly enjoyed playing in the water and standing in it. Benjamin & Lillian don't seem to care much. They don't even go in the pool. My Hiway has outgrown her halter. Haven't been able to find one quite like it her size yet. Then later on in the morning it started to freezing rain and snow. Doesn't look like too much on the ground -- a few inches maybe. I hear the snow plows so it must be icy under that little bit of snow.

A couple of 'the boys' -- Arthur's growing up buddies -- are home on leave. One from the Army & one from the Marines. Those rowdy little kindergarten boys got so big. Brandon's wife Danielle is a sweetheart. Stever is scheduled for deployment in a few months.

Have a safe and happy Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 21, 2007


My website Matzo's Net has been online investigating earn at home programs, schemes & scams since 1998. I have had the opportunity to 'meet' many of the 'big dogs' that invented some of these now famous programs. You know? Those guys who invented e-books and 'websites in a box'?

Mark Joyner is rather well known in the netpreneur community {and is in truth a phenomenal mentor}. Perhaps you have run across his Simpleology courses? I received an email from him this morning asking me to post his blog experiment on Dory & the Orphans Blog. So here you have it:

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Scientists Clone Cats that Glow in the Dark

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korean scientists have cloned cats that glow red when exposed to ultraviolet rays, an achievement that could help develop cures for human genetic diseases, the Science and Technology Ministry said.

Three Turkish Angora cats were born in January and February through cloning with a gene that produces a red fluorescent protein that makes them glow in dark. One died at birth, but the two others survived, the ministry said.

The ministry claimed it was the first time cats with modified genes have been cloned.

Scientists from Gyeongsang National University and Sunchon National University took skin cells from a cat and inserted the fluorescent gene into them before transplanting the genetically modified cells into eggs.

The development means other genes can also be inserted in the course of cloning, paving the way for producing lab cats with genetic diseases, including those of humans, to help develop new treatments, the ministry said.

"Cats have similar genes to those of humans," said veterinary professor Kong Il-keun of Gyeongsang National University. "We can make genetically modified cats that can be used to develop new cures for genetic diseases."

Keitaro Kato, a geneticist at Kinki University in western Japan who has cloned fish, said the research could be significant if it eventually helps treat people with hereditary diseases.

"People with genetic disorders usually have to receive treatment throughout their lives that is very hard on them," Kato said. "If these results can help to make their lives easier, then I think it's a wonderful thing."

South Korea's scientific reputation suffered a heavy blow after much-hailed stem-cell breakthroughs by scientist Hwang Woo-suk were found to be faked in late 2005. He remains on trial on fraud and other charges.

submitted by:
Ann Rader

I pray that these animals are given some level of interest and stimulation and not just kept in small cages. I have my doubts...

Image from news article {Click the link to view a video and the complete article.}

Well. Sounds to me like they want to use cats to experiment with to find genetic problems. I ran a search on Blingo {same as Google but you can win prizes} for "cats that glow in the dark" like Ann suggested. One article says the cloning procedure could be used to clone an individual that has problems to determine the genetic issues. It stated that cats are genetically similar to humans. Sounds to me like they intend to have two of the same genetic unit, with one being disposable? Anybody asked Spirit about who gets a soul and who doesn't? Who decrees what life is disposable and which life is not, regardless of how they were conceived?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Recent News Articles

It's pretty disheartening when links to wild animal abuses are so widespread.

Students kill, cook, eat baby raccoon in class.

Is this even conceivable that children would not only be allowed to stomp a baby animal to death, but then eat it? Where is that fine line between serial killers murdering animals and it being encouraged by adults as a school activity? Seriously abusing such an intelligent trusting little creature is a horror in itself. Encouraging anyone to pluck a wild baby raccoon out of the wild and eat it? What do these children know about internal parasites that might kill them if eaten? Or microscopic Zoonotic that wild animal could be harboring? What do these children know about recognizing diseases in our wild animals or knowing by looking at organs there is danger in consumption?

And then we have that annual raccoon dinner in Arkansas supported by the very ones who want to rule out country. It's not too late to sign the petition to stop that inconsideration of the raccoons. Petition to stop the annual raccoon supper Do we want to be governed by anyone who has little or no regard to the feelings and plight of our own native wildlife?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Northwoods weather

It's been pretty chilly up in the Northwoods. Only 11 degrees so far today. It was a pleasant 34 degrees for a while yesterday. Hiway and Shazbot are still getting up to eat morning and late afternoon. They don't like this cold much.

All the ice storms and severe weather graciously stayed south of us so we just have some hardened snow on the ground. Looks a little more 'normal' for this time of year.

This pic was sent by a friend in Alaska. Rich says it's "a picture of Homer from the hill coming into town."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jan Cook

To everyone,

I’m sending this email to all the people and lists I can think of.

I am sorry to say that my best friend and fellow rehabber, Jan Cook (aka the Raccoon Lady) passed away at the age of 57 on Monday, December 3, 2007, of what the coroner has ruled to be a heart attack. If anyone knows of other people she knew and lists Jan was on could you please pass this along?

Jan is on the left holding Shadow, Val is on the right holding Bubba Gump.

The Funeral Home information is:

SEALE Funeral Home
1720 South Range Avenue
Denham Springs, LA 70726

The viewing is this evening, Wednesday December 5, 2007 from 5pm until 9pm and tomorrow morning from 9am until 11am. Funeral services will be at 11am tomorrow at the Funeral Home. I believe that Wayne, her husband, is going to have her cremated and her ashes will be scattered on their farm.

For you local folks, I will be going both tonight and tomorrow if you’d like to ride along. Just give me a call and let me know. *phone numbers removed*

I am consoled in knowing that she’s at the Rainbow Bridge with all her animals that preceded here and that I will see her again there at the Bridge one day as well.


Valerie (Jagneaux)
Possum Hollow Wildlife Center
Breaux Bridge, LA

Comments to Jan's family from friends and colleagues can be made by clicking the comment link below this post. If you don't have a Google account, don't check mark the email box. Put your name in the "nickname" box and check mark that one.

Val asked me what are they going to do with the coonies next season. I kind of suspect that Jan will keep many of them from having to come to us now that she's an Angel with wings. That's the only difference is that now she has wings, she's always been an Angel among us.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jan Cook {Jcritterlover}

It is with a heavy heart that I post this message received from the sister of a fellow rehabber:

To whom it may concern:

I just wanted to let you know that my sister, Jan, has passed away. I
am assuming you are an one of many who shared her passion for
raccoons. She will be a great loss to us all. Thank you for being
her friend.

I will post a picture of Jan or any further details when possible. Jan was a valued member of our rehab community. A caring and compassionate lady. She will be missed and not forgotten. Now we know an Angel by name and she will always be with us.

Question from Citizen

Yesterday I was surprised to get an email asking me why I had shoveled snow into Hiway & Shazbot's mini-coondo perimeter. Kind of caught me off guard as it hadn't dawned on me someone might be watching the CoonCam. {Blonde moment.}

Raccoons will lick snow or make little snowballs to eat in the winter for moisture. If I put water in their pans this time of year, they will get right in just like any other time of the year. If their paws are wet, they will get stuck to the chain link or other metal fencing and rip skin off the pad. Just like the skin on our fingers would do when wet. They don't even flinch when they do that, but they will bleed sometimes. It's best they get their moisture from a natural source like they'd be getting in the wild. So I shoveled in clean snow because I have a tarp on top preventing large amounts from covering the little yard they have. I also break up chunks of ice and put it on top of the frozen water in their pan.

Hiway rather enjoyed the snow and made a little mound in the corner. Patting it in different spots, bringing in more, just like she was building a snow coonie.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bill's Babies

Bill up in the Adirondacks sent me some pics of his coonies sleeping in the trees. These are some rare shots for anyone to see. Bill has been looking out for these little ones this year. He was a bit concerned he hadn't seen them for a while, and the snow allowed him to follow their tracks to locate them. Here they are up in the tree sleeping. Thought these were such unique shots that Bill gave me permission to post them.

Thanks for everything you do Bill!

Visit Bill's neck of the woods at Camp Hilary

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"STOP the Annual Coon Supper" Petition

I would humbly request that anyone reading this blog go to to sign the petition to stop the annual coon dinner held for political agendas in Gillett Arkansas. Some of YOUR presidential candidates intent to attend this dinner and eat raccoons! {The Clinton and the Huckabee families to name a few.} Don't know about you, but I wouldn't vote for anyone who has such little respect for our wildlife that they would promote mass killing of one species to promote their political career and call it a social event. If they are so unaware of the situation our wildlife face, how can they be sensitive to any of the needs of our country?


How cool is this? Today Shamu came by to visit and he has a girlfriend with him! Shamu is a little grey squirrel that came in to the Orphanage two years ago with pnuemonia and the after effects of a dog playing with his litter of siblings. He was the only survivor that made it here. I am so happy for him and so proud that he has a girlfriend. It will be awesome to see baby Shamus running around the yard!

Blizzard on the way

Well. According to the weather man, our first blizzard of the year should be reaching the Northwoods in just a few hours. They are predicting power outages, and bad driving conditions. Hope everybody is ready for this -- I never am but it still comes.

Stay warm and stay safe.

Monday, November 26, 2007

To Los Angeles residents

I've been getting emails from Los Angeles area with coonie families making themselves at home. Some in the Jaccuzzi, some in attics, some with babies, some just "too friendly". They do not need help. They do not need to be relocated. They simply need the humans to quit leaving garbage and other things out to attract them.

Here is what I have had to explain to most humans concerned about a healthy family of coonies in their area:

Being friendly to humans is in their nature. They are a grateful creature
and need to learn to fear humans. They will approach humans just like a
little puppy when they need help. They will also choose only one or two
humans to let close and trust. All others will be kept at a distance or
warned with snarfs and growls to stay back. When really frightened they
bark like a dog, or arch and hiss like a cat. A wild coonie who is
friendly has either been fed by humans from a young age, or mother taught
it humans meant food sources and help.

They have discovered your area because you offer food and shelter. Most
likely there are humans leaving food out for the feral cats and their
domestic dogs outside at night. Bird feeders, BBQ equipment, kiddie pools,
Koi ponds, toddler toys, statues, trash in plastic bags [it should be in
containers with lids secured with bungee cords to keep them out] -- these
are all things that coonies like. A neighborhood needs to work together to
get coonies to move on. They need to lock these things up in sheds at
night for a few weeks, out of reach of the coonies.

Even if I help you move this 'one' coonie -- Mother Nature doesn't like a
void. She will replace it with two more. You need to make the area less of
a free meal and more secure. They will leave on their own in a short
period of time - about two weeks if the food is gone.

You are California. So much habitat has been destroyed just this year.
They have nowhere to go. It is birthing season in your area. Some are
young mothers looking for their first den. They don't know what's going
on, just they need a nice attic, chimney, crawlspace, or garage to give birth -- close to where there is food.

They also are a misunderstood creature. They actually benefit the humans
by catching snakes, rats and mice. If no human is putting out food, it's
quite possible it's a good hunting ground for them.

If you run across orphaned babies or injured coonies, please contact me. If you run into an emergency situation with this one you have concerns about, again, please contact me.

But to move this coonie? It has already lost it's home. Moving it would take away the home it has had to adapt to. Food & water sources would need to be found all over again. And they have been known to travel as far as twenty miles to get back to their babies. Most litters barely survive a week without mother. They can if they are strong - but it affects their growth and the quality of their life. It's okay if they are friendly -- as long as we don't try to touch them they don't want to hurt you. Don't try hand feeding them or picking them up, or think they are a domestic. But they will often want to touch your shoes and play with shoelaces, grab keys and run away, etc. especially the younger ones. All you have to do to scare them off is bang a wooden spoon on a large metal pan.

Thank you so much for caring about these coonies. Please help me to help
them survive where Mother Nature put them. There are so many injured and
orphaned each year, we rehabbers can barely keep up with their care.
Healthy ones just need a bit more understanding on the human end.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

New Residents at the Orphanage

Meet Skynard and Leonard.

They were hatched out in a nursing home. The little aviary kept for the residents enjoyment became too prolific. So the males began to be removed at a young age to help the population problem. A wonderful lady took them home and posted in our local Freecycle looking for homes for them. Within a day she had homes for a dozen or so little Zebra finches. Skynard is a bit younger than Leonard. They are very tame and don't mind being handled. Welcome to the Raccoon Orphanage Leonard & Skynard!

Friday, November 23, 2007

CoonCam Back Online

The CoonCam will be back online today for as long as the laptop cooperates.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Give Thanks unto the Lord

Today is actually my favorite holiday. It is, in fact, the only one I really celebrate. Each year taking the opportunity to speculate on how many wondrous things there are in my life to be in awe of and ever so grateful for. Ponderings of the heart. Time to reflect on everything, show gratitude and share.
Hiway, my big fat girlfriend, is one miracle I am in awe of. What this little one survived through is mind boggling. This Coondak Moment {photo taken} yesterday just makes me wonder how she managed to get so huge and still be such a tiny baby.
Another little miracle that crossed my path is this little Shazbot {and her human Mariah}. This is the first single kit that Mariah raised on her own. You can tell she is quite proud of her little rehab. Shazbot and Hiway were meant to be roomies for this season.

I also need to thank all of you who have helped support the Raccoon Orphanage and keep me going. There are more friends out there on the internet than one can imagine. Social networking keeps Dory & the Orphans in touch with communities -- and I have met some of the most wonderful invisible humans in the world -- not unlike how many describe angels. Both those who have care and concern about me personally, and those who cross my path who want to help creatures they've encountered. Perhaps one day it is in destiny to meet some of these folk face to face. But just having them to ponder about is an amazing journey of it's own.

Please don't drink and drive during the holiday season. Blessed Be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Breakfast at the Orphanage

Hiway, Shazbot & Benjamin decided they don't care if it's mid November. They don't feel like sleeping. Lillian ate and went back up into the cubby right away. I have to wonder how their lack of cold weather for torpor is going to affect next season. It's bound to have a lot more birthing involved if everybody's out wandering about instead of sleeping for the season.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

~ Wave 11:11~

Today, 11/11/2007 at 11:11 a.m. in your time zone, Song, Prayer and Meditation was spread around the globe. Search your heart and you will intuitively know the intentions in your role in healing the planet. You might consider singing/praying/meditating upon any or all of these single words:

Peace, Trust, Love, Harmony, Presence, Acceptance.

Straddling the equator and bordering the International Date Line to the east, the people of the Republic of Kiribati started ~ Wave 11:11~ and it will be passed around the planet until the final destination of the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the full day of wave energy flow will be completed.

Share this with everyone you know! Join us in creating the butterfly's wave.

The flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil can set off a storm in Texas.

Physicists call this theory "The Butterfly Effect" to explain how the breeze produced by a butterfly's wings could set off a series of reverberations that over time have a tremendous affect on weather patterns thousands of miles away. Now imagine the impact of millions of butterflies:

Currently on earth there is a "quickening" where more and more people are realizing there is much more to reality than meets the eye and are beginning to explore their consciousness. As we open up to the higher consciousness, we allow in a powerful energetic force which guides our individual evolutionary journey as we allow it.

At 11:11 am your time ~ Wave 11:11~ fluttered by your neck of the woods. Peace, Trust, Love, Harmony, Presence, Acceptance. Think about it.

Content by wickedscoops paraphrased.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Echo heard from Elgin IL?

Don't quote me here, but rumor has it Frannie thought about saying the 's' word again. Please say it ain't so.

Driving north through the forests Wednesday, a doe or two were foraging together off the sides of the highway, very small clutches of young turkey hens a bit further down. It's full rut for the bucks right now, so the deer are much more visible to the humans for now. Fortunately, the runners have seen the "GeWiZ" van before I have spotted them. They come out of the forest trees at quite a run sometimes, and then ... "oooops ... what is this hard strip crossing my path?" ..... It's different than their hopping like a bunny through the fields -- it's a full blown fight or flight dash for their life.

There was about 6 - 8" of snow on top of vehicles coming south leaving the Chequamegon, but no snow to be seen anywhere on the ground in any of the four forest's floors. But schools had a snow day up by the border already.

Torpor is all goofy this season. Torpor is the type of hibernation coonies utilize. It is not sleeping for several months and then waking up like a bear does. They sleep according to the weather pattern. When it gets cold, they curl up in a ball or snuggle together, and sleep. When it warms up, they come down and eat. In the winter they eat snow for moisture if necessary. But they still love their open water if any is available.

Snow does kick Torpor in for long periods of time. Nip & Tucker didn't come down for nearly a month the year we had blizzard after blizzard. They had no interest in food even if I went into the Coondo and offered it to them by hand up in the cubby. Just not interested and groggy. Perhaps one year we can get an infrared CoonCam set up for the cubby in the winter. I'd be quite curious to see what they do up there, or if all they do is sleep.

Here's more info about Torpor if you're curious.

Today we are bringing in one of the release site mini-coondos to make a more compatible Torpor setting for Hiway and Shazbot. Hiway is getting very big, but still can't climb too high without falling. Even with the CoonCam down, I can hopefully still post video clips here on the blog.

Benjamin & Lillian are up several times a day yet. They have done well and are ready for their Big Adventure now. But they are going to need to winter over for a while. They would not do well being in this state and attempting to find somewhere to safely sleep. I hope all the other orphans in the forests now have found a winter sleeping spot. They have hundreds of gnarly trees to find hollows in. i think of them all often.

Frannie thinking about saying the "s" word? Call me crazy, but that lets me know I better be ready for snow. :^)

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Sorry folks. But the CoonCam is offline for a while. The monitor on the laptop croaked and went black. So the CoonCam will be down until I can figure something out.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

4 a.m. visitor

Around 4 a.m. I thought I heard someone banging on the door to come in. Kamir said she heard it too because she ran to the window to look, and then ran to the door. She usually jumps up on the door to look out that window too, but upon seeing nothing - ran back to the other window. So I go look. Nobody there. So I open the door, nobody there. Open the storm door to check the Coondos, and in flies Shazbot.

Yesterday we rearranged Hiway & Shazbot's mini-coondo. Put the portable fencing around it so they have some outside time and space. We filled it with maple leaves from the yard. To watch them jump and hide in the pile of leaves was better than any Animal Planet's best animal videos. Shazbot tried to hide from Hiway and pull a sneak attack. Well. With Hiway you don't even need leaves to hide in to surprise her that you're there. Then they'd just roll around together in the leaves like one big fuzzy ball.

It would appear that Shazbot found a way to get out. She's the first one who has gotten out of that enclosure other than the ones who fit right through the spaces -- usually about 9 or 10 weekers.

Well. Being 4 a.m. and dark outside, I put her in the house kennel -- thinking it'll be daylight in a couple hours. But NOoooooo. Shazbot had a conniption if I wasn't right there looking at her. Sounded like something was attacking her the urgency she was yelling at me with. So. Take her out, cuddle her, hug her [sassy as she is she does like her attention], put her back in for a moment so I can grab the lantern and keys to unlock her mini-coondo perimeter.

While unlocking it, Hiway decided to grab onto my arm and hug it for dear life. With her arms through the fence, and my arm on the other side, it took a while to get the door open. lol. Then back in to get Shazbot. Had to lock the mini-coondo til daylight - then we can watch to see just exactly where Sarah Shazbot found a way out.

It's actually rather pleasant outside this morning, much to my surprise that it's only 30 degrees out there. This weather has all my rehabs confused. Everybody was up and pacing at me this morning, and yesterday they all slept until around 1:30 p.m. It seemed partial hibernation was the order of the day -- and November they should all be sleeping in. But this November? Not a typical Northwoods November again this year.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Molly in Florida

Here are a couple of photos of the little baby in Florida that needed a rehabber. Her name is Molly. When first contacted by the rescuers, Molly was refusing to take a bottle -- she was syringe feeding. She had also developed diahrrea. After consulting with the rescuers, explaining how to get her on a bottle, how to mix her formula a bit differently, and reducing the amount she was taking in -- Molly improved and began to be the playful little baby she is.

She is a fortunate baby. She had finders that went the extra mile to find out if they were doing the best things for Molly while locating an experienced rehabber. She will now be in the best of hands to help her grow up and look forward to a Big Adventure in the Spring. Thank you for helping Molly.
But most of all, thank you for loving her enough to do what is best for Molly.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Another Big Adventure Video

This is a newly released video of Wildthang, Wizzer, Chewie, Sonny, Little Girl & Rickietickietavi's Big Adventure in September 2006. Doug built them a nice little Mini-Coondo in a really gnarly old woodpecker tree. The orphans loved the new playground, and didn't want to go back to the Coondo. They didn't stay in the Mini-Coondo, and only came back to eat from time to time. Every now and then you could see a muddy paw print in one of the white buckets. But never a glimpse of the beautiful orphans again.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I'm a proud coonie mom. The good news is .... Hiway snarfed at me. The bad news is .... Hiway snarfed at me. What this means is that Girlfriend has learned something from Shazbot! Only took her six months, but she did it!! She also managed to jump down off the chair instead of falling off! [Yes - after she climbed up all by herself!] It may sound like an awfully small thing to do -- but for Hiway it's progress!

She was sitting by my feet eating her dog kibble while I was admiring her and stroking her. She gave the cutest little snarf -- but had no idea what it meant. Just kept eating like it was nothing. Later on yesterday Hiway took an outing to Doug & Mary's farm. Everyone agrees that Hiway has grown incredibly. My guess just by holding the big baby, would be 25 pounds. She was quite eager to go on her outing. She likes that. She climbs right in the van and into her travel kennel. After our visits, she climbs right back in. Come home and she's ready to check everything in the orphanage is correct. Shazbot is usually quite happy to see Hiway back home as Shazbot doesn't like to be without her now. But Shazbot is a sassy little honey -- she doesn't need to learn things like Hiway does. Shazbot's a pretty smart little coonie and her wild instincts have been apparent for months. Was hoping she'd help Hiway wild up a bit. And now? Hiway can snarf thanks to miss sassiness roomie Sarah Shazbot. Yup. A proud moment.

Lillian and Benjamin will have run of the perimeter today. Didn't work out too well in the perimeter for Hiway. She climbed the door and fell off of it. So she and Shazbot are back in their mini-coondo for now. Lillian & Benjamin have grown -- well -- huge in the past few weeks. They are going to be quite excited to run around in the perimeter today. But with only one CoonCam functioning, don't know how much we'll be able to see -- only half of the perimeter area. And with the weather dropping below 30 lately, the swimming pool is now just a toy box.

If you've been watching the CoonCam - you've probably seen Benjamin has started pacing a lot. He may be asking to go on his Big Adventure, but Lillian is not ready. He can't go alone, so let's see what Lillian does in the next week or two.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rescues for today

The rehab season has just gone into it's 'fall mode'. The time of year that we learn about the critters the good hearted people tried to help, but don't know what to do now that they've grown a few months and become the wild animals that they are. And the babies born so late in the season that the weather itself would do them in are starting to be found as well.

Today we're working on finding a rehabber in different states for a 5 month old flying squirrel kept in a hamster cage all summer and a baby coonie found on the road in Florida. Thanks to all you rehabbers out there for being there and doing what you do. The world is starting to wake up to the plight that has been caused by human overcrowding resulting in wildlife evictions. And a big thanks to all the humans that have the courage and sense to contact a rehabber for help!

If you or anyone you know finds wildlife -- please encourage them to contact a rehabber to help. We will help find rehabbers for those who are looking if needed. Let's all pull together and help our native wildlife. Together we can change the way the world treats our creatures.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mini-Coondo Graduation Day

With Lillian and Benjamin in the big Coondo, now that the big boys have gone onto their Big Adventure, things at the orphanage are changing. The weather is getting down to the 20's and 30's at night.

Lillian & Benjamin have settled nicely into the Coondo and are enjoying having more room to roam around. Plans are to introduce Sarah Shazbot to Lillian & Benjamin at around 3:30 p.m. Central time, when her Mariah comes home from school. This is hard for Mariah watching her Sarah grow so quickly. She won't even listen to any discussion of future Big Adventure plans for Sarah Shazbot. The twins already know Hiway from being cagemates a few months ago. But they don't like Hiway much. Since Hiway doesn't bother to fight back if someone challenges her -- she just sits there trying to figure out what's happening -- the transition may not be able to be completed in one day. Shazbot needs to be caged with Hiway and they cannot be separated. For all practical purposes, they are now littermates and need to stay together.

Shazbot gets pretty testy with Hiway at feeding time. She tries to nab all the food for herself. Hiway, being the gentle soul she is, just moves over or goes to do something else. Shazbot always was a lot more feisty than Hiway. Even though Shazbot's half Hiway's age, she calls the shots in the mini-coondo. This attitude may cause problems with Benjamin, since he considers himself the 'big honcho' of he and Lillian. But -- he's got a surprise coming with Shazbot I think. She doesn't back down too quickly.

The four of them have been side by side in two separate mini-coondos for the season, so integration shouldn't be a big issue. But - as always with coonies -- we'll just have to watch and see what happens.

Photos are me and my bestest girlfriend Hiway the other day. She's just such a big baby ... and getting quite heavy besides. She is approximately 6.5 months old now and it's a miracle she's here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another Big Adventure Day

Well. If the weather cooperates today, Leon, Louie and Oliver will be on their way to a new life on their Big Adventure in the forest.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sleepless in Chequamegon

So-o-o, Matzo is posting in at 2, 3, 4 o'clock AM...perhaps all the grey days have thrown off the internal clock, or being a seasoned rehabber she just doesn't sleep? No, i know, i know! Hangin' round with coonies all these years she has developed nocturnalism?!
Can't wait to see the "little" guys tearing around the coondo when the bruins move out! Wonder what we'll overhear in the woods then?
Which reminds me, we never did put the "Overheard" in from the last it is, or something pretty close to it:
Overheard inwood from the vicinity of Stanley, Kudos, Lillith and Blondie's release site:

Hey, anybody see MatzoMom today?
Nope. Hmm, wonder if she's ok?
Wonder where she is?
Wish she could see me climb this great tree...way better'n the fence!!! Up 'n' up with no wire ceiling..wo-owwww. And look how much we can SEE from wayyyy up here!!! oh-oh. pretty high. hm.. (scrabblescrabblescrabble). huh? I did NOT get skared, i WANTED to come down fast.
How is she gonna spend her days without us?
And where'd those other three go anyhow? How come they didn't get to ride in the box out here to this giant coondo?
Bet Matzo still thinks a wasp got Ollie's ear... wonder if he'll ever tell her it was me??? Well, he shouldn'ta gone after MY apple...
Boy, i got an itch right...there. sure wish MatzoMom was here to scritch it for me...hey! lookit this! BARK works for scritchin', too!!! Hey you
gu-uys!!! lookit this, didja know? bark works for scritchin' !
Wish MatzoMom was here with apples...Hey try these little crunchy bugs!
Nah, i like the swimmy things better.
This place is SO cool!

Nite, Mom, wherever you are.
Miss you, but This is so great! ................. and Hey? .......thanks.

Rain in the Northwoods

It's been raining off and on for a few days now. Appears the rain you folks have had down in IL has gotten here. Supposed to hang around for the next ten days or so.

CoonCam 2 is down indefinitely. My laptop lost over a dozen drivers and I haven't been able to reinstall any of them.

These pics are for those of you having baby coonie withdrawals:

Hard to believe something this tiny can become a thirty pound juvie in a mere five months.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Holy Mackerals!!

32 degrees this morning -- feels like 26. Pretty quiet out in the Coondo. I wonder how much of the water has frozen?

Yesterday my laptop lost about a dozen driver files somewhere, so CoonCam 2 is not running for now.

Here's the pic for today: Jedi Squirrels.
Seen recently in a park near you these squirrels were debating who the tree belonged to. My Aunt asked me how I got the squirrels to do that, and I told her "just hand them the handle and show them where the button to turn it on is". Well. Had to fess up that it was sent to me by a fellow rehabber, Suzie.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Websites down today

Dory & the Orphans website and the Cooncam are down today for a while {hopefully only for a while!} My server seems to be having an issue. A trouble ticket has been submitted so it's just a waiting game for the server in Texas to get back up to speed. I have been informed that the upgrades being done by the server may take several hours.

Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Northwoods got cold!!!

Seems the weather has gotten more to a 'normal' October up here. 44 degrees, feels like 38. It would have been nice if Mother Nature hadn't dropped 3 degrees an hour from 90 degrees and sunny on Monday to bleak and raining -- feels like snow could hit if it really felt like it. Good 'ol Wisconsin weather.

Leon, Louie and Oliver were just laying around in the Coondo door around 4 a.m. grooming each other. The things the CoonCam isn't powerful enough to witness really is a shame. To see these 30 pound boys in a pile grooming each other's necks -- and then Louie snapping at Oliver for doing it wrong. These orphans should have cameras and sound like Animal Planet does. Ever watch Sunrise Earth on Animal Planet? 6 a.m. it comes on. My parakeets really like it. You hear the sounds of the birds and creatures stirring and waking up. They answer back and get all happy about it. Hiway tries to catch things on the tv screen -- she hasn't figured out yet she isn't going to be able to.

Off to Lakewood in the Chiquamegon Forest today. I will try to take some video footage of how autumn looks with so many trees missing, but no guarantee with the nasty stuff going on out there right now.

After looking at the blog progress, and seeing how boring it looks when there are no pictures with the articles -- I was looking at some old photos. So here's one of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite rehabs. My princess Arwyn, the little red squirrel. This photo was just a few days after she arrived. She'd been thrown from her nest by a tornado, and a small branch pierced her on the way down. She hit a sidewalk and was found by a very nervous and extremely caring lady. This lady wrapped Arwyn in a little piece of shirt fabric and brought her 30 miles to the Orphanage in the aftermath of the tornado.

She wasn't well, her body functions weren't working. Her entire stomach was so brusied and the puncture didn't look good either. I was holding her in my hand asking her to go potty so she could heal. Mariah walked in the room with the camera and declared a Coondak Moment and started snapping shots one after another. Only this photo had that tranparent figure in it like that. All I can say is that Arwyn did potty for me and the rest is history.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hiway gets the matzos

It's difficult enough to get matzos up here in the Northwoods, but now Hiway has found my matzos and decided they are good.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

New Orphan at the Orphanage

You know you are making a difference in the lives of the critters when on a Saturday night just before midnight the local chief of police knocks on your door with a stray kitten in arms. She didn't know what else to do at that hour. Chief Soletski had gotten a call about a stray kitten near the highway by a local day care facility. She went to retrieve it, but at that hour no shelter is open. Here at Dory & the Orphans orphanage, it doesn't matter what time it is if a critter needs help. Very bad timing for this little one though. The Homecoming dance was in progress and when the police show up at the door at that hour and you have a teenager at that event? Well. Kittens aren't the first thing that cross your mind.

This little grey kitten isn't a feral. He's not wild enough and he likes Kamir {my guard dog}, however doesn't seem to be too friendly for a 7 week old baby. He does have an injury to his lower jaw, an abrasion or possibly some type of burn. But he eats like a horse and complains about having to be in a large kennel for now -- he seems happy on Shazbot's old halter and leash -- he just doesn't want to be in the kennel with only stuffies -- can't say I blame him for that. He won't be staying at the orphanage long. Monday Chief Soletski will take him to the animal shelter in our county. She will check the area for siblings in the event this little one was dumped at the day care by an irresponsible pet owner. Hopefully it wasn't an entire litter of kittens and this little guy just wandered away from his home. But such a little kitten shouldn't be left out to wander alone at night in the Northwoods [anywhere actually], and he's safe for now.

On Monday Chief Soletski brought a new human for the little kitten to live with. He will not have to go to any shelter and will have a couple of dogs and other cats for companionship.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

October already?

It would appear October has snuck up and gotten here. Balmy day in the Northwoods at 58 degrees and sunny. Weather reports say it will get a bit warmer for a few days and to expect 70's and 80's.

No new pictures to post this morning. So thought I'd post a picture of my Peepers for those of you who might be wondering about her Big Adventure. She was a tiny baby when she came to me - just days old. She had been run over by a disk on farm equipment while coming out of her egg. It split her head open pretty badly. At that point, she was given "24 hours to live". So I was called to care for her. The photo on the right is her 'success story'. She is shown on the photo with her mate of many years now. Both have only one eye and will remain at the Chippewa Falls preserve for life.

The photo on the left is my first success with Peepers. Getting her to eat. She had not eaten for anyone and was seriously stressed by this point. She was terrified of everyone and everything. But she found comfort with me. That's about the point the Zoo owners began to call me "Mother Nature". I made her some Mother O'Malleys Crane Stew which she was eager to devour. And the rest is history. Perhaps one day those photos can be organized and shared with you as well. Sandhill Cranes are very special and intelligent creatures. Once you share your life with one, you are never the same.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall Color Run

Finding it necessary to freelance as much as possible to generate income, I had occasion to visit the western side of the county that the tornado hit many weeks ago. Huge logs being trucked out of the forest at a steady rate, or stacked along side in acreage anywhere there is space to wait for trucks. It was not declared a disaster area [from what I understand] because the main destruction was national and state forest land. Damage to the populated areas varied from being wiped off the map to only high winds. Here's hoping the Lakewood citizens and others affected by that devastation are getting the assitance they need to rebuild their lives.

Although the colors in the Northwoods have been a spectacular display of reds, oranges, yellows and other striking bursts of colors - there are just spots where there is no color at all, only acre after acre of piled logs -- old conifer trees -- just waiting to be removed and forgotten.

Meanwhile, here is a video of some of the coonies at the orphanage today. Hiway & Shazbot are doing really well together. Lillian & Benjmain are growing too fast, and Oliver & Louie aren't sure if they're babies or want to go explore or what. Only time will tell.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Northwoods Intrigue - the call of the wild

48 degrees in the Northwoods this morning. Louie caught a scent in the breeze the other day that made him curious and want to go find what the smells were and where they were coming from. He started pacing and his curiosity has him overwhelmed. He's aching for his Big Adventure. Not enough new things to feel and touch in the Coondo anymore.

The sense of touch is important to the coonies. It's keener than their sight. When they become accustomed to all the things in the Coondo and it's perimeter that they can touch, feel, and roll around in their hands before giving it a little taste, they need to find other new things to experience. Their world is so full of different textures, smells and tastes in the wild that it keeps them busy for a lifetime. But in the perimeter areas and the Coondos? Well, after a while they know what everything is and want to go find new and exciting things.

It's always hard to see they are aching to go on their Big Adventure as the apprehension of whether they are ready always sneaks in. But these boys, Leon, Louie and Oliver have grown big and strong and want to go explore more new things. Even fuzzy little Leon doesn't seem to be such a 'baby' anymore. After Kudos, Lillith, Blondie and Stanley went on their Big Adventure, much changed for the boys left in the Coondo.

At first they became very quiet and stayed close together, knowing something was very different. Then after a few days, they began to look out the fences to see if they could see any of their littermates. And with the smell of autumn in the air they know there is much more to life than just hanging out in the Coondo. They have spent the past 5 months learning how to do things coonies do and want to go try it out on their own. With our human kids we have 18 years to teach them and prepare them if we're lucky. With our fur kids we might have a year, but usually less. Letting go is no different for either. We hope we taught them well and the right things so they can survive with success. We hope they will know what to do when confronted by situations. But with our fur kids sometimes we never know and have to go on faith.

Little Shazbot has grown so fast and is nearly the size of Hiway now. She's still a ball of fluff, but she's no longer a baby coonie. She's not even a toddler anymore. Shazbot and Hiway are so good for each other. Shazbot convinces Hiway to quit her frenzied pacing up and down, but on the other hand, Hiway has taught Shazbot how to do a little jump hop on the fence. They have gone through changes having a littermate after so many months of being alone. It has allowed them to look to each other for companionship and comfort and rely less and less on us humans. It's a bittersweet victory for both of these girls. It's good to see them find comfort in their own kind, but it leaves the humans at a loss being no longer needed as much. I wonder sometimes who the adjustments are harder for - the humans or the critters.

Benjamin & Lillian have grown just as fast, they are bigger than Hiway now. But they have a lot more of a wild side than Hiway. As it looks now, Benjamin, Lillian, Shazbot and Hiway will be denning in the Coondo for the winter months. It will be time to hibernate when they are actually big enough to go out on their own and with our winter weather in the Northwoods, any release after October could be detrimental. The food sources get scarce, the water sources freeze over, and the cold North winds are brutal. Hopefully the warmer weather we've been experiencing will hold out for Leon, Louie and Oliver to go and get established in the forest. But for the other four it will be Spring before their Big Adventure time arrives.

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.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hiway and Shazbot

Temp of 64 degress this morning in the Northwoods, and cloudy -- looks like rain. Feels beautiful for a fall day. The leaves on the trees are just now beginning to turn that bright blaze red, oranges and yellows.

Little Sarah Shazbot has spent the night in her outside mini-coondo for two nights now. Her new roomie Hiway and she are quite happy to be together at night now {so far - lol}. When Hiway was out with me doing chores the other day, and Shazbot was climbing her cage to get to Hiway - I put Hiway in with her. I took Hiway back out when she pinned Shazbot by the throat for bugging her. But put them back together when Benjamin & Lillian were picking on Hiway. Shazbot was SO happy to see Hiway this time that she stayed as close as she could, hugging her and posing at her. Hiway -- well -- Hiway was just Hiway.

Hiway doesn't get excited to see anybody but me, but she was playing with Shazbot and eating with her. Hiway NEEDS to know she's a coonie, and Shazbot needs a companion. She can't stay a single kit anymore. Her tail is healed, the fur growing back in, and has feelings all the way to the tip. [She gave me a really dirty look when I pinched the little knot at the end of her tail the other day.] It will always have the dents from the hawk's beak chomping down on her and then flying through the air that way. But it's better than I ever could have hoped for. Glad I didn't amputate all of it.

But what an odd couple these two are. Hiway is as old as the babies that left on their Big Adventure already, yet her thoughts are still a 6 week old kit -- she just has a whole lot more power behind her desire to get her hands on something she wants now. Shazbot, now 9 weeks old, is far more wild and sassy. She looks like a little round ball of fluff, and tells you exactly what she thinks with her little grunts, growls, squeaks and wiggles. Mariah's little wild thang.

Mariah is, of course, very saddened that her Sarah has grown and needs to be a coonie instead of a baby anymore. She did an awesome job mixing her bottles, disinfecting her kennel every feeding, changing her blankets and stuffied animals. But holy mackerals did Sarah Shazbot get big fast! And she's always been quite the little wild thing nipping at Mariah even. She doesn't care who's fingers are in her way if she wants to do something. She's a little spitfire.

When Hiway starts her up and down pacing frenzy, Shazbot grabs her around the waist, holds onto to her so she can't go back up again, and looks at her like "STOP THAT GIRLFRIEND!!" And Hiway plays for a few minutes. Looks like little Sarah Shazbot is growing past Hiway in logic now. They are so good for each other. I wonder if Hiway will ever be able to go on a Big Adventure in the wild or if her Big Adventure is going to be with me educating the humans. Looks like that's the way it will be for now -- never plan too far ahead with a coonie. The miracles they can show us will never quit boggling my mind.

Friday, September 21, 2007

So Quiet in the Coondo

Leon, Oliver & Louie have been so quiet since the others left them in the Coondo. Oliver's swollen ear is slowly getting better. The boys look smaller to me today for some reason. Perhaps it's wishful thinking so they can stay longer. April 29th brought in the first infants this season. It's the last weekend of April like clockwork around here it seems. The Menard's babies were about 2 weeks old on intake. Their eyes opened a week later, except Leon's. Leon needed extra tlc and intensive care. Then the three monster boys arrived. The church bus lady that brought them said their were just opening. But they were huge compared to the Menard's babies. Amazing what an extra week or two with mother does for the growth of neonate coonies.

Looking at the videos on Youtube of them as toddlers all trying to fit into the cake pan food dish - and to think a short 3 months later they are huge and healthy. None have ever come close to the size of Nip & Tucker though. At release they were both an easy 60 pounds. Guess it was a good year in the Coondo with only two wintering over. They didn't eat much over the winter. Pretty much just left everything frozen for a few days -- they enjoyed the grapes frozen anyway.

Today Hiway wanted to be with me more than other things. She got put back in with Lillian & Benjamin several times but they are sassy today and were ganging up on Hiway. So she stayed with me a lot. We put Shazbot into her outside enclosure and she kept trying to get by Hiway on the outside. So Hiway & Shazbot are roomies for a while today again. Looks like Hiway decided to take a nap with Shazbot and quit pacing up and down for a while.

Yesterday Leon, Louie and Oliver pretty much stayed curled up together -- not using the pool much at all. Kind of strange seeing the pool not be muddy in about two minutes after cleaning it. My apple trees were gracious enough to provide one or two five gallon buckets of apples a day for the babies. Frost hit a few nights ago and the apples are done for the most part - have to go find trees with more close by for them now. Corn's done for the year. It was a pretty good frost the other night. For two nights and days it was in the 30's & 40's. Yuk. But it's been balmy again - even in the 80's -- quite unusual in the Northwoods for September weather. Wonder if that means we have a longer rehab season again this year? Will we rehabbers not get a chance to hibernate again this year?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kudos, Lillith, Blondie, & Stanley go on their Big Adventure

Yesterday evening was Big Adventure day for Lillith & Blondie Mendard's, Stanley Monster boy, and Kudos my hit by a truck survivor. At this time I cannot relate much about their release as it is too difficult to think about. I will say that they did not want me to leave, but wanted me to go on their Big Adventure with them. When they understood I could not, they each hugged my knee, got one last loving pat and scratches, and then wandered off to explore their great new world in the forest. One day perhaps I can go on the Big Adventure with my babies, but not this time. With a very heavy heart I wish my babies the utmost safety and plentiful food sources.

Video of their release will be posted when I can watch it long enough without tears in my eyes to edit it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Shazbot gets a roomie

This morning when Shazbot was taken out to her mini-coondo, she was surprised to find Hiway already inside exploring. Hiway was a bit rambunctious early this morning. She was too much help with the canning jars and tomatoes waiting to be made into soup and mulberries waiting to be made into jelly.

Shazbot wanted to play and kept following Hiway around, trying to get her hands on Hiway's face to make her look at her. Hiway just pretended she didn't see Shazbot. They finally did interact some, but Hiway had to be put back in by Lillian & Benjamin once she got a bit rough. She had little Shazbot pinned down like she does with the cats, but Shazbot is still a bit small for that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Shazbot goes to High School

Shazbot's first glimpse of the hallways of high school is the photo on the left. Students everywhere, sitting along the walls in cheerleader uniforms, walking around socializing, the team wearing their football jerseys, and generally arriving to school in time for a quick breakfast and classes to begin for the day. In the photos, her name is Sarah because her Mariah has her in tow. But she is just a little shazbot of a fluffy sassiness if you ask me. She doesn't cooperate too well with getting her halter on. She's getting a bit sassy about it and nipping with those little pointy teeth. She holds her little hands tight across her eyes and sticks her elbows in the way of anything trying to go around her neck. Then she grabs it with skill to be envied, and pushes it away. Snorting, growling, wiggling, twisting and snapping the entire time. So far I'm bigger than her, just laugh, say "whatever Shazbot" and I manage.
Mariah introduced 'Sarah' to the theory of lockers down great big hallways, but Shazbot was more interested in how fast she could run down that slick surface without touching a human, or showing off one of her favorite skills, tying up the ankles of an unsuspecting human with her leash - like a flash of lightening. Until the feet caught her eye. And there were a few students who were very afraid of Sarah - even as little as she is. So we needed to respect their space as well. Others couldn't believe Mariah brought a coonie to school. Nothing like Mary's little lamb, that's a fact. After a little while, other students spotted them and had to touch her fur and just watch the little furbutt in action.
Students walking down the hallways to their locker, or just to hang out around the door of class were a little surprised when walking around the corner and laying eyes on a little ball of fluff running around the hallway on a neon pink leash {matches her little halter}. The word "coon" began to echo down the hallway and others had to come check it out. Most of the innocent bystanders taken aback by this 8 week old coonie fell instantly in love upon touching her silky fur. Shazbot had to be bathed with baby shampoo when she arrived at Dory & the Orphans rescue. Her fur will never go back to the tightly woven undercoat that she would develop each fall. She will have thick fur, but not the undercoating that insulates much better. It wasn't too long after that echo "coon!" went down the hallways before the cafeteria ladies had to each go take a peek for herself as well. About then the bell rang and scared the little coonie to mom, and class began. Shazbot was able to demonstrate a lot of different skills to the students in the classroom. Like how fast she could climb the book shelf, and how quickly she could jump on the cheerleader's white tennis shoe. She showed them how skillfully one cup of water in a non-tippable dish can be turned into a nice swimming pool of sorts, right there on the tiled floor. She demostrated how nicely she can growl when she wants to get her way, but mostly just ran around everywhere with her Mariah on her leash while I talked about wildlife rehab.
I think secretly Mariah and 'Sarah' were happy to spend time together like they are accustomed to. Since school started, Mariah hasn't been home to spend the same hours with her little rehab. When the Shazbot got home from the class, she just zonked out on her back and looked quite content with herself.

Her nap was cut short by going back for a second class at 12:20. Since the morning class was a nice, quiet, very well behaved group of students, I decided that Hiway could come along for the second class. Hiway spent the night outside with Lillian & Benjamin last night, so when Shazbot was napping, I went out to get my girlfriend and spend some time. Unlocked the cage door, got the halter on her, but when I looked there was a confused little coonie looking at me with her little hands stuck in the halter. A look like "what in the heck is going on here anyway?" So I picked her up, she clung on extra tight with all four paws, and inside we went. Put her down and she looked around like everything was new to her. Then when Kamir {my guard dog} came over to say hello, the little coonie just fuzzed up and was a bit upset. I looked at her tail and said "you aren't Hiway". It was Lillian. She was pretty happy to get back outside to Benjamin and trade places with Hiway. Hiway just steps right on into her little halter like it's old news. After helping me sort out the paperwork and hand outs for the second class, off the three of us went back to high school. Hiway wasn't too sure she liked having extra people around, and she stayed in her kennel until class started. She walked around on her leash, played with Shazbot {who had Mariah on her leash}, and generally explored the room while I talked to the students about wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation.

Even though the trip was short and sweet, both little girls {Hiway in the photo on the right and Shazbot above} were quite happy to be back home where they know. Dory & the Orphans should be proud of these two little ambassador orphans, I'm sure they left their footprint in the history of the Coleman Cougars.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hiway today

This morning Hiway decided to start her incessant pacing up and down the fencing again. {You may have seen that on Cam2.} So I took her out on her little halter and leash and let her run around and be my shadow for a while. She helped do chores, and visited for a while with the domestics inside. She is now in Sarah's {Shazbot's} outside mini-coondo. Shazbot is in due to inclement weather and it's getting pretty chilly up here in the Northwoods now.

Perhaps you are not up on Hiway's story?

Hiway was found orphaned. Mother was dead on the highway, and all of her siblings were lying with mother, also dead. This is normal when mother dies, the babies still try to nurse until they die as well. It's Mother Nature's way.

Hiway was different. She wanted nothing to do with being dead yet, so started following the white line down the County Highway. She came in in really bad shape. Maggots in her eyes, lice, dehydrated, and just about dead. I went to the vet to get her Ivermectin to kill the parasites, but the vet didn't have any and mistakenly gave me Avermectins. That is highly toxic to small animals, and Hiway went into a coma. She was hydrated SubQ with NormosolR for nearly a week. She puffed up like a balloon and her pads of her paws became sunken in {indicating liver damage}. It was unlikely she'd survive the medication.

But survive she did. However, her brain "got stuck" and she remains an infant mentally. Hiway is approximately 5 months old now. She is the age of the rehabs in the Big Coondo who are about to go on their Big Adventure in the forests. Hiway has been able to integrate with Lillian & Benjamin [3 months old] at times, but reverts to her up and down pacing when she gets nervous and needs to be my shadow. It's a dependency thing at this point. But perhaps Hiway can get her mental functions back in order one day and also have a Big Adventure.

Meanwhile, I certainly enjoy interacting with my 'girlfriend'. Seems I call her Girlfriend more often than Hiway these days.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Lakewood Triplets Big Adventure

Friday August 30, 2007 was release day for the Lakewood Triplets. These three were the last of the many injured and orphaned survivors of the F3 tornado that ripped up our Chequamegon National Forest. Found alone and starving at a lake huddling waiting for mother for many days, they were rescued by caring citizens and brought to Dory & the Orphans Coondo, arriving on July 23rd in an Avon™ box. They are quite happy to be back on their Big Adventure and found the Blackberry bushes to be the most interesting. Footage of their release is on Youtube/matzosnet

Benjamin & Lillian have moved in to the Lakewood Triplets disinfected mini-coondo. Hiway has decided she'd rather spend more time with Lillian & Benjamin than as my shadow now.

Sarah {whom I lovingly call Shazbot} has decided she wants to be in a bigger area now, so she can be seen on the far right of Cam2 when weather permits. The others still want to help her get rid of the end of her tail, but it's almost healed, so it won't be long she may be able to join Lillian, Benjamin & Hiway.

The Monster babies and the Menard's babies will be going on their Big Adventure within days - perhaps today for Lillith & Stanley weather permitting. Kudos, Stanley, Oliver, Blondie, Louie and Lillith are ready to go explore the world a.s.a.p. Leon Menard's is not ready -- he prefers Daisy's pink dinosaur stuffy {minus the stuffing} and waiting for mom. Hopefully the juvies will be able to join Leon in the Big Coondo soon.