Readers have often noted over the years that I’m very patient with critical comments. Most of the time, I am. Sometimes, I’m not.
The photos in this post aren’t actually posted in order, by the way. The first photo was actually the second to last taken at that point. If you want to know why I was taking photos of the fawn and the dogs, asking is a good solution, and probably what people would do in person where on the internet they feel much freer to criticize or attack.
This is actually the first photo taken when I got to the scene.
These two were the last two.
How I present photos in order in a post is generally for storytelling, not for “covering my ass” in case someone takes a hankering to attack me for daring to even take photos.
I woke up late. The kids were still sleeping when I heard a bleating from outside. I was wearing a t-shirt and underwear and house shoes. My camera is almost always at hand and I almost always grab it on the way out the door. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have stories to tell about unexpected events, which is part of what I do for a living. I didn’t put my boots on at this point because nine times out of ten when I hear a frantic bleating outside, it’s a goat complaining about their day for no good reason. They do that. I went out to the driveway, using the zoom on my camera to figure out what was going on. I was not standing right outside the fence. I was standing on my driveway. In my t-shirt, underwear, and house shoes. I took several photos while I was zoomed in, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t even have realized Gwennie bit the fawn’s neck as I wasn’t close enough to really see what was happening. Often, it’s only afterward when I look at photos that I know what happened. At first, I didn’t even think the situation required my intervention, thought the fawn would turn tail and run to the back of the field and escape on its own, didn’t think the dogs would actually hurt a baby deer. I was taking photos while the fawn was running along the fence line, trying to throw itself through the woven wire and sometimes trying to run back into the field. When I saw the dogs circling it and then biting it WITH THE ZOOM LENS ON MY CAMERA, I realized I was going to have to intervene. This all happened in the space of a couple of minutes. I do NOT haul on my boots and race to the field every time I hear bleating, I’m sorry. First, I figure out what is going on, and depending on the situation, I may stand there for several minutes or one second before I make a decision.
I didn’t, in fact, go straight to the fawn even then, once I realized it was in trouble. I had to go back inside and get my boots. I didn’t take the time to puts pants on, by the way. I went back outside and to the field in my t-shirt, underwear, and boots. No photos were taken after this point other than in “calm” moments, like when Chloe was behind the gate of the goat yard and Gwennie was sitting “guarding” the fawn and when the fawn was walking the creek.
(To answer another question, I considered taking the fawn to the woods outside the fencing. I was afraid Chloe would get out and get to it. I saw no safe place for the fawn once it was down other than the barn.)
I didn’t take photos while, in my t-shirt, underwear, and boots, I was hauling one 100-pound dog after another OFF the fawn and across the farm. I didn’t take photos while I was carrying the fawn up out of the field. I was BUSY then, trying to save the fawn’s life. And yes, I went to the back door of my house with a large fawn weighing down my arms and banged on the door with my boot to wake up my 20-year-old son, in my t-shirt, underwear, and boots.
And I didn’t take photos when I took the fawn out of the barn and put it in the back of my Explorer and did what I had to do with it next either.
So unless you did ANY of that today in your t-shirt, underwear, and boots before you had coffee, including deciding while you’re still in your house shoes whether or not you should jump into the middle of livestock guardian dogs doing their job with a wild animal intruding into their field–ask polite questions the way you might like them asked to you if you had been the one in your t-shirt, underwear, and boots hauling 100-pound dogs off a fawn before you had coffee. And I shouldn’t have to explain any of the above, and wouldn’t if I hadn’t expended so much emotional and physical energy trying to save that fawn’s life. Some stories are more intense than others. This is one of them. But unless you were the one picking that fawn up out of the creek, it’s not as intense for you as it is for me, so I’m going to take a selfish moment and say if you don’t like that I took photos of the fawn before jumping in to save it, back off. You weren’t the one picking the fawn up out of a creek in your t-shirt, underwear, and boots after hauling two 100-pound dogs off it. And you didn’t have to subsequently safely dispose of its body where your dogs wouldn’t bring it back in pieces to your porch. (Someone even criticized me for taking a shower before calling the DNR. If you were covered in mud and fawn fur, you might be eager for a shower, too. And no, the DNR has not called back, which I suspected would happen, so that wasn’t exactly a crucial phone call on my priority list.)
P.S. I’m wearing pants now.
RIP little deer.