Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day

I'm sitting here, listening to my new ipod that I got today from my kids. If I start writing the lyrics to Johnny Cash or one of the other great 438 songs on this thing, dont take it personal. I love this thing, tonight when I was giving bottles to 10 screaming Coons, I didn't hear them at all. I was singing along and it made it really pleasant, God I cant wait until these 10 are weaned. I am getting really burned out on coons, I hope that I don't get anymore.

I am not even going to try to catch you all up on the animals that have come in since Thurs when I last blogged. There are too many and each has a cool story. I am going to try to focus on Oscar and facilities. Oscar is doing great. He got the surgery that he needed. Cornell University and the folks that work there are first class and I am in debt to them. Oscar came through the surgery like a champ. It is all too complicated to get into but he got the best medical care that a Bobcat can get after being whacked by a car. He got the expensive surgery he needed and Cornell has agreed to work with me. It was not free, there is still a bill, please send checks. Write in the memo "Oscar" and I will dedicate all of that money to him and Cornell. He has a long way to go, long time to heal and most likely a life in captivity but he is alive and he wont have to worry about anything for the rest of his life. I am still taking everything with him one day at a time. He is in good hands and is still being worked on at the Cornell Wildlife Health Facility.

The other great thing about this ipod is that I cant hear the phone ring.:) Keep calling, the kids will bring me the phone if it is important. We've been busy but I notice that the orphaned and injured wildlife that is coming in is looking a lot older. The one eyed coon has almost completely healed her eye up, I am hoping to put her in with some other coons by the end of the week. I really appreciate the nice donation that the woman that brought her to me sent to cover that surgery. This is my last week of school and then things should be a little less hectic for me as I try to keep everything fed around my school schedule.

Sat. am, Tim and Kristen came up to volunteer at the farm. They had brought me a skunk a few weeks ago and came up to volunteer at our facility for the day. I thought that it was only appropriate to build a skunk pen complete with a hollow log since a baby red fox is in the pen that I made for skunks. We got it built and I ran down to the Negro Cemetery rededication at 2 pm Sat.. Middleburgh has a segregated negro burial ground used up until the early 1900's. When I bought this facility above the Middleburgh Cemetery 10 years ago, I found the Negro Cemetery off in the bushes. For the last 10 years I've been working on getting it cleaned up with my Schoharie County History Class at our High School. The Middleburgh Historical Society helped get a new stone, on it they had engraved "We cannot change the mistakes of the past but we can make right by it today" a saying that I tell my students all the time, esp. when I have them working in the cemetery.

Tim, Kristen and I came back up to the facility after the ceremony to put some skunks in that great new cage. After one sprayed me, they ate their food, one got out. We had to catch that one, triple enforce the sides....I just don't get why nothing is ever easy. I still like skunks a lot right now even after one used me for target practice, I am really tired of baby coons. I like the fawns a lot now also. They eat their bottles out of their bottle racks and wont even come out of hiding if they see me...that is good considering how easy they imprint. It was a long day Sat..... I fell to sleep on the couch in the living room watching a movie with the kids and was pissed when I woke up at 2 am and had to come out and do coon bottles.

The phone started ringing at 630 this morning. I scowled at the caller, "NY Wildlife Rescue Center, it is 630, I'm tired, what do you have".....Friend of mine in North Carolina, wanted to know if I wanted some cigarrettes, they are cheaper down there......gotta quit those things, who will feed all of these darn coons if I die of lung cancer. Every wildlife rehabber should be required get their RVS license because there is not many people doing coons, skunks and bats...
I really want to get this cage, It is seven hundred dollars but it has 3 different would be great for sorting coons (of different ages) while they wean until they get big enough to go in the big community cage. I need it. It isn't a want, it is a necessity.

By 730, I got a call from one of our new volunteers. Melinda was wondering what I was doing (not sleeping) and she said that she had several friends that were handy at building things and wondered if they could come over (I like people that can build things), wish I had a connection with a lumber yard....They all arrived just as I was finishing am rounds with bottles. I told them that I had to pick up two loads of hay and a donated bunny cage. I told them to go look at the Raptor Center, look at exactly how we had built the finished sections and if they wanted to tackle it while I did what I had to do they were more than welcome to work on it. After I got done with a cup of coffee with the wife so I could explain that what I do everyday is exactly what I wanted to do today on my I went. With all of the help I had today, My Summit, NY gang actually almost finished the remaining framing and construction on what was left on the indoor half of the Raptor Center.

We got the hay in. I got everything fed, done and actually took the wife and kids for an ice cream. I like days like today. Besides for a Kestrel that came in, it was a slow day. If you have never been here, you need to visit. I hope to have an open house soon. Ive had a dozen people tell me in the last week that they didn't realize the magnitude that we were helping animals. This is one of the largest not for profit animal rescue facilities in the northeast and we do NOT get any STATE or FEDERAL funding. I repeat, we survive entirely by your generosity. Any body good at grant writing out there? I need someone to take the initiative to start sending our name to Extreme Home Makeover, Animal Planet (would make a great series) or anyplace that can get us the exposure we need to get some donations.

The Raptor Center is half done, the best part is the outdoor flight, which needs to be built yet. Does anyone have a Lumber Co. connection, someone call Curtis Lumber, Stock Builder, Home Depot????I think that I will give a lumber list, everyone that comes to the Open House can bring a board or send a check and we will get it for you. Geeez, I will even build it if I keep getting some help like today. I like volunteers, raccoons too, esp when they are sleeping....maybe I cant hear them, I love this ipod.

...thanks kids,

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