A lot of you out their may think I am a lucky dog!
My mom says it is not about luck! But I will say I have got a great life. So great that I thought I would share it with you! Now I didn't say it is an easy life though.. you will see what I mean. Come with me as we travel through my life at Wildlife Wonders....
A time to clean
Uh oh, she has her cleaning stuff, it is time to hide! It is cleaning time! Every once in a while she will con what she calls a volunteer to help out with this. I don't know what she says to them but I am always amazed at their willingness to help out. Although if these "volunteers" give me enough attention I might just lend a helping paw also.
I anxiously await her next step which is getting everyone's food ready! She lugs large boxes of produce out to the tortoises and other produce eaters! I follow her around she knows what I am really waiting for. Sometimes it seems like hours before she gets to my favorite part! She has to prepare special diets for the kinkajous, bearcat, coati, cavies, the list goes on and on!
Finally! she is heading to the "meat" department! If it is my lucky day she'll toss a little "deer fillet" my way!! Don't know how she does it though! She carries loads of heavy meet to the "predators". I call it predator run! She has all the meat eaters across the creek. So when it is time. I run across the creek pass the cougar, serval and lynx, around the bend and taunt the wolves a little then I run back to mom and give her that pitiful look so she will pet me! You know what she really needs is one of those really good "gators" I was gonna get her one for Christmas so she wouldn't have to lug all that meat and food around but no one will take dog dollars! Oh well, until that time as she always says! Exercise is good and she has her own perfected weight lifting exercise (one box up and walk, one box down... and so on!) She even has a little balance routine across the creek (as she says someday.. a better bridge!)
Ah I spot Tom! Gotta see what he is up too! He is always working! Either fixing something or building something or finishing something. You should see the stuff he has built! I wish he would build me something... He builds really cool pens for the animals, he even rebuilt a reptile house so all the reptiles have their own home! He sure could use some help though. Hope just keeps giving him more and more projects!
Life at the Barn
We are off to the barn! I always come along to the barn cause I might meet up with copper the barn cat and I might even get an egg! I learned long ago not to "steal" eggs. Since I have been so good Hope will sometimes give me a fresh egg! Every once in a while I feel the "need" to roll so I just quietly follow Hope into the pasture and viola! Piles of perfume! I only do this for Hope, I never put on perfume unless I am with my guardian. Don't ask me why, Hope ask me all the time, I haven't given her an answer yet.
Poop Scooping time!
Ahh, even better! Poop scooping time! I don't mind this as much, I don't know why volunteers always make a funny face when they have to help with this. I find this to be the most lovely stuff around! I even try to rub some on them but they just never appreciate it! Although I am always amazed at how much poop they collect! wheelbarrows full daily! That's way more then I will ever need. Again, one of those riding gators (with a little dump bed!) would sure make life easier. Right now it is all about the wheel barrow!
Getting Ready for Programs
They must have programs today! They are getting the leashes out, organizing carriers, Muffy and Musty the skunks are even getting baths! It seems like it takes them forever to load for a program. I don't know why they just can't tell the animals to "load up" like she does me. Heck if she tells me to load up and the truck door is closed I'll jump through the window (hence all those lovely scratches on the door of all the vehicles!) The monkeys always seem eager to go on these trips while the kangaroos take a little more time. It's like she has to give them all the details about the trip before they will even think about coming along. She sure has a way with them though cause she always has them believing her.
Oh yeah it is gonna be a big program today, they are loading up the HUGE tortoise, Again life would be easier with a gator (no not one of those that can take your finger off! they have plenty of those!) you know those riding ones with 4 wheel drive and a bed!) For now the tortoise gets to ride in the wheel barrow, Hope usually gives Tom those "cute" eyes (like she does me) and Tom is off to get the tortoise! Hope leaves alligator "fetching" and cobra catching up to Tom also. She calls him and expert or something like that...
Sheba the bearcat is going along to! Wow this is gonna be one lucky group of people! They are gonna get quite a show! Their will be this volunteer who gets to come up and pet Sheba.. that is one lucky dog! (no pun intended)
You wonder how I know? Every once in awhile I get to go along but mainly my job is to be the watchdog while they are away. Tough job, I watch the deer for awhile, then the wolves, then the roos, then the farm animals and so one. Oh yeah I am supposed to watch for people to! Mainly though I chase off stray cats! Mom says no stray cats here! Apparently these strays can make our animals sick!
You know dogs have great hearing, at least I do! I can hear them a mile down the road before they get home and I am at the gate to greet them! You know I have seen their programs and they are a lot of work but little do people realize the work that goes into this before and after the programs! After all the loading, show, driving now they get to unload, reward the animals, and of course clean clean clean to get ready for the next program! Geez, why can't those animals clean themselves like I do! Don't know why mom gives me a bath too! Maybe she is afraid the other animals will feel bad if I don't get a bath.
Although I have witnessed bath time being quite fun in this household..
I have heard Hope and Buddy the macaw singing together in the shower! and I witnessed Tom playing with bath toys and bubbles with his monkey!
And then on top of it after I am done with my bath I shake and clean the whole bathroom down for them.. don't know why they never thank me for that...
Oh geez, why does she always start doing laundry right when I am about to take a nap! You should see the piles of laundry that she has to do! After each program all the blankets in the carriers, the blankets in the pens... their is this never ending pile of laundry. You know Tom always talks about climbing Mount McKinley I just tell him to climb the laundry pile.. it is about the same. He doesn't agree though.. I suppose he would know as he has climbed every other high point in the US. (That was before us animals!)
The Business side
All right she is heading back into the house. Must be nap time! Darn the phone is ringing. don't know why the phone doesn't just answer itself. It sure would save mom a lot of time. Sometime she comes into the house and the phone will flash like 23 messages! Or on some days it will be flashing full (which stress's mom out cause she knows then that no one else could leave a message. I will let you in on a little secret too! I don't see her upset very often but when someone calls and keeps hanging up and doesn't leave a message and fills the entire answering machine! whew... she takes a deep breath and counts to 10.) Anyway, back to the ringing phone..She always tells me something like how important it is to answer the phone as those people on the other end are real important etc. They better be as that is important napping time for me. She spends enough time with them to. I wait till she is done but then she starts tapping away on the computer! Oh I recognize that screen, the booking screen. Well I will wait till she is done as I am sure she will want to take a nap with me.
What is she doing now? Faxing! Mailing! organizing! creating!
Will it ever end? Ah good one of her dedicated volunteers just walked through the door, I will go over and beg her to save my mom from the evil computer! She heard me she is taking my mom's seat! She answered the phone! Yea! now it is nap time for sure....
Now what is she doing.. feeding? but she just fed 3 hours ago.. Geez, I am taking a nap without her then.. how am I supposed to keep up with her!
I heard a car pull up? Oh yea Oh yea Oh yea! It is West and he has brought a friend! I am so excited he came to see me! I know I am not supposed to jump on people but I am just to excited! I have to jump on him! You see West is Hope's brother and he has come to see me! All the way from PA! Hey wait where are you going!
He is here to help out? Hey what about me! Oh well I know at least he will let me sleep with him. He came last year too. He comes and stays in the little red house and makes life a little easier on mom and dad. Every once in a while he will convince a friend to "sacrifice" their lives for the greater cause to!
I always hear mom in the mist of a crisis say how blessed she is with good friends, family, volunteers and animals! (like when the truck engine blew on their very new vehicle that just happen to have 51,000 miles! One thousand miles over warranty! and when the oak tree fell on a $10,000 animal enclosure which had to be rebuilt) So their went any plans of a gator! BUT she said thank you Lord for providing and blessing... I am learning from mom and dad to be thankful in all circumstances! (although I will be honest, I have seen mom a little upset due to circumstances around here especially when one of her precious critters gets sick.).
Dedicated to the animals.
Their are some real important guidelines here at Wildlife Wonders that just aren't to be crossed. Trust me I know! You NEVER go into a cage or the compound without Tom and Hope's permission. You see they are responsible for all us critters and they don't want anything to happen to any of us. They are real protective of us. They understand that we (well all of "we" except me... Well... I am think I am part human) are wild animals. It takes experience, knowledge, patience, time to learn about and understand us. They never hurt us or make us do anything. I watch them everyday work with and have a wonderful relationship with these animals. Since I am a watchful dog I see the difference in the way they interact with different types of animals. I see how the animals respond to someone new compared to someone they have build a "bond" with. Even so I have still seen animals here that Hope and Tom have dedicated hours of time to and the animal still turns on them and draws blood. Do they give up never! They work it out. They still love those animals and they realize a lot of times it is their fault. Maybe they moved to quickly or had an odd scent on them that scared the animal etc.
Hope and Tom spend a lot of time educating about these animals. They try to help others respect these animals but to understand that they are wild animals. They also spend a lot of time attempting to explain why certain animals are more dangerous than others or why certain animals make lousy pets. Trust me if you could see through my eyes you would see why monkeys make lousy pets! They bite, stink, do nasty things. I know I know people see Tom and Priscilla the monkey together and they think wow how cute. And it is darn cute but Hope and I know and have witnessed Priscilla biting and screaming!
This is also why Tom and Hope don't allow petting of certain animals. It just isn't safe. Especially for the animal. But just so you know you can pet me all day long! (well yeah and the farm animals) On occasions their will be a few others for petting but only for a limited amount of time or people. You see Tom and Hope can read those signs..They know way before you all do that the animal has had enough! They give the animals the utmost respect and will do everything they can for the animals in their care. I hear mom in her prayers thanking God for the opportunity to act as caretakers of some of His precious creatures! and I thank God that I am one of those creatures!
Well that is all the "Tales and Tails for now. If you like them let Hope know! Maybe she will let me continue to write. I think that just might be my calling! Putting my paw to paper! Adventures with mighty dog Cascade...
P.S. If you would like my paw print autograph, write to me and I will send out an official Cascade autograph!!
Tails and Tales by Cascade the watchdog of Wildlife Wonders!
Part 1: A Day at Wildlife Wonders!
and some other sentimental thoughts..
Starting the day!
My day begins very early as my guardians gets out of bed to warm up some milk for the babies. It seems their is always a mouth to feed. I follow her around hoping I will get my share of milk too. I hear pounding, Tom is already up and working! Their is lots for me to do today (you know chasing, playing, following etc) I suppose my list is nothing compared to Tom and Hope's list.
She has lots to get done today.. Of course it always seems their is more chores then hours in the day for them! Sometimes they are up before the crack of dawn and sometimes they don't get to bed till way after the sun has set!