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Via con Dios, Ozzie


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His name was Ozzie. I don't know why DW named him Ozzie; she has a superstition that if she names a wild animal in distress, it will improve its chances of surviving because it will have been loved enough to have a name. Up to now her technique has been surprisingly effective; but today, it was not to be...


I looked out the bathroom window this morning to see Ozzie, the possum, lying on the cold, wet ground in my backyard in obvious distress. It was daylight, he was out, and he could barely move. DW saw the possum (which we had never seen before), and announced his name was Ozzie. Uncertain as to his malaise, not knowing if it could be an ijury or rabies, I kept Annie in the house and called the local Animal Control. Animal Control said they would come out only of a cat or dog was involved, and to call the local police. The policeman came, and said that the police do not handle such matters; he suggested I call DEP. DEP suggested that I scoop Ozzie up with a shovel, deposit him in the woods, and let nature take its course. Let nature take its course? Leave this poor animal in the woods to suffer and then be torn apart by scavengers, perhaps while still alive? DW and I could not do that.


We called our vet (yes, on a Saturday morning), and told her the situation. She told us to bring Ozzie to the office, and she would see what she could do. So we got a crate, ran some old towels quickly through the dryer to warm them up, and made a bed. I used a plastic snow shovel to pick up Ozzie in order to minimize the chances of his being hurt, and deposited him in the bed. And so we rushed Ozzie to the vet, 45 minutes away. When we got him there, the vet examined him. She told us that Ozzie was a very old male who had probably been driven out of his nest by the horrendous rains we had just endured, and sustained an injury to his back. Overnight, he suffered from cold and exposure to the heavy rains. The most merciful thing to do would be to euthanize him. But she arranged for one last bit of tenderness for Ozzie. She left him in the warm bed we made for him, and gave him some water to relieve the pain of the dehydration he was suffering. She promised that Ozzie would have a final warm meal before he departed this earth. And so we left. Our vet did not charge us for taking care of Ozzie.


On the way home, DW cried. As I write this, I too am crying. Isn't that ridiculous?


Even if only for a brief moment, Ozzie was loved and cared for. He had a name, and he will always be remembered. And by ignoring the DEP's suggestion, we can live with our consciences. In Ozzie's memory, we made a contribution to Paws Aid, to express our thanks for our vet's kindness.


I wonder if possums also wait at the Bridge?


Via con Dios, Ozzie.

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Not ridiculous at all!

There is a reason Ozzie ended up in your yard....

You are good people.

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RIP Ozzie.


I too saved a possum a few years ago. She was in the middle of the road. I moved her off to the side, I could see she was bleeding from the mouth, and then I could have sworn that I saw little eyes from under her. I drove a few blocks home, got a crate, dorve back, and used a shovel to shoe her in. I took her to the wildlife sancutary run by our Humane Society the next morning - she was breathing but very labored. The vet examined her - she was beyond saving. They euthanized her. But she lived through the night to save her little babies. They raised the little ones and released them in a park when old enough. Oh, yeah, and I named her when I found her. Her name was Opal.


You and DW are kind souls.

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