I was working on my computer when I noticed undoubtedly that I had to pee! I got up and glanced at the bucket of drinking water for my 5 dogs. It was on 'reserve'. Dirty too. I considered if I could withstand the running water sound without having to make a dash for the bathroom and decided that I could.
I carried the bucket to the sink which was, of course, full. Both sides. I sighed and put the bucket down, reached for the Dawn and found the bottle near empty. I had to write it on the shopping list before I forget it! NOW! The shopping list is on the computer.
So I walked back to the computer, making really tiny steps, and opened the shopping list. Before I could write the item down I noticed a blinking icon, signaling me that there is important Email in my Inbox that requires immediate attention.
I opened my Email program and sure enough, the subject "HELP, FOUND A BABY SQUIRREL" was just screamed at me. I had to take care of this first. Forgotten was the pressure on the bladder, the dogs that wanted water, the dishes and the detergent.
30 minutes later I had written detailed instructions on how to find a wildlife rehabber and how to take care of the baby until such has been found and sent off. I tried to copy and paste a standard text, wrote numerous different responses, but none of them ever seemed to fit.
Once I had hit that sent button and the email was on its way to hopefully save a squirrel, my bladder reminded me that I had another job to take care of! I got up again and just rolled my eyes at the water bucket knowing that this time the sound of running water is not going to help. I almost made it to the bathroom door!!
Rrrrrring rrrrrring, telephone! "OMG OMG OMG, my dog had this little thing in his mouth and I think it's a squirrel, it's squealing it's head off, can you hear that??? OMG OMG OMG!!"
15 minutes later I had a hysterical old lady calmed down and given direction to my house with instructions on how to transport the squirrel safely.
On my next attempt to reach the bathroom I had to ignore my guilt feelings looking at my 2 Great Danes sitting by the empty water bucket, giving me this "we are going to die now if we don't get water an hour ago!" look.
No way! I kept on walking. I looked at the clock on the wall and realized that I had to get started with warming up formula because in ten minutes it's feeding time. There are not only thirsty dogs, but also hungry cats, puppies, kittens, squirrels, birds, opossums, raccoons, rabbits and myself.
But not in my condition! I turned the lights on in the bathroom and lifted the lid to the bowl..and yes, you guessed it, the door bell rang! I hesitated..should I just go for it? Get it over with and let whoever I didn't expect, wait? But what if it's a baby whatever that's hurt and in pain? I knew I was going to regret that decision, but I ran to the door uttering words I didn't even knew I knew!!
To make a long story short, it took about another 2 hours before I managed to relief myself. In the meantime I admitted 3 squirrels, calmed down and educated the folks who dropped them off, gave the dogs water because I had to run it anyway to warm up the Pedialyte for the squirrels, which were terribly dehydrated. Too dehydrated to just put down and go pee. And while I was at it, I fed the 6 squirrels that I have at the moment and some other critters too. I felt like gurgling!
This is a scenario that repeats itself with different variations every day. I do not get much done, even though I'm amazed sometimes how little I do not get done, but over 200 animals have not died this year and many kids and adults alike have not cried over them but instead learned about the critters they found and felt good about having done the right thing.
I also answered a phonecall while juggling some bowls and bottles, just to listen to some distraught old fool threatening me not to release any of those varmint tree rats in his neighborhood or he'll shoot them all! And how derranged and mentally ill I need to be to waste money and time on such useless junk and messing with nature instead of helping hungry human orphans in Africa. Makes me wonder what he does with his time other than wasting it by telling others what to do with theirs.
The same evening I was also told by somebody else that I need to get a real job where I can earn some money so I can drive a big car and live in a big house and be somebody. Thankfully I do not need advise from humans like that. My best teachers are the animals. They don't care how much you have in the bank, if you are ugly or pretty, if you are a king or a bum, nor do they feel sorry for you or themselves. So why should I?
I am Birgit Sommer, Wildlife Rehabilitator.