Welcome to Critter Tales.
This page is devoted to stories about our animal friends......past or present, wild or domesticated.
Please join us by sharing your stories & photos. Feel free to email me: jane@jelderBackyardNaturePhotos.com
Here lies Macy, the rescue pup. She's so fortunate to find such a wonderful home, a home filled with patience and compassion.
To be honest, I think this home has way too much compassion. Check out this dog!! She's stretched out on the diningroom table, people! So what if the cat naps there. (LOL)
Indeed, Macy has it all figured out. I hope to have more stories & photos.
I had an old hound dog once, back when I first got married. I was renting a house from a man who collected cars. He kept a half restored 1946 Rolls-Royce in one side of the garage. The back doors were off for repair. One day he knocked on the door and asked me to keep my dog out of the garage. It seems that he came in wet one night and decided to sleep in the back leather seat! I was afraid to even sit in a car that fine, but not my dog!!!
I rescued a baby raccoon many years ago. His mom had been killed on the highway and he was just a hand full. He became good friends with my little dog and they would wrestle for hours. At dinner cooking time Rocky - the little coon - always wanted to help and his help was..... well you can guess. If I put him outside in his cage he would scream and disturb the neighbors plus drove me crazy. Inside he was on and in everything (only happened during cooking time). One day in desperation I took a small coke bottle (remember when Coke Cola came in glass bottles) and dropped a marble inside. Handed the bottle to Rocky and gave it a little shake...... He sat very still in the middle of the floor for over an hour trying to get the marble out of the bottle. He could get the marble into his hand but then could not get his hand out of the bottle with the marble. From that time onward, anytime I was cooking I just handed Rocky his bottle and I knew I had about an hour to finish up. That worked for the rest of the time that Rocky lived with us.
As most of you know, my husband works for Nabisco. He was servicing his last store after a very long day and still about 1.5 hours away from home so he decides to get a hot dog for lunch, which he missed due his hectic work schedule.
He puts all his tools away in our little car, and lays the hot dog on the seat and rolls down the windows. Then he walks the shopping cart to the proper place, good guy that he is. Mind you, the cart corral is only a few feet away.
Hubby turns around to walk back to the car and there is a sea gull sitting contentedly in the passenger seat enjoying hubby's hot dog. Fortunately, both windows were open but can you imagine?
Seagulls, funny though they are, can be very aggressive and he is trying to figure out how to get the bird out of the car! This sea gull wasn't going anywhere without that hot dog! LOL Needless to say, it took a while....and John REALLY enjoyed the stew last night! Poor fellow!
I was on a camping trip with my sister years ago and we were at a point of aggravating each other big time. She had gone off in a huff and I made sandwiches while she was gone. (grumbling to myself)
She returned and picked up a sandwich, started to say something cranky and before a word got out of her mouth a grey squirrel dive bombed her and grabbed her sandwich. ~me=LOL, her = not so much.
It starts when my dad & my sister's boyfriend bought some plywood and a case of Schlitz and built a skiff in which they could fish from(the "Schlitz Special"). They took it out and set some trot lines one night.
The next morning, four of us got in his El Camino and went to the bayou. The skiff was taking on water and the trot line was wrapped around the gator. My brother and I were on the bank, and my dad starts yelling "bring some rope". We ran down the bank, and saw them trying to bail water and wrestle a gator. My dad was scared to death, but he got it in the boat.
Since there was not room for four in the El Camino, we made him ride in back with the gator. We got it home and my dad was following it around with a water hose, thinking it needed to stay wet(like a fish). He "walked" it down the street to a neighbors house, and the cars passing by, almost drove of the road rubber-necking.
After about an hour, we asked him, now what? So after some phone calls, it was decided to take him to the zoo. Going through the front gates of the zoo was a hoot, people got out of our way in a hurry!
Right after we adopted Takoda, about 2 weeks, I was making a sandwich for lunch and grabbed a few treats for him. Sat down in the living room to watch the noon news and he stands in front of me waiting for a treat. I finish about half of my sandwich, take a bite and set the rest on my knee, so I could give him another treat. Remember now, this is a blind dog. That quick, the rest of the sandwich is in his mouth and he's in the kitchen. Never saw him move so fast.
Anyway, I walk out to the kitchen and there he is, standing in the middle of the room, head down and a look on his face that said, I'm sorry - I was a bad boy. If you could have seen that look, you'd know why the only thing I could do was laugh. Also was giving thanks that my knee was still in one piece, the way he snatched that sandwich.
June came and went without any raccoon babies. I guess Mother Nature knows best so they started showing up one month later than usual.
Here are Giggles and Emma (momma) in the "Food Court".
Meet Billy, the Nubian goat. Billy's story is one for the books. When he was a baby goat, he lived downtown inside the house that happens to be a next door neighbor of my youngest daughter. Being an "inside" goat, he wore disposable diapers. At some point, he outgrew the diapers, so the family built a rickety corral of sorts outside. Problem is, Billy kept escaping. He would roam across the street and attack cars in the local Kentucky Fried Chicken parking lot. After several episodes of head-butting cars, the family gave him up. He now lives on my son's land in a rural area, where he is free to roam and no cars to head-butt.
We were all sitting there watching Dad put the finishing touches on the Christmas tree. It seemed like it took forever. Imagine being a child watching this, sitting quietly, and just wanting to burst from all the excitement. The adjustments were finally done and Dad joined us in admiring this beautiful tree.
Now, let's not leave out the family dog. The german shepherd got up, walked over to the tree, lifted his leg, and gave it the final seal of approval.
Our lovely Oliver (Boston Terrier) has decided the Christmas tree is for him to pee on, so Levi (labrador retriever) has to "top it off". I have cleaned and sprayed. My husband said "use the thing that keeps them off the couch". It is the shock mat & I just have to remember not to step on it. I think it will stop all the yellow puddles beneath my tree! Later....Oliver just stepped on the mat, problem solved!
Have you ever seen birds pitching a hissy fit in a tree or shrub? Not really hissing, not their familiar call, but more like chatter. It's not unusual to see tufted titmouse, chickadee, and cardinal join in together. They hop from branch to branch and turn their heads sideways as if they're looking down to the ground. In some cases that's exactly where they're looking or it's to the branch just below. So I finally realized what they were doing and couldn't resist taking a peek. More so than not you'll find one of these creatures doing what they do best, waiting for dinner.
We've always said it's in everyone's backyard if you just take the time to look. I honestly thought we were doing just that.
Back in June we were enjoying the antics of the raccoons while they were gorging themselves on sunflower seeds. We heard a commotion coming from the backside of a small storage shed. As I glanced that way, I noticed a raccoon napping on a tree branch. He or she was way up there, at least 50 feet. It's feet were dangling off either side of the branch.
We looked at eachother and then looked up in the trees close by. Just overhead we found two raccoons adorning the branches. Next door there was a mother & three babies hanging out.
Yes indeed, they're still here, still gorging, and still hanging out.
We had Buster (brittney spaniel), kitty, and Ollie (labrador retriever). Ollie was being raised with the intention of becoming a leader dog for the blind. He was a very loveable lab, so much so that the children in the neighborhood would knock on the door and ask "Can Ollie come out and play?". Of course, the answer was always yes.
Unfortunately, Ollie didn't make the cut so we kept him. Both dogs & the cat always went to the lake with us. It was early in May and we were the only ones there. While we were walking the beach, the dogs were running up the beach. We finally caught up to them and Buster had been digging. Ollie decided to help....yay, a team effort. The buried treasure turned out to be some old hot dogs that had been buried the previous fall. Yup, you guessed it, we had some very sick babies to care for.
Howdy folks. I'm a Texas screech owl, just following in my predecessor's footsteps. For the last few years I've been residing in my buddy's wood shop. At times it gets a bit noisy & dusty in here but that's to be expected. I do have other options, if you know what I mean.
Can't say life is boring around here. Dennis, my buddy, is always building something. The fun usually starts when I'm ready to go hunt up some grub.
On occasion I'll perch on his wall fan and scare the tar out of him when I fly out for the evening. We've almost run into eachother more than once.
So off into the night I go with that creek on my mind. Yes indeed, a meal fit for a king...the biggest, fattest, juiciest crawdads this side of the Mississippi. A meal this grand must be eaten on an equally grand table, the work bench. Back in the wood shop I go and, to show my appreciation, I leave Dennis the crawdad claws. Now who could ask for more!
While we are very familiar with the fact that raccoons are extremely ambidextrous creatures, we are constantly amazed by the things they do. Because of their curiosity and fearlessness, we keep everything out of reach of their extending arms. One of our key volunteers was at GCWS feeding the raccoons at lunch one day. She put her car keys in her pocket, cell phone on the counter and began preparing the raccoons’ baby bottles. Once she was done, she headed back to work.
At work, she realized she didn’t have her cell phone and returned to GCWS after work to retrieve it. After backtracking all of her steps, she discovered her cell phone lying in the bottom of the raccoon cage. All of the innocent babies were sound asleep. Once she cleaned it, and surprising to us all, the cell phone worked! Days passed and we all laughed at the mental image of the raccoons playing with the cell phone.
What a surprise when she received her next bill for a phone that had never received or sent text messages. During that one afternoon, the raccoons had racked up $25 of text messaging charges.
Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
When I was a kid, we had a dog that loved to chase the neighbor's cats. One day he spotted a kitten alone so he started sneaking up on it. All the while , mama cat was stealthily sneaking up behind him. Just before he made his move she pounced on his back and rode him halfway across the yard, like a cowboy on his horse! Poor dog never had a chance! From then on he kept one eye looking over his shoulder.
It was just after hurricane Katrina, so we gathered needed dog supplies and went to the SPCA in downtown Dallas. A volunteer approaches us & offers to help get the supplies out of the car. As we're walking out, she declares that she's homeless and asked if she could have some supplies. Of course I said yes and asked where she was living. I told her we were there to pick out a new pet and that we'd take her & the supplies to her dwelling when we were done.
She shows us all around the shelter and we chose a large fluffy dog that curled up in our laps when we went into the cage. After finishing the paperwork, I start driving underneath the overpass & through the weeds with my young daughter, the new dog, the supplies, and the homeless woman. I begin to think I'm crazy for doing this. She senses my fear & tries to keep reassuring me. Sure enough, we get further in and there is a tent with a dog tied up next to it. We unloaded the supplies & I gave her my number if she needed any help getting back on her feet.
Several weeks later I received a phone call from an older gentleman who sounded so pitiful & wanted to know if the dog I'd chosen was loved and needed by my family, You see, the dog had belonged to him and he'd given her up because he moved into an apartment. Two weeks later he bought a house and went back to get her, but she was gone. He apologized for calling and said the homeless lady gave him my phone number.
We now share custody of Queen Guinevere, aka Holly Rachel.
Jane, we had a coon when I was a freshman in high school. He was trained to ride on our shoulders while we did our paper routes. We'd go to the brook and catch crayfish for him. Used to love watching Ring wash his little hands before he ate. Life was sweet!
In 2007, the first fawn to visit our backyard had a visible patch on her left side. Her name is Patches and is now 3 years old. We've been waiting to see another blessed fawn and 2010 is the year. Meet Brandy, our only surviving fawn so far this year. Brandy's mother is related to Patches and they still travel together. How sweet is that!!