Monday, June 24, 2013

They call me the Clover Ninja...


Guest Blogger: Ann Ensminger, Director of Animal Wellness

It was1:00 in the morning, and I was sitting up with my foster bunny, Cerulean, worrying that she had not eaten that day that as she should have.  This is a pretty significant concern as prior to her coming into my home for foster care she had been in “bunny ICU” twice and had been seen by no less than 6 different veterinarians.  Animal Friends had already done so much for her, and although she was not yet out of the woods, it was now my job to help her continue to thrive while under my close watch and care.  I had offered her everything, including things that she typically would eat enthusiastically--dandelion greens, parsley, banana, canned pumpkin, alfalfa hay and more.  Nothing seemed to be appealing to her, and I was becoming more and more concerned. 

I thought of one last option...CLOVER!  The veterinary staff who took care of Cerulean while she was in ICU reported that she loved fresh clover.  And, well, you can’t buy clover at Giant Eagle.  So...what’s a foster mama to do?  Get her scissors and go to her neighbor’s front yard, of course! 

Picture it...1:00 AM, in the dark, in my jammies and with my scissors in hand -- I triggered my neighbors’ motion activated porch light and scoured their front yard for clover.  Thankfully, and to my surprise, I was able to harvest a decent crop! 

While cautiously optimistic, I offered Cerulean a freshly picked and rinsed handful of clover.  Success!!  Freshly picked “organically home grown” clover did the trick.  Cerulean eagerly ate every last leaf, blossom, and stem.  What a relief!  I was so relieved, in fact, that I posted the following on my Facebook page:

I think, no...I know, that I have the best next door neighbors in the whole wide world! I didn't even think twice about it being 1 AM, and with my scissors in tow, denuding their front lawn of clover for my sick foster bunny. If she doesn't eat, she may end up being hospitalized again, and this was my last resort for finding food she would eat. Hooray for my neighbors and their life-saving crop of clover!

In retrospect, my posting may have been a little over the top.  And, I must also add that my best friend of 30 years and her family serendipitously live next door, so they already know that I do some non-traditional things to help an animal in need.  In fact, several days later, I got a phone call:  “Hey--I’m going to mow the front lawn...do you need any more clover before I do?”  I was not home at the time, and thanked my neighbor for the call and told him to go ahead and mow.  When I came home, it was so heartwarming to see that he had carefully mowed around all of the little clover patches in the yard!  Without a doubt, I do indeed have the best neighbors in the world! 

I’m sure that all of the animal lovers out there understand and recognize the lengths we sometimes go to to help the animals entrusted to our care.  And now, all out of the love for my foster bunny, they call me the Clover Ninja!  This is a title I am proud to bear! 

(Cerulean remains in foster care and is under close monitoring of Animal Friends’ Director of Veterinary Medicine.  While she is not yet ready to be made available for adoption, she does continue to thrive and has gained 11 ounces since going into foster care.  Her diagnosis is still open at this time, meaning that we don’t know exactly what has caused her medical challenges.  We hope that she will overcome these challenges and we are committed to helping her to do so.  If they are insurmountable, we know that she was indeed loved, spoiled, and had the opportunity to live in a home.)

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