Kind Dog Makes The Best Pillow For Orphaned Fawns
"Sarge won’t leave their side."
Some dogs shine when they're given a job. And that's just what happened to Sarge when he started caring for those who needed it most.
As a puppy, the now 9-year-old German shepherd dog was a bit of a grump, biting toes and chasing his siblings around the house. But everything changed when his mom brought home an orphaned fawn, named Buckwheat, found lying in the middle of the road.
“Something clicked in Sarge and he took to Buckwheat instantly,” Cheryl Stephen, Sarge’s mom, told The Dodo. “He wanted to be involved with every aspect of Buckwheat’s care.”
“He took on the role of being Buckwheat’s guardian,” she added. “None of the other dogs were allowed near the baby.”
When Buckwheat arrived, Sarge simply hired himself as the deer’s babysitter. And Buckwheat was grateful to have a companion who made him feel safe.
As the fawn learned to use his wobbly legs, Sarge patiently moved at the baby’s pace, encouraging him to explore while herding him out of harm's way. “When we’d take Buckwheat outdoors, Sarge walked alongside him and kept him from wandering,” Stephen said. “As Buckwheat grew and began venturing out on his own a little more, we would have Sarge go find him and bring him back home.”
Eventually, Buckwheat was released back into the wild, but by then, word had spread of Stephen and Sarge’s knack for rehabilitating orphaned and injured wild fawns. Her phone started ringing off the hook and, for Sarge, every time a new deer arrives, it’s like Christmas morning.
“When I walk in the door carrying a fawn, Sarge springs into action. He wants to check them over and he will frantically sniff and nose around to determine their condition,” Stephen said. “The fawns are drawn to Sarge and feel safe in his presence. Sarge won’t leave their side.”
Sadly, some of the fawns that Stephen takes in don’t make it, and every loss is equally hard on Sarge.
“He grieves for days, [with his] head hung low and won’t eat,” Stephen said. “He has laid on the graves of his beloved fawns and refused to come inside.”
But the hard times don't dampen the dog's excitement every time a new baby is carried through the door.
“It is my hope that these pictures will help others see just how loving and affectionate deer are. They have a soul, just like us humans," Stephen said. “If a dog can love and care for deer, people can, too.”
Sarge is always happy to do his job, no matter what the spring brings his way.