By Misty Murdock
When I first starting taking my Maltese, Sadie. to the vet for an ear infection I never thought it would lead to where it has in life. After 5 months of treatments and no change in the infection, Dr Chadwick consulted with a Vet from MSU and they both agreed that the problem was likely due to a food allergy. She told me that I would need to put Sadie on a very strict diet for 90 days of either very expensive allergy approve food, or better yet, homemade food that I would know exactly what she was eating. She listed off some different meats that I could use, Ostrich, lamb, and some really wild ones that I hadn’t even heard of. Lastly she said Venison. I knew I had access to that, so I happily said no problem. She told me to add sweet potatoes to it and nothing else.
I contacted my mom first and she gave me all the venison in her freezer. I thought this was going to be an easy 90 days. After the first 30 days I was quickly running out of venison so I put out a plea on Facebook asking for any venison that people could part with. The community came through for me, and I soon had venison and moose in my freezer once again. Chris Parker from 911 dispatch contacted me and let me know that she could contact me if they had a car deer accident if I wanted to pick up the deer that way. The thought made me shutter. I’m not a hunter and I don’t even eat meat that I have seen alive. But after another 30 days, I saw there was going to be an issue. I let Chris know.
Less than a week later I woke up to a message that there had been an accident and the deer was on 10 mile road. I looked at the clock and knew that my son DJ would be on his way home from working nights in Newberry. I gave him a call and explained that I needed help. He told me I was lucky, because he was supposed to get mandated that morning but someone else volunteered. And as a good son, he agreed to help.
We finally found the deer down in the ditch and he went down with my husband’s tow strap to tie it up so we could pull it out. Suddenly he stepped back. “Its not dead” he said “What do you mean its not dead?” I asked. “Its still breathing” “Are you sure?” He moved the reeds back and sure enough, it was still breathing, though you could see the neck was broken. “Did you bring a gun?” “Why would I bring a gun to pick up a dead deer?” I asked. I offered him a little knife but he refused. Finally out of options I called dispatch and explained the situation. “You don’t want to take care of it yourself?” the nice lady asked. “Uh, no” I said.
About twenty minutes later a very nice officer showed up and while I stood behind the truck and plugged my ears, he took care of the problem. Then was kind enough to help up load the deer into the truck. At that point we realized it was still nursing, though we had not seen a fawn anywhere. On the way home DJ said he should have taken the mandate.
I got home and called my dad. “I have a dead deer in the back of my truck and I don’t know what to do with it” I told him. He told me to come over after he got home from church and he would help take care of it. Then it was time to wake my husband Doug. After I told him everything that had gone on, (at this point it was 9:00am) he got up and started to get ready. “We have to go look for the fawn when we are done” I told him. He sighed and said “I know”.
We went to my parents house in Rudyard and my dad took us out back on their property to gut the deer. I held a leg and tried my best to not throw up. It was the first time I had every seen it being done and I wasnt sure I was going to make it! After that we took it and hung it and my dad and Doug skinned it, all I had to do was move the 4 wheeler back and forth to raise or lower the deer on a rope that was tied to it. Then dad said the easiest way to quarter it was using a chain saw. If you have ever seen a horror movie that shows a chain saw being used, it is nothing like that. In real life blood splatters EVERYWHERE. It was at that point that my mom told us lunch was ready.
After getting my moms meat grinder from her, since she informed me that I wouldn’t want to use my hand one for the entire thing, I came home and spent the next several hours cutting and grinding up my venison, I was sure this would be the only one I would need, since I only had a month of food testing to go. After that we borrowed my sons Doug cage and went to look for the fawn. “What are you going to do if you find it?” Doug asked. I informed him that I would throw a blanket over it, then put it in the cage, then take it to the police department and let them worry about it. But after several hours of searching, we never did find it. Boy was I happy this was going to be a one time deal. But after the last 30 days, we tried her on beef, and found that she quickly reacted to both that and chicken. Venison was going to be on the menu for the rest of her life. I thought “How much can a dog her size (16 pounds) go through? 1 deer should be enough right?” Oh how wrong I was. This only began the most interesting and hilarious journey I have ever been on for the love of a dog!