Animal Anecdote 57
Sometimes it takes time to define just what a friend is. That was the case with Glover. He would do anything for me or so he said. He was remarkable in his contacts. When my station needed new tires at a time when it was difficult for me to get away he offered to get the tires as a gift- someone owed him a favor. In an hour he was back with the car newly shod. He had told mutual friends that I would do anything for him. That’s how thick our friendship was. He would bring animals to me from owners that no way could afford the necessary services such as inoculations and even minor surgery that I was pleased to perform for needy. Later I found most were not needy.
We were landscaping our new house and he could get just the young white pine and blue spruce we needed. When did we want them? He arrived with a flat bed trailer load with a dozen of each species that were shoulder high young trees. I had expected 10 inch tall trees. He even helped dig holes and plant them.
Then one day I had a question as to his ethics. Would I give him a statement that his pet snakes were harmless as someone had reported him as having some dangerous snakes? He had mentioned to me that he had permission to keep his venomous specimens several of which I had treated and they were deadly species. I asked who had given him permission and he said, never mind and it was forgotten.
One day he came in unannounced with of all things a young male African Lion and asked me if I would keep it for him for a few days until he returned. I was pleased to care for a species I had never had as a patient before. The poor animal had rickets I presumed from feeding the likes of hamburger with no calcium. I had some dead rodents in my freezer for snake food and bought some chickens to feed bones and feathers. A day after his arrival the papers reported the theft of a young African Lion from an auto agency where one had been illegally displayed as an ad stunt and a legal arm of the state of Conn. was investigating the animal’s whereabouts.
Glover was nowhere to be found and I phoned the authorities who arrived promptly.
Having no idea how to care for the Lion they asked if I would care for him until they could resolve the case. That Lion was the size of a beagle dog and had a huge appetite and we could almost see it growing from day to day. A week passed when one day I returned from lunch and there was a van with the logo and letters of our local TV station and Glover hugging the critter and giving a lecture about how he had become the owner.
So I was left with a hot lion as it was announced the creature may have been the one that disappeared from a roadside nature center shortly before it came to me. That was the last contact I had with Glover but not with some of his kindness. A year later a tire salesman arrived to ask his whereabouts as he owed $200 for a set of tires for a station wagon.
Then came a horticulturist who was looking for Glover to collect $300 for trees Glover had purchased from him. As far as the lion, my help called Tiger, a friendly client checked around and convinced the Bush Gardens in Florida to adopt him and a large wire crate arrived to send Tiger there. By thwen he was the size of a Great Dane. So ended my adventure with a “friend” I have not heard of since.
Next time poison ivy anyone? 652 words