Daisy’s Deer Medicine…

Zoe’s injured blue eye. The leaf is just an adornment from having fun in the woods!

Some time ago Zoe, our little nine-pound Japanese Chin, suffered an eye injury.  Actually, I did not notice a problem with her right eye until it turned a strange, cloudy blue hue.  I took her to the veterinarian, who prescribed an ointment and said it was definitely painful for her as the wound was a puncture and not just an abrasion.  She had poked or gouged her eye on something.  No telling what it was.  Dogs with bulging eyeballs often have accidents affecting their vision.  I told the vet I hadn’t even noticed a problem until her eye became blue, and that maybe she did seem a little more sedate lately.  She had not cared to go outside with me, which was unusual.  Zoe is my little ranch hand.  She is normally with me all day long when I am working outdoors.

After the vet visit, I took her home and applied the prescribed ointment four times each day.  Though she did not much like it, Zoe would tolerate the process of me squirting a glob of ointment near her eyelid and gently rubbing it into her eye by opening and closing the upper and lower eyelids.  Using this method, the ointment easily melted in.

Daisy licking Zoe’s injured right eye.

A couple of weeks later, though Zoe’s eye was still blue, she had returned to her spunky, playful self, so I knew she was feeling better.  One afternoon, I had let the trio of Chin outside for a romp when Daisy showed up in the front yard nibbling on henbit and vetch weeds.  Zoe was sitting by herself, facing the breeze and looking off into the distance.  Daisy walked right up to Zoe and appeared to be sniffing her.  For a long time she lingered near Zoe’s right eye, and I soon realized she was gently licking the eye!  All around Zoe’s eye she licked, and Zoe seemed to enjoy the attention, sitting calmly with a dreamy look.  When Daisy felt she had done a sufficient job, she simply walked on, proceeding with her weed eating.

Daisy, alert and watchful at all times.

Thinking about this, I remembered the term “Deer Medicine” had been mentioned by a Native American friend sometime back.  We were discussing what purpose Daisy might have in our lives… what she was here to show us or teach us.  I did a little research that indicated deer represented the power of gentleness to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings; healing wounds with gentleness of spirit.  Superficially, that made sense.  Perhaps Daisy was intuitive and, realizing Zoe’s eye was injured, she applied her saliva as a soothing salve of nature’s antibiotic to heal Zoe’s wounded eye.  But reading on, I discovered a much deeper purpose of deer medicine, and that perhaps was directed to me.

Daisy exudes gentleness and beauty at 9 months old.

Deer teach us how powerful it is to be of gentle demeanor, to exert keen observation and sensitivity. Deer are in tune with nature and all it comprises.  Even when grazing, the deer are constantly watchful, fully aware and alert of what is going on all around them. They travel through field and forest with deliberateness and clarity, mindful of the herd and the young fawns they nurture and protect. Watching the deer and their young is a reminder to  stand strong on the path, be alert and aware at all times, and not allow oneself to get distracted by outside influences.  Observation of their ways also teaches us that one should honor and respect the spirit within and go about life with gentleness and an open heart.

Daisy giving healing licks of gentle caring to Zoe.

I don’t know if Daisy’s medicine will heal the physical injury to Zoe’s eye, but her licking the wound was surely a comfort to Zoe’s spirit.   As for Deer Medicine, when Daisy came into our lives last spring, I had no idea that I would need Daisy’s medicine more than anyone.   During her raising, I observed her little ways and wondered at the life of a deer.  I worried and fretted about her existence alone as a young fawn with only a human mother’s guidance to take along when traveling her own path someday.  I sat for hours with her, observing her nature and understanding the quietness of her life.  I learned to appreciate her world.  But never once did I realize that Daisy had brought me… had brought us all… the gift of Deer Medicine.

Now, I watch Daisy’s movements with a much deeper understanding.  Today when she licks me as I pet her and pick ticks off of her, I regard it as much more than just the natural act of mutual grooming between doe and fawn.   I think of it now as a gentle act of caring and kindness and love between mother and daughter… of applying Deer Medicine … that brings about a great healing of my soul.

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


28 thoughts on “Daisy’s Deer Medicine…

    1. Lanchi, thank you for reading my recent posts. The last 4 years have been a very amazing time of my life! Moving on this little 10 acres changed everything for me. I am much more mindful these days of appreciating nature and what it can show me. My life wasn’t always so lucky or happy. Everywhere I have been, and all that I have experienced has been a discovery of who I am, and who I am not. When a person discovers more of who they are (spiritually/soulfully) they begin to flourish. I wish I had achieved more of this when I was young, like you! I am happy to be in this place in my life. Spending much time with nature has been very beneficial.

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  1. Dear littlesundog,

    You are a fine doe, and your upbringing of Daisy and the others is a reminder of the possibilities of the relationship with the other, whether human, non-human, or besides. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences so generously.

    Today I once again had a deer sheltering in my backyard under the cedar tree avoiding the dripping spring rain. This time it was a doe; she looked young and lithe, much like Daisy. Usually when we have a deer visitor it is a big three-point buck, and sometimes there are two or more cavorting in the yard eating whatever they have decided they like that week.

    Ours is, I think, a quite different scenario than yours, as we live in an urban neighbourhood (though established and well-treed). Our house is relatively near a few busier streets; indeed, even the street in front has a yellow line. These are urban deer, and they have inspired a tremendous controversy in our little city (meanwhile, an overwhelming portion of the population came here because they consider it “paradise”–but they become irate when paradise’s pretty creatures snack on their ornamental blossoms). The subject of the controversy is whether to cull the deer, and this gives rise to more than a few issues, including how many to kill, in what frame of time, using what methods, according to what statistics and projections of population growth. The gory details are a horror show. An ever-diminishing habitat means the deer have come into town, and residents are reacting to the sight of that which they cannot control in this garden city that is so self-satisfied as to indulge in a flower count early every spring. But the deer eat the flowers and then rest in the back yard under cedars while unhappy ladies and gentlemen shake their fists through double paned glass and commit themselves to murder if it’s the last thing they do. It breaks my heart on all accounts.

    Thank you again for your stories of compassion, tenderness, relationship, and loving kindness.

    Owl

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    1. Owl, your concern is one I have heard of and am familiar with in some parts of the Midwestern US. We used to travel to Austin, TX years ago and noted each trip, the dead deer alongside the road, victims of motor-vehicle collisions. We were told there was a special season on deer in that area (several counties) in order to cull the population in the urban areas. It broke my heart. Human’s continue to ravage the wild environment, taming it so that it can be pretty and a show piece for society. Spraying chemicals, cutting out trees and removing natural habitat for our wild mammals and birds. Even the bee and insect populations are threatened in some areas. While I understand the need for some wildlife management, I don’t understand the need for society to live and behave as they do. I had decided the first couple of years living here that it was more important to share the land with wildlife, and forgo some of my plants and shrubs, than to kill just to get rid of an animal. Sightings and close encounters with wildlife, to me, are a gift that I take very seriously. There is often a message, and communication if one is willing to listen.

      Your writing is beautiful, and your compassion for wildlife immense. I always appreciate your comments and views, my dear friend.

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    1. Thank you Barbara! Daisy is such a gentle spirit. Of course I have seen her show dominance and courage as well! She is an amazing girl. I’m so thankful to have this journey with her.

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  2. Moved…… Very moved by this. Also struck something with me. My animal totem, my guide is a deer. I know this from trance-journeys and just feeling him (it is a male) with me. I am a healer myself, I am studying natural medicine for animals and my biggest talents is my gentleness and my ability to calm the animals. This combined with your experience it is even more clear to me why the deer is my spiritual companion.
    Thanks again for sharing these beautiful words with us. And how beautiful daisy is in the pictures. And love your doggie too 🙂
    Warmest greetings, Diana.

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    1. Thank you so much Diana! I must dedicate more time to reading your blog… this is highly interesting! I have had dreams where the red fox has talked with me too. So many messages from the animal world, each with a gift to bestow.

      I see Daisy daily. I truly enjoy my quiet time with her, and I often find myself sitting nearby just to observe her. There is something soothing about being with her… just enjoying the moment!

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    1. I wondered about that too! Most of the time Daisy does not like me smearing arnica gel or aloe vera on her cuts and scraps. She seems to be sensitive to anything with scent to it. Not sure what was in the medicine but maybe it tasted good! I’m not about to try any out and do a taste test!!

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    1. Thank you for re-blogging my story. I just now checked out your blog and have subscribed. I am always interested in reading other writers works and finding inspiration in various writing styles. Most of my writings are about nature and what I reflect on or discover while living in the moment… what nature offers to show me or gift me. Thank you for your lovely comment.

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  3. enjoyed your post – all of your post make me smile. When I was a young boy on the Maryland dairy farm, the domestic animals always amazed me. I would lie on the ground and be very still – the young heifers would slowly walk towards me, grazing casually along the way – then sniff the top of my head, and eventually taking turns to lick the top of my head.

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    1. Ha ha!! Funny you should mention that as Daisy loves to lick FD’s head! She likes to lick my neck. Animals are so very interesting to observe. I get a kick out of our chickens each day. Those plump lovelies are hilarious, each with their own personality. I’m glad my small ranch stories bring back wonderful boyhood memories for you. Encounters with animals of all sorts stay with us a lifetime.

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  4. Animals are so intuitive, Lori. Even our little Aussie pup, Duke, saw that I had a cut on my wrist a few weeks ago and he kept licking it. They want to heal, which is not something that humans always want to do for each other. [Well, I guess animals aren’t always kind to each other either, for that matter.]

    That’s so cool how Daisy took care of Zoe, and your writing is always a treat. I look forward to your writing, but realize you have more responsibilities other than just to us! hehehe

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    1. Yes, I have lots of responsibilities here, but I’m beginning to love this writing time! I seem to flourish with a good blend of both. Most days my dilemma is “Dirt or Keybord?” Should I play outside in the dirt, or get on the computer and write? Decisions, decisions!!

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  5. AWWWW!!! Daisy the Chin whisperer!! 🙂 This is SO SWEET Lori!!! Animals are the most amazing, kind and intuitive creatures, why I love them so! The pictures that you captured are just stunning!! I am so glad to hear that Zoe is feeling better 🙂 Oh, and I love your new background! It’s inspiring me to want to change mine up a bit, it’s so nice and spring like 🙂

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    1. The background photo is my own shot of some type of tree down in the canyon. Some trees have white blossoms and some have pink blossoms. I wonder that they are dogwood blossoms… I’ll have to research that! I love walking around with the camera in spring. Graceful Lady of Spring has many beautiful photographs of spring 2011.

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  6. Loved the picture of my Zoe getting her eye tended to by Daisy. That is so sweet. Knowing Zoe, I can also see the reverse- Zoe tending to Daisy or the other Chins. I think Zoe has the “wanting to heal” tendencies also.

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    1. You never know about Zoe. Sometimes she is nice and loving and the next time she’s large and in charge!! Of course you would never see that side of her because she’s all ga ga over you when you visit!! She loves getting a Ruthie fix!!

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  7. Visiting with you these past months on your blog, I have also been healing and thriving on your “deer medicine.” I, too, have observed: “Deer teach us how powerful it is to be of gentle demeanor, to exert keen observation and sensitivity. Deer are in tune with nature and all it comprises.” They live all around us here right in the middle of town in NW Alabama. What an incredible blessing. And my little 11 pound Malti-poo guy licks every tiny tear/blemish/drop on all of us, his dear family members!

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    1. Animals of all sorts have something to gift us. It is a tremendous if we can just attract birds to our backyards, or befriend a squirrel! When I lived in town I had many doves and songbirds frequent the backyard. I kept water and feeders out for them. I had butterfly friendly flowers and shrubs. I found it so soothing to soak up just a bit of nature each day after work!

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