We first met Eva when she was a week old fawn. We were “friends” with her intelligent mother who visited every day, and so Eva grew up very interested in these humans who lived in her neighborhood. Eva formed a special bond with Marlis, and over time it seemed obvious that Eva understood a lot of the German and English that she heard. Deer are not like dogs, however. More like cats, they can be affectionate, but they are very willful and often obstinate. Eva loved to stand on the porch and look out on the yard, or into the house. Sometimes it was near impossible to get her to leave if she didn’t want to. I wish I had a camera when Marlis was standing behind Eva, pushing on her butt with all her strength to try to get her to go down the short porch stairway. Eva stood like a Tai Chi master - with all your strength you couldn’t get her to move.
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Eva loved to figure things out. Anything new in the yard would interest all the deer, as it would be something new in the environment, but Eva was always fully aware. We built a small garden house and she carefully watched every step of the construction. When it was finished she stuck her head in the door, looked all around, and then slowly walked around the whole structure. You could see her figuring out how this new structure changed the topography of the yard. Suddenly there were a couple of new places to hide out. Suddenly a view that was always there is obstructed. The place where the fawns used to hang out is now a narrow space between the garden house and the garage. Eva takes it all in.
Starting in their 3rd year, does usually have one or two fawns every year. When she was young, for several years Eva would have three fawns every spring. Most of her fawns looked like her (facial features and body shape), and most of them were a bit more intelligent and healthy than their cousins in the herd. Some of Eva’s bucks became very close to us ( see Yoda: https://youtu.be/0t0bVqhsMSg
In her last year or so we could see her age. Her front left leg was perhaps injured, but it could be she had arthritis. It looked that way. Marlis applied arnica gel. Eva really liked that. She also liked to lick Marlis’ hands afterwards. She would have eaten Bach Rescue Cream (made from flowers) out of the tube if we had let her! Marlis put Rescue Cream on Eva’s occasional scrapes and wounds.
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We have coyotes, an occasional mountain lion, and of course cars. It’s not an easy life for the deer. In this remote area where people built houses but the land is still pretty wild and open, the deer didn’t feel pushed out of their environment. Some have chosen to befriend friendly humans. It’s hard to describe the incredible feeling of being so close to these majestic creatures. I don’t want to romanticize our experience too much, but I have to say that we have for years been daily blown away by having these guys so close. Even with that extraordinary experience, getting to know Eva took the experience to a whole different level. She was a dear deer friend who has been sorely missed - never to be forgotten.
Music in this video, as usual, is from us: http://www.starseedmusic.net
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NOTE: YouTube wouldn't allow my full comment about this video, so I'm pasting it into the Comments section below.