Last week it was the baby bunny in the window well that the dog startled. It had to be rescued as it wasn't big enough to jump out on its own. Which meant donning leather work gloves, picking up the vibrating wee beastie, letting the dog have a sniff of its rear and letting it loose under the deck, where it lives.
Zoë is such a good dog... she sniffed and snuffled but made no move to nip or devour the poor terrorized thing.
Today, on our walk after I got home from work, it was an overzealous boattailed grackle chick who obviously flew the nest too soon. Tail feathers come in handy when steering, and full pinfeathers are good for lift when flying. This little thing had very little of either! It still had hatchling fluff sticking through its feathers all over. Mum and Dad starling were quite irate that we were walking within 100 feet of said downed chick. It fluttered madly across the lane, clunked into the side of a garage and wound up perched behind a bag of garbage on the ground.
I made Zoë sit and stay and went over to see if I could pick it up. It just sat there and stared in paralyzed fear at me. I scooped it gently into my hands, carried it to a high bush and deposited it where the parents could easily have access.
The dog sat, oblivious to it all.
All is right in the world now. At least momentarily. Until the next youngster needs saving...