Here are two photo's of Junior our good friend the deer. Junior adopted us and has been around every year since he was a fawn until this last year. These photo's were of Junior sleeping at the edge of the fence about 20' from our back door. He would use our house as his base of operations in his quest for suitable females. He would be gone for a few days and then come dragging back here, get our attention as if to tell us to watch out for him, and then he would sack out where he is located in these photos. He would sleep for a day or sometimes two and then after recovered he would be off again in pursuit of the ladies. He trusted us so completely that he could sleep soundly like he is here.
We could walk right up to him and he wouldn't move. He trusted us that much. Our relationship with Junior over the years was not only unique but very special. I would rub his nose and he would make mewing sounds and he would hang around for long periods of time just to be near us. Junior would come around and hang out in the summer and when the snow got to deep in the winter he would move on down the mountain. He would stand and listen to me as long as I would talk to him and I actually believe he understood much of what was told him. He especially liked the part about being told how special he was and handsome. We would talk about things like how to be safe crossing the road or how to avoid hunters.
Junior we fear is no longer alive. He would be very senior now and while we thought we saw him last fall one time we can't be certain. It is hard to understand why he chose to adopt us but he did. Our lives were changed forever by his willingness to trust us like he did. He would walk right up to us without fear. He liked to eat apples from our hand but preferred the Fuji species over all others. We always kept then on hand for him. If anyone else would come around Junior would vanish instantly. Not sure how he did that but you would look around and he would be gone.
If you have never experienced the trust and love of a wild animal you probably don't know the feeling and bond you have with that animal. Some mornings like this morning when I get up I miss Junior terribly. It is hard to sit here and share his story and not shed a few tears. So if you see a few mistakes it is because the computer screen gets a little blurry at times. He was not only a very unique guy but he had a unique personality as well. I think of him almost every day but sometimes like today I really miss having him drop in for a while. I sometimes see a young buck with his distinct markings and know that his little foray's were highly successful. He had distinct markings different from other deer and I strongly suspect that the young buck's or doe's with those markings are direct decedents from Junior. If you have never been adopted by a wild animal and I suspect most have not, then trying to explain that unique relationship is next to impossible. Junior was consistent, reliable, gentle, and most of all loyal. I learned much about life and wildness from Junior. I have seen him lock horns with other bucks and push them around but with me he was gentle as could be. Needless to say I miss Junior and will never forget him. Writing about him keeps his memory fresh in my mind so I hope you never get bored over hearing about Junior the most remarkable buck deer/loyal friend I have ever had the pleasure to know. You taught me so much about your species and yourself. RIP