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Thread: Helen has been Released

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Default Re: Helen has been Released

    I understand your situation and the hazards where you live. I think if she wants to come back with you then bring her home and find someone in your general area that can do a proper soft release. We have members in S. Carolina/Georgia area and North Carolina. There is a very trusted member in Goldhill, NC and I have the name and number of a NC rehabber that has connections throughout the state.

    I question after more than a week out there on her own Helen will want to return with you. I hope when you visit you see her or some sign that she’s ok.

  2. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    Buddy (03-03-2021), Chirps (03-03-2021)

  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Default Re: Helen has been Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    I understand your situation and the hazards where you live. I think if she wants to come back with you then bring her home and find someone in your general area that can do a proper soft release. We have members in S. Carolina/Georgia area and North Carolina. There is a very trusted member in Goldhill, NC and I have the name and number of a NC rehabber that has connections throughout the state.

    I question after more than a week out there on her own Helen will want to return with you. I hope when you visit you see her or some sign that she’s ok.
    I have thought about the soft release by somebody else somewhere else. If she is almost catatonic after being caged up in my non-stop presence for just two hours, how would she react to being put in a cage for two weeks in the presence of a stranger, with me nowhere to be found?

    When she was little, when it was her bedtime, I would put her in a cardboard box with the sides turned up and covered with a compost sieve weighing several pounds. I had already experienced the terror of having come into the room and having no idea where she had put herself to sleep after I tried to get a little more work in before going back inside. In the morning she would paw away at the side of the box and cry and complain. Then she got to the point where she could scramble to the top and grab the top edge of the box with her front claws then she would turn her head sideways and press it up against the hardware cloth and her rear legs would scramble at full RPM against the side of the box, Roadrunner style, trying to lift up the heavy lid, all the while crying and complaining. She would keep this up for minutes at a time.

    During the daylight hours she never spent any time in the box.

    This became the daily routine. I decided that I wasn't going to continue to torture her and I was genuinely worried that she might stroke out. (I have had a live-trapped mouse do that.) It was then that I decided that I wouldn't cage her and that I would let Helen choose her own sleeping location. While she stayed in my room, I never again had to worry about where she was sleeping. She would always be found on top of the printer.

    Helen has always exhibited a fear of being abandoned, with good reason. When she was little I would get up an hour before sunrise to go outside and get some work done outside. So, if I was in the room during the daytime, she wouldn't allow herself to go to sleep. She would fight it, until she couldn't fight it any longer, but if she heard me leaving the room soon after going to sleep, she would scramble back out and rush towards the door. The only way I could leave the room during the day was to leave her a treat. If I went away for the day, the next morning she would be upset and agitated, climbing all over me, mostly shoulders and head, in an upset agitated fashion, which I can assure this you was not fun and never without risks of deep, dripping scratches, not intentional, but just the byproduct of her random, speedy movements. This would go on for a half hour to an hour.

    In the last two months, if I was in the room she expected my undivided attention and would begin to engage in negative attention seeking behavior if she didn't get it. All the while still trying to get out: chewing on knots in the old flooring that fallen out, chewing on an electrical outlet plate where there was probably a draft coming in.

    She loves me dearly, but still really wanted to get the hell out.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default Re: Helen has been Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    I had decided in advance to remain calm and matter-of-fact through out the release day. She is very sensitively tuned to my emotions and I didn't want to make her even more scared.

    I talked to Helen non-stop during the car ride and then during the hike. Nonetheless, she was absolutely bewildered. I have always been her protector, the one who helps her if she gets into trouble and can fix things and move big objects. She must have wondered why wasn't I getting her out of the trap.

    When I got back home I realized that I no longer had to follow the various house rules I had created to make her environment as safe as possible, that I could leave all sorts of things wherever I wanted to. It was then that I started to cry.
    After reading through this whole post all I can say is wow! You've got my upmost respect for the amount of effort and detail you are applying to the situation. Above and beyond doesn't even cover it! Super tough situation and I would have a very tough time staying away - I would also have a very tough time setting her out to begin with... I agree with another member’s suggestion that a checkup is ok after a week – if nothing else it would make you feel better knowing. I have to ask and I may have missed it – why did you need to release Helen in the first place?

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Helen has been Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Lucy View Post
    After reading through this whole post all I can say is wow! You've got my upmost respect for the amount of effort and detail you are applying to the situation. Above and beyond doesn't even cover it! Super tough situation and I would have a very tough time staying away - I would also have a very tough time setting her out to begin with... I agree with another member’s suggestion that a checkup is ok after a week – if nothing else it would make you feel better knowing. I have to ask and I may have missed it – why did you need to release Helen in the first place?
    Helen was released because she self released at least three times from my house in the middle of the winter. Each time she came back into the house of her own accord. The root problem is that where I live, the house is surrounded by hazards on all sides: a busy road 30 ft. away with 2000+ vehicles passing daily; granary (puts out lots of poison, shoots critters, and breeds mice and rats which in turn attract many, many predators; a busy convenience store/restaurant; and a car repair service station and a country lifestyle that is quite casual about killing things. Furthermore, my large pecan trees haven't produced in four years driving squirrels to seek food at the restaurant or granary.

    In consultation with several senior members of the Board it was concluded that the best choice was to release her in a more hospitable environment because there would like come a day in the near future when she wouldn't come back from her self initiated adventures. (That's a separate thread.)

    So, there was a high risk that she would self release herself into a very high risk environment. So, in order to prevent that she was released elsewhere, far removed from people. She wasn't going to stop trying to get out and the urge would get much stronger as the weather improved. There was no risk free option. A hard choice had to be made. If she will stay with the super duper house that I built with many, many, many hours of labor, she will be have great chances.

  6. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Scooterzmom (03-13-2021)

  7. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    North Carolina
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    Default Re: Helen has been Released

    To clarify, I am not standing as an advocate for 'hard release'. Soft release has numerous advantages.

    However, sometimes in life, when you weigh up all of the angles, there are no good choices.

    I have no regrets about not caging Helen, despite the great deal of damage she wreaked. However, doing so unknowingly closed out numerous options for release, especially when combined in my unusual, high risk environment.

  8. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Chirps (03-10-2021)

  9. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    illinois
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    Default Re: Helen has been Released

    When are you planning to check on her? Fingers crossed that you will have great news for us and a greater experience; seeing her happy, healthy and well adjusted!
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

  10. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Buddy:

    Chirps (03-10-2021), Mel1959 (03-05-2021)

  11. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    out west
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    Default Re: Helen has been Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddy View Post
    When are you planning to check on her?
    I was wondering if a quick check could suffice, like walk in, check her food stores and leave. My one worry, is that some opportunistic pack of raccoons or something would eat up all her food. I only know about our guy, but 90% of the time he goes off during the day to who knows where (his job) and only returns to his sleeping quarters at night unless there is wind etc., so there is a chance you might not even see Helen unless it's bed time, and you could always spy on her with binoculars at that time since it's pretty predictable.

  12. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    out west
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    Default Re: Helen has been Released

    So curious about Helen, any updates?

  13. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to sundoesshine:

    Buddy (03-13-2021), Chirps (03-18-2021)

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