There was a time when happy hour meant having a few drinks with friends. These days things aren’t all that different. I’m still among friends and thoroughly enjoying myself. The difference is that we’re not the ones having drinks! No matter how you look at it though, happy hour is still the best time of day.
Today I reunited with Chrissy, a joey rescued in Mission Beach, when she arrived at Brindle Creek Sanctuary for pre-realease. It was wonderful to see her as a happy and healthy joey. This is why so many people become wildlife carers. Although there are times that are sad and distressing, it is these lovely moments that urge you to continue the fight.
Chrissy was rescued from the gutter during a rainstorm in Mission Beach. Her mother lay dead a few meters away from what we assume was an early morning car strike. Chrissy struggled to keep her head and nose above the rushing water and shivered from the cold. She had no fur and had probably only recently opened her eyes.
Halina has been Chrissy’s primary carer at Brindle Creek, and things are working out fine. Chrissy has really bonded with Halina (and Halina with Chrissy). I am in awe of how this joey has prospered since the last time I saw her. She was always very affectionate, even as a furless bubby, but now other aspects of her personality have emerged. Without the help, care and love of carers, joeys like Chrissy would never have a chance to live.
Now Chrissy is an inquisitive and affectionate little girl. She adapted quickly to her new environment and even began to assert her authority over joeys of similar age and size. She is also very jealous of other joeys who seek affection from us and always pushes her way in front of them when it comes time for cuddles. I suppose this fierce instinct to live is the reason why she has survived when so many others have not.
I have the most amazing life! Yes, I know it’s not nice to brag or boast about one’s good fortune, but seriously, wouldn’t you? Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am to live the dream when just a few years ago the dream seemed so far out of reach.
When I look outside and see dozens of wallabies enjoying their lives, I smile because, finally, I’m doing the same thing. It’s surreal to think that while I’m mixing joey formula and bottle feeding a dozen bubs, getting cuddles and kisses from them in the process, so many other people are slogging away at work behind a desk. Even more mind-blowing is that I was one of them!
Why would anyone do that when they could be doing this?
It’s a simple question with a simple answer, yet many people feel stuck in their lives and are unable to make a change. Sure, it takes guts to go against ideas of success and happiness that society has drilled into your head. It takes a bit of determination to ignore well-meaning friends and family who offer advice for your life. But, in the end, it’s all about you and what will make you happy.
I can’t look at these furry faces and believe anything I ever did at home was as important as being here with them now. As much as I’d like to believe that I’ve had an impact on the lives of many wallabies, in reality, they have had a greater impact on me. It’s changed my world view and is something I hope to keep with me forever.