The Definition of a Good Man

Gus and JimI write a lot about the animals at Tails You Win Farm. The dogs, the horses, the hogs, the donkeys, the mice…the what?

Yes, you read that right. The mice. Well, the mouse. We’ll get to that.

I realize I don’t often write about the humans at Tails You Win Farm. There are only two of us and we are seriously outnumbered, so it’s understandable that we don’t get a lot of press.

But I live with a really great human who deserves a little recognition and the dogs, horses, hogs, donkeys, and a mouse play right into my definition of a good man. Let me explain.

I love this crazy place I call home. It’s a place where I have the room and ability to pursue my lifelong love of animals and my dedication to their welfare.

Now take that those two previous sentences and replace every “I” and “my” with “we” and “our” in a manner that would make your grade school grammar teacher proud (or relieved, as the case may be).

My definition of a good man is one who knows how to dismantle a tractor, put it all back together again with NO mystery parts left over, and have it actually run and run well. Then take that same man and watch him gently care for a senior dog in the throes of congestive heart failure…a dog that hasn’t been his long term companion, but receives the same love and care as if he had been born here umpteen years ago.

It’s a guy with a heart big enough to share his home with a rotating pack of rescued dogs who come and go as need arises and good homes are found. It’s a guy who will help you chase down your rogue pig in the middle of the night.

My definition of a good man is one who greets you on a Sunday morning, looking a tiny bit sheepish, as he says, “I might need your help with something.” Please note: Might means HELP!

I had the pleasure of waking to that very statement this past weekend. At the same time I was wrapping my sleep-addled brain around Jim’s words I noticed that all of my wildlife rehab supplies from my days of raising orphaned squirrels and bunnies were sitting on the kitchen cabinet. And there was Jim holding a little plastic food storage container with air holes punched in the lid.

Uh oh.

The story according to Jim is that Kainan, our resident wolfdog, was “on point” in one of our closets. A side lesson here is that if you see your giant wolfdog standing like a statue and staring intently into a corner, well, chances are you should check it out.

Micely 2Jim did just that.

Good thing for Micely Cyrus.

Yes, you read that right. Micely is a teeny, tiny, days-old baby mouse. And yes, Jim saved her. And yes, we are working together, around the clock, to help her survive.

A mouse. Yes, yes we really are.

Now I know a lot of you are out there thinking that the only good mouse is a dead mouse. In fact, I recently wrote a post about Kainan the wolfdog’s prowess as a mighty hunter of tiny rodents (you can read it here…don’t tell Micely!). And yet…when faced with a tiny,  helpless baby…well…you break out the formula, the syringe, and the smallest nipple you can find and you become a giant, clumsy surrogate mom to a mouse.

We may be hypocrites in the eyes of the resident rodent community, but we are really compassionate hypocrites.

And now, add to my definition of a really good man a guy who will somehow cradle a tiny orphaned mouselet in his big hands and coax it to drink a little formula.

Let it be known, far and wide, that a guy named Jim, who is likely sleep-deprived and covered in dog hair, is a really good man.

Isn’t Micely lucky?

Isn’t Nancy lucky?

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