At first I wasn’t sure what kind of day Sunday, May 2, 2010 would turn out to be. It started out pretty cloudy and cool. The day before we had some rain and there was a hint of it still lingering in the morning air. Occasionally a glimpse of sunshine would appear, then quickly disappear behind the next cloud.
I promised Mr. Magic (my 3 year old Malti-Poo) that if we had a sunny day, I would take him somewhere special. He spent most of the morning looking out the window, than turning to look at me as if to ask, “Is it nice enough, yet?”.
The afternoon exploded with rays of sunshine pouring from the sky, and even though an occasional cloud still threatened to bring some rain, Mr. Magic and I decided that it would not prevent us from going out and having a great time. We set out to visit High Park in the West End of Downtown Toronto.
The 2 hour trip to our destination did not seem to be a problem. Mr. Magic loves traveling, so the bus trip and a subway ride were an exciting adventure for him. All the way there he sat on top of my back-pack and watched cars, trees, buildings and people zooming by.
When we finally got there I realized that we couldn’t have picked a more perfect day. While it was beautiful and sunny, a nice cool breeze kept us from getting too hot and made a long walk in the park enjoyable. It was so wonderful to see people just relaxing and enjoying their day off. Mr. Magic loves dogs and feels that no matter how many he meets, it’s never enough. However, there were so many people with their dogs in the park that I think even he was satisfied with how many new friends he met. A few daring canines even took a swim in the lake.
It was a perfect mixture of people meeting nature and interacting with wildlife – each one respecting the other. People carried their cameras and took lots of pictures. Photographers paradise! We saw loons, Canada geese with babies, squirrels, chipmunks, swans, wild birds and a variety of wild animals at the Zoo on the park grounds. All-in-all it was a great day! Satisfied and tired we headed home, looking forward to jumping into bed after a long day of walking and playing.
Nearing the entrance we noticed a small group of people standing at a curb and observing something. As we approached we saw a Possum laying on the ground. It appeared to be injured and would not move. The only thing moving were its ears as it was trying to absorb all the unfamiliar noises surrounding it. Someone called animal control and a couple with their daughter were faithfully guarding the site, to ensure that no one hurt the poor animal any further.
Mr. Magic and I sat on the curb and waited as well. We could not leave this poor animal alone, without knowing what would happen to it. As we sat waiting, I thought of how over the past few years I stopped reading newspapers and listening to the news, because I was getting progressively more discouraged and depressed from hearing the stories of human cruelty to other beings sharing our planet. People seem to be getting more impatient and uncaring when it comes to our wild neighbours and it is not uncommon for someone like our Possum to be left there, laying, suffering until it dies, or worse… With all the budget cuts and new laws, even my faith in animal services was faltering. I caught myself thinking, “I hope we didn’t make a mistake by calling for help!”
Many people passed by while we waited and I was surprised to see how many seemed genuinely upset and concerned for this little creature. Soon, the sight of an approaching paramedic vehicle and an animal control van caught my eye and I held my breath.
To my delight, both the paramedic and the animal control officer turned out to be caring and kind individuals. The possum was treated with gentleness and respect as s/he was placed in a crate and carried into the van. Everyone let out a sigh of relief. Both vehicles left and the crowd disbursed, thanking a gentleman who seemed to have organized and coordinated the entire rescue. He did not stick around for praise… just got on his bike and headed back to wherever he was going before he discovered our injured friend.
As Mr. Magic and I rode home exhausted, I caught myself smiling. Even though I was tired, I was feeling happy and content. My faith in human kind was beginning to mend. I realized that there are SOME PEOPLE out there who STILL CARE, and it only takes a few to re-introduce kindness back into our world. Perhaps there is still hope for humanity after all!