The story of Dillie the Deer will have your heart melting.
What is the meaning of life? So often do we ponder but never unearth the answer to this question. What is the meaning of a life? Again, we ponder, but so seldom do we find the answer we’re looking for.
The answer differs depending on who’s asking the question. The value of a life to one person will vary greatly to that of another, but still, the value is there. The value of a life to a hunter is just the same – we like to think that we are all the humble, the grateful, but there will always be a few who do not see that value. For those, we must work harder to instill this sense of value at an early age.
For the rest of us who hunt, we look at our downed animal while overflowing with emotion. To know that you have taken a life away is no small matter, and hunters realize this. We thank our kill, we treat it with respect, we harvest the meat, we say a prayer. We know that while no one else may be watching, this is how it’s supposed to be.
There are many theories about what separates us from the animals, but there is one that makes the most sense in my mind, and that is mercy. Yes, we see mercy in the wild, but until we know the cognitive abilities of wildlife on a more extensive level, we must assume that any mercy shown between two animals is nature running its course. We are a different breed, a breed that often does not choose mercy, but when we do the results can truly amaze.
Mercy is what brought Dillie the Deer into veterinarian Melanie Butera’s life. Dillie was a blind fawn, abandoned by her mother and given to Butera with the littlest of life left in her system. Many a veterinarian would see mercy as putting this poor creature out of its misery, but Butera saw something more. She saw the value of a life.
The video below is a reading from Butera’s book about Dillie, “Dillie the Deer: Love on Tiny Hooves,” which gives a beautiful sense of the question we asked earlier – What is the value of a life?
Butera suffers from Stage 4 Endometrial cancer, but through her writing about Dillie has found her own personal salvation.
“What would it even have mattered if Dillie had died [on that deer farm]?” When we stop to think about it, it may have meant the end of another life. Melanie Butera is sure that the love this deer had to give is what has kept her here, sharing her story and their love with the world.
To find out more about Dillie the Deer, visit their website HERE.
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