They say you will have one break down. In my case that was a lie, I had at least one break down per day. But trust me, it will all be worth it the first time your baby raccoons growl at someone else. I think I realised I’d hit rock bottom when I cried at the sight of Eva’s baby opossum because “he was so cute I couldn’t handle it”. They are without a doubt the ugliest babies I saw at CC. Breakdowns aside, the 5 months (2 months longer than I was supposed to, they could not get rid of me) that I spent at Critter Care will always be counted as the happiest and most rewarding months of my life. I’ve had the opportunity to help so many amazing animals, including river otters (savages), raccoons (also savages), beavers, skunks, and squirrels (hands down the most thug). The people that I met I will never forget, and many of them quickly became the closest friends that I have ever had.
Critter Care was a wild ride from start to finish. I was one of the lucky few interns that had the privilege of being picked up from the airport by Stijn and Axl, the resident handy men, whom I subsequently confused, yelled at, and embarrassed all within the first 5 minutes of our time together. Which also seems to sum up my time at Critter Care. The work is hard, the days are long, and every day you will ask yourself why you are putting yourself through this, and then the next animal will need rescuing, the next person will make you laugh, the next project will need finishing, Dennis will voluntarily talk to you and you’ll remember that Critter Care really is the best place on Earth. I promise you that Critter Care will be the best decision that you will ever make, I know it was the best decision I ever made. All you have to do is show a little common sense, a lot of enthusiasm, A LOT of disregard for the safety of your fingers and you’ll be putting your (gloved) hand in some Devil spawn raccoon’s mouth in no time. There is a lot of experience available for interns that show a little responsibility. There will be happiness, laughter, tears, hysteria, and I cannot thank Gail, Maureen, Sherry, the other interns, the supervisors, and Stijn and Axl for making CC my happy place.