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From: Silvia ( -
Subject: I made a mistake and need some emotional support. (sensitive)
Date: May 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm PST

I feed the animals outside my house (squirrels, birds, chipmunks). A little over a month ago I found an ill chipmunk in my yard. I took him in to try to care for him. He seemed like he was dying, so I just did what I could to make him comfortable - give him a soft, comfy bed, plenty of food and water, a safe, comfortable home. I prayed over him and gave him healing touch. I would gently pet him and he seemed to love it. Lo and behold, instead of dying, he began to get better! I put him in a bigger cage so that he could get more exercise to make him strong so that I could release him back into the wild. Yesterday, he started climbing up the sides of the cage and I thought that was a good indication that he was ready to be released. Today I took him outside and let him out in the yard. He kept going around in circles (that's what he did all the time and that is part of what is wrong with him). He was being very active and he looked happy, like he was having fun, but I realized that he was still not ready to be left out alone by himself. He was running around and playing in the yard for hours and then all of a sudden he disappeared. I was careful to make sure there wasn't any way for him to go through the fence to my neighbor's yard, because they have dogs. I blocked up most of the holes I saw that I thought he might get through, but he really wasn't even going close to that area by the fence. Well, I guess there was a hole that I missed and he wound up getting into my neighbor's yard. My neighbor was in the front and I told him. He looked for the chipmunk but didn't find him. A few minutes later his wife said they found him dead, that the dogs killed him. I asked them to give me the chipmunk back and I gave him a respectable burial.

I feel so sick about this. I can't stop crying and I don't know how to get over it because his death was MY FAULT. I do not know how to make peace with this situation. It was MY FAULT - it was MY RESPONSIBILITY to make sure he was safe and I FAILED. I do not know how to make peace with this. The little chipmunk that I have been caring for for over a month, who I nursed back to life is now dead because I was neglectful. I guess I need to forgive myself but how can I forgive myself when what I did cost this little animal his life. To me, that's unforgivable. I am in such a deep depression now and am looking for some way out of it because I do not have a clue how I can get over this dreadful experience.

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