Rosie and Abbey were welcomed in Ausugts 2017. They weighed 1.2 and 1.4kg. Such tiny babies. They are now a healthy 6+ kgs and ready to go to soft release at Dreamers Dream. There they will live with our Sammie Jo, KRoo, JoJo and a host of other Western Grey kangaroos. They will be able to run free and wild. Here are some photos of their journey in our lives.
At HideAway Haven we rescue, rehabilitate and release our precious wildlife. Follow the story of our kids in care.
We have changed the page from Sammie Jo's Diary to Wildlife in Care. Sammie Jo is running free at Dreamers Dream with both KRoo and JoJo. Such a blessing to know they are safe and have a loving home to go to should they need to - which is actually every morning for breakfast and afternoon for dinner.
We also have a ring tail possum in care. We have named him Pax. He came to us with his Mummy who was very sick. Sadly she passed away shortly after. Pax was just 190 grams and today he is 904 grams and we are planning for his release. We will release him at HideAway Haven as there are other ring tail possums here including Phoebe who was released last year.
We also have Rosie and Abbey, 2 orphan joeys who came to us via Bridgetown. They have been in care since pinky stage and now we have the priveledge of caring for them until their next stage. They have been with us for 5 weeks and are settling in really well. As highly sensitive babies and easily stressed they have't intereacted with guests yet, but we are hopeful that as they get older many of our guests will experience the sheer joy of a cuddle with the girls.
I am still running free at Dreamers Dream in Mount Barker. I have the best of both worlds, being able to stay out in the wild or come home for some TLC and extra food if I want to. I have a big family, with more brothers and sisters being added. At HideAway Haven my Mummies have been looking after other babies, taking care and raising them until they are old enough to come and live with me.
The last couple of months they have looked after Jaxz, Bella, Roobee and Ellie and yesterday they welcomed JoJo (2.7kg) and KRoo (3.3kg) after they became orphans.
It is important to provide orphaned joeys with the best care possible in the first 24 hours that they are in care, as this is the most critical time in their rehabilitation. The initial emergency care that the joey receives will have a huge impact not only on the joey's survival but also on its chances for release. My Mummies know how to do that and my Auntie Pauline is always on hand to give advice and support. She has been doing it for so many years.
Wildlife carers make a huge commitment, financially, emotionally and in time and resources. For the welfare of the joey, they ensure that they are well prepared for the commitment.
Wildlife carers need to raise joeys properly to ensure their survival, not just throughout care, but also after release. They know that raising a joey as a pet is not acceptable; they are entitled to their true life. They are the keepers and carers for a short period of our lives, usually due to human caused intervention with their mothers, by car, dog, shooting or habitat loss. They do everything in their power to give us the best possible chance and duplicate the life we would have had with our natural mother to the best of their abilities.
The decision to hand raise a joey is only be taken if there is a reasonable chance of success and if there is a place for the animal to go when it is time for release. All of my Mummies joeys go to live with Uncle Kev and Auntie Pauline at Dreamers Dream in Mount Barker.
Sammie will not be writing diary entries any more but I will keep you up to date as we hear news of her freedom.
Sammie has decided she is well enough now to be with the big kids, doesn't want her bottles any more and wants to be out all night.
Through months of rehabilitation and hours of massages and loving wonderful care from Pauline and Kev at Dreamers Dream, Sammie recuperated and healed from her myopathy. It was Sammie's decision to leave and run free. I believe that during our last visit Sammie was saying goodbye. Sammie cuddled up on my lap after her bottle and fell asleep on my lap with her face snuggled into my neck. She was very affectionate that day like I haven't experienced in a long time. I didn't know that was our goodbye.
It was always our intention to release Sammie into the farmland near us and we hoped that Sammie Jo would come and visit. We have learnt so much about kangaroos and 'their' families, we are thankful that she is at Dreamers Dream. There are so many other orphan kangaroos there that have now become Sammie's family. They all take care of each other, run together and stay close to each other. Sammie would not have had that here.
We are looking forward to raising another baby where there is a need, but at 8 - 10kg they will go and live at Dreamers Dream and become part of the mob that live there.
Am I sad that Sammie is running free? Part of me is and Sammie Jo will always hold a very special place in my heart, but there is another part of me that is so proud of what we have accomplished here at HideAway Haven. We saved Sammie's life on several occasions and now our beautiful girl is running free.
We have established a special friendship with Pauline and Kev and will always support the wonderful work they do taking care of orphaned and injured wildlife. We hope that during our visits we will catch a glimpse of Sammie as she is enjoying her new freedom. And who knows maybe one day we will become fur grand Mummy's
What an exciting day. Joslyn came to visit me. I haven't seen her for a long time so I made sure I got lots of hugs and cuddles. We even had some selfies. Joslyn played with Rocket and had cuddles with Holly. The baby was out of KayDee's pouch and Joslyn saw the movement of a tiny baby in KayCee's pouch. It was a fun couple of hours. Thank you for visiting Joslyn, I have missed you.
Both my Mummies came to visit me again. This time we stayed in the enclosure with all my other sisters and 2 brothers with us. There were 11 all together. My Mummies really loved hanging out with my new family. They brought along lots of Albany Woolly Bush which I shared with everyone. There were also some strawberries and bread but only Straya and me liked those.
Mummy pick me up and cuddled me on her lap, like she always did when I was still living at HideAway Haven. It felt so good and so safe and warm. I snuggled my head into Mummy's neck and promptly fell asleep. A loud noise woke me up and I could see tears in both my Mummies eyes, it was a very special moment for all of us. I know how much they love me and miss me and am so glad that they visit me lots.
Mummy gave me my bottle and then Rocket wanted his bottle so Mummy was feeding us both. Then it was time for Holly but she was too busy playing to stop for her bottle. KayDee's baby 'Rooben' came out of the pouch. Not sure how he fits in there anymore.
I am getting stronger every day and I have been out with the big kids now during the night. I know Auntie Pauline worries about me, so I make sure that I knock on her bedroom at about 4:30am just to let her know that I am back and am safe. I think she appreciates that.
Happy Mother's Day
Thanks for taking care of me and loving me
until I can take care of myself,
which might be a while from now.
Wishing you all the joy, care and love you all deserve on this special day! Without your love and care I wouldn't be here today. It might take a long time to become a wild child again and maybe I will never grow big and strong, but with so much love in my life, with so many sisters, a couple of brothers and some babies who need looking after, I am happy and content.
Thank you Mummy for taking care of me and saving me when my Mummy was killed and I was just a tiny baby. Then when I cut my foot so badly and rescuing me when I suffered myopathy after a dog chased me. Thank you for taking in Josie and raising her till she decided to go be with other wild kangaroos.
Thank you Auntie Pauline for being a Mummy to so many fur kids. Without you so many would have died or suffered. Thank you for being up through the night to feed the babies, who when very small are often in need of being fed every couple of hours. You are an inspiration to us all with your dedication and commitment to help wildlife in need.
Thank you to my sister Joslyn for being Mummy to Phoebe a ring tail possum who is now living the life of a wild child at night and spending her days safely and warmly in her pouch.
Happy Mother's Day to all the wildlife carers. Without you so many would die after being orphaned or injured. We know you can't save them all but thank you for allowing those that can't be saved, a safe warm heart and home to pass away in.
Here is a photo of me when I was still very little and still living at home with my Mummies.
Had a visit from both my Mummies. It was so good to see them. I came out of my enclosure and showed Mummy how well I was doing my kangaroo hopping now. She was so very proud of me. I got an extra bottle, some strawberries and my favourite woolly bush. Mummy always brings extras so I can share with my new sisters and Rocket and Straya. I got to say goodbye to Phoebe (my ring tail possum sister) as she is going back to be released at HideAway Haven.
I am getting stronger and come out of my enclosure every day for exercise. Auntie Pauline really looks after me making sure I don't get over excited and hurt myself again. I like spending time with Rocket, he is going to protect me when he gets bigger. He is such a gentle little man. One of my sisters KayDee has a joey in her pouch. She is coming out of the pouch sometimes and is so cute. The joey really looks much too big to still be in the pouch. Not sure how KayDee gets around and still manages to jump over fences.
Sammie Jo video
Mummy came to visit me again this week. She was so thrilled to see me and said she could see my ' happy eyes' again. I am feeling so much better now and don't get tired so quickly. I came out of my enclosure and had Mummy all to myself. She fed me my woolly bush and bread. We had cuddles, ear tickles. kisses and head rubs. Mummy even gave me my bottle (Auntie Pauline snuck in an extra one so Mummy could give it to me) It was almost like old times. But then she had leave again, so v e r y reluctantly I went back into my enclosure (I am a good girl) with all my new sisters. Rocket (my new brother) and I get along really well, I think he will look after me when it is time for me to be a wild child again. The vet came to see me this week and is really thrilled with my progress and was really interested in what Auntie Pauline was doing to help my recovery.
From OBSERVATIONS ABOUT MYOPATHY IN MACROPODIDS
By Dr Howard Ralph and Dr Rosemary Austen
The outcome of being subjected to a precipitating stressor is variable but the prognosis is often poor and the patient may die very soon after exposure or show progressive signs for several months and eventually die. Treatment is available and if applied early may be effective to reverse the disease process. Early detection, suspicion of the possibility of stress myopathy, or provisional diagnosis thereof, enable prophylaxis and/or prompt treatment, leading to a better prognosis. The insidious and relentless progression of the condition means that aggressive and persistent treatment are essential. Unfortunately there is still a significant mortality and morbidity associated with stress myopathy. Kangaroos are particularly susceptible to this condition, and our experience suggests that it more common than previously thought. There seems to be an individual variation in the degree of susceptibility.
Thank you Auntie Pauline for your quick diagnosis when Mummy called you, so I could be given the right treatment straight away.
Mummy and Joslyn came to visit me. I love it when they visit because they bring me strawberries, Albany Woolly Bush and my favourite bread. Everything gets shared around and all my new friends get a treat as well. I came out of my enclosure so I could show Mummy that I could jump again. I am getting better slowly but still get so tired. I have a lot of fun with Rocket and hang out with him most of the time.
We still don't know if I will ever get completely better but Auntie Pauline says I have a home here as long I want or need it. We have had quite a bit of rain recently and I am loving the green grass.
Thank you for visiting Mummy, I loved having my nose cuddles. I know Josie hasn't come home and I know how much you miss her. I miss her too.
Mummy and Joslyn came to visit me. My new role at Dreamers Dream is to be a Mummy to the babies. Holly takes it a little too far though by wanting to get into my pouch. Foster and Rocket are fun to be around. I just love watching them play. The other day it was raining and the ground was muddy, what fun. I got out of my enclosure and raced around throwing mud up at Auntie Pauline then Rocket joined me and we had fun playing with the white washing on the washing line. It wasn't white anymore when we were finished playing.
Because only the little ones were in the enclosure when Mummy was here I cuddled up on her lap for big cuddles while she fed me Woolly Bush and Blackberries. It reminded me of home. I am still very lethargic and not real keen on long runs, because I get tired. But I am not in any pain and am alive and now I have a role to play in the lives of other joey's who have lost their Mummy. I know Mummy really misses me and I love it when she comes to visit.
Mummy and Joslyn came to visit me yesterday. It was so good to see them and not just for the bucket full of tasty treats they brought me. Blackberries, blackberry leaves, bamboo leaves, Albany Wooly Bush, apples and lots more, which all the kids in care shared with me. I am getting stronger every day, thanks to Aunty Pauline and Uncle Kev's care. I am getting medication, oil and lots of massages. The massages feel so good I usually fall asleep. Before Mummy came I had been on a big run. My first one in 4 weeks. I raced around the house and paddock. Aunty Pauline was watching me really careful to see if I slipped of fell over but I didn't. It felt so good to race and stretch out my legs. When I got back into my enclosure, the gate that separates the two was opened and I could see all the other kangaroos just laying around. I wandered over and joined them in the shade. There was Lily, Straya, Kaydee and Kaycee. One of them has a baby who has its head popping out the pouch. It was fun just hanging with the other kids. I was really exhausted when Mummy came to say Hi and couldn't really get up, but she was so happy to see me. We had hugs and cuddles, Mummy sat in the dirt with me and it was nice to be together. Like old times. Mummy did want to pick me up and put me on her lap, but I didn't like that. "not in front of all my new friends please Mummy" . Mummy was a bit sad because my sister Josie has gone missing. She didn't want to come in on Thursday night and left without saying good bye. Mummy is not sure if she has found a kangaroo mob to live with or if she has managed to get herself lost. I missed seeing her this afternoon. I hope she comes home soon to reassure Mummy she is OK.
I will continue to live at Dreamers Dream for now. It is the best place for me to ensure I get the proper care. I need room to run but I also need the safety of fences so I don't get out and get hurt again. Aunty Pauline and Uncle Kev love me and take good care of me and its fun having lots of new sisters and a couple of brothers to spend time with.
Thank you Aunty Pauline and Uncle Kev for giving me a safe place to get better and looking after me with loads of love and care.
Hello Josie here,
Guess what, I saw Sammie Jo yesterday! Mummy and Joslyn brought me to go see her. Sammie is just as cranky as ever. We had a snack and played in the dirt for awhile
I got to race around with Rocket in the backyard and got some treats from Aunty Pauline.
It was so great to see Sammie again. But you can see she is still very sick. It is so sad to see her looking so skinny and moving so slowly when she used to have big leg muscles and be so quick.
Mummy and my sister brought home the funniest looking thing the other day, I completely forgot to tell you about it.
They call her Phoebe. I heard them say she is a Ring Tail Possum who weighs 400gm. She is a funny looking thing. Really little. She wants to be my friend but I am not so interested at the moment.
Last week my mummies went to Melbourne for a few days. Joslyn and me had the house to ourselves! We had so much fun! We made a race track through the house, stayed up late watching movies and had lots of snacks! My Mummies won Silver at The Australian Tourism Awards for HideAway Haven. I am so proud of them.
Last Thursday, Joslyn was going to bring me to see Sammie Jo. She wrapped me up and tied a knot in my pouch and we were set to go. We were cruising down the highway when I wriggled my way out because I really wanted to see out the window. I got on to the back seat and I saw that Joslyn was speeding! I must have given her a real fright because she pulled over really quickly! She was so scared seeing a bouncy joey on the back seat she turned around and brought me straight home! Next time I better behave because my adventure was over too quickly and I didn't get to Sammie Jo or spend time with Rocket.
When she got home later, she told me she had seen Sammie Jo. She said that Sammie Jo was doing a little better and was able to walk around and do a hop or two. I hope that means Sammie Jo can come homes soon.
It has been a long couple of weeks since we have checked in, and a lot has happened to Sammie Jo and me.
My mummy says Sammie Jo is sick and has to stay with Aunty Pauline and Uncle Kev. She said that she has something called Myopathy because a dog chased her and she got stuck in a fence. I am not sure what Myopathy is but I have seen what it is doing to Sammie and it’s not good.
When Sammie first got sick all she could do was lay down, she couldn’t even get up to go to the toilet or to have a snack. But my mummies looked after her and gave her lots of cuddles and love. When Sammie wasn’t getting any better they call the Doctor, Anne Marie, to come and have a look at her. Anne Marie told us that this was not the place for Sammie to get better. So Mummy and my sister Joslyn brought Sammie to Aunty Pauline.
I do still really miss her and I hope that she is ok.
I have been very sick and can no longer live with my Mummies. I am now living at Dreamers Dream Rehabilitation with my auntie Pauline and Uncle Kev. My Mummies and my sister's Joslyn and Josie come for visits now. I have myopathy and kangaroos usually die from this condition, but because Josie and Mummy found me right when it happened and got me home safely I have survived. My right side still slips out when I try to walk, hop or just stand still, but it is getting stronger. Auntie Pauline is doing such a great job looking after me, bringing me 4 bottles a day (my Mummy only ever gave 3 except when I was really sick I got about 20 filled with glucose and other stuff to help me get better). I get massages during the day. Thank you auntie Pauline and Uncle Kev for giving me a safe place to get better and for loving me and letting me know how special I am. I am in a pen with lots of dirt to cover myself in. I have a little house to sleep in with my blankets and Mummy's pink fluffy robe. I am near other kangaroos and some days Auntie Pauline lets her Josie keep me compnay for the day. The doctors don't know if I will ever recover fully, but I am not in any pain and am content. I miss my Mummies and I know they miss me as well. Mummy is trying hard now to educate dog owners how allowing their dogs to chase kangaroos can lead to a very long and painful death.
This photo was taken by Laurie Benson when Mummy talked to the newspaper to make people aware of how Myopathy occurs in Kangaroos.
Yesterday I got stuck in a fence for what seemed a really long time. Joslyn was riding her bike and heard some noise and came to investigate. She saw me in the fence and I managed to get out and jumped over the fence and raced away. Being a kangaroo means I just race without watching where I am going. Mummy spent hours looking for me but couldn't find me. She thought I was just being independent and living my life with my new friends. But that wasn't the case. Mummy thinks I was chased by a dog for a very long time. Eventually I jumped over a fence and the dog couldn't follow me. When the dog was gone I tried to go back home, but didn't have the strength to jump over the fence. When I tried to get through the fence I got stuck. Because I had been stressed for such a long time I developed myopathy. Myopathy is when the body pumps huge amounts of lactic acid which is trapped in the body and causes the disintegration of the muscle fibres I found a place under the bushes and lay down. I had stiffness and paralysis mainly in my hindquarters, and was unable to move.
Mummy told me that she was taking Josie for a walk and she was acting funny. She was trying to show her something. Mummy followed her and she brought her to me. Mummy didn't know what was wrong, but when I wouldn't follow her she ran home to get my bottle. Josie stayed with me. My two Mummies came back and I still wouldn't follow Mummy even when bribed with the bottle. Mummy picked me up and carried me all the way home. She must have been given some extra super human strength because I weigh over 20kg and am a very awkward shape.
First thing she did was call Auntie Pauline who knew right away what was wrong and told Mummy what was best for me. I spent most of the evening/night on Mummies lap as that is when I feel safe and will sleep. That is important to keep the stress levels down as my head is still in stress mode.
I made it through the night, am still very tired but eating and drinking lots which helps flush out the lactic acid. I am chilled out on the office floor and getting loads of love and cuddles. Mummy is now waiting for the VET to arrive.
I have been spending a lot of time babysitting my little sister Josie. This also means I get my bottles and guests feed me yummy snacks. I spend a lot of time in the office just sleeping on the floor. I love getting my cuddles, though I am getting a bit big to be on Mummies lap. It still happens sometimes. Last week I had been gone for 5 days and nights and Mummy was getting a bit worried. Mummy was coming down the hill with Josie for her morning walk and saw me standing there with my new beau. He didn't stay around to chat but took off into the bush. Mummy has named him Marco.
On Saturday I knew both my Mummies needed me. My gorgeous human granddad passed away. He always joked he was the only granddad in the USA with kangaroo grand daughters. I Skyped with him a few times and we got to chat. My mummies needed my hugs and cuddles and didn't need the added stress of not knowing where I was.
Mummy knows that I am a very sensitive girl. Today it is a very rainy stormy day so its nice just to hang inside.
Happy New Year everyone. I have decided that being home is much better than being out in the wild. I have fresh water, fresh fruit, muesli and of course my bottle. So at 5pm I take off to do my wild child thing and come back every morning. I have been spending a lot of time with my nose in my pouch, cleaning and licking. My Mummies are wondering if I am getting ready for a baby or if my baby is already there. They are not going to look as they know it is my baby and I will take care of it like a good Mummy.
My baby joey will be born alive at a very immature stage when it is only about 2 cm long and weighs less than a gram. Immediately after birth it will crawl up my body and enter my pouch. My baby will attach its mouth to one of my four teats, which then enlarges to hold my baby in place.
For now I enjoy hanging with my little sis Josie. She still has so much wonderment in her eyes as she explores the garden. I love just watching her.
I have been out and about enjoying the great outdoors and hanging with some new friends. Sunday afternoon I saw Joslyn and Mum traipsing through the paddocks, jumping over creeks, negotiating electric and barb wire fences and avoiding snakes. I was with my new friends, so it was kinda embarrassing. They got scared and took off into the distance and I followed them, hoping Mummy didn't know I was part of the mob. We all look the same so it it a bit hard to tell. If you are a human reading this imagine having fun with your mates at the night club and your parents show up to take you home? Not sure if I will ever live this down.
The next morning I was enjoying my breakfast when I heard Mummy calling. I was all by myself this morning and it was a bit lonely. I waited for Mummy to come close and it felt so nice to hear her voice again. She asked me if I wanted to come home and have a bottle. The magic word 'bottle ' I would do almost anything for that. I followed Mum for awhile but after getting through the last fence I raced on ahead making sure Mummy was following me.
I enjoyed my bottle and fresh fruit scraps, some kangaroo muesli and got a long cuddle from Mummy. We Skyped with Doug, Johnnie, Sam and Pa (Pa hadn't met me before. You know he is the only Granddad in America with a kangaroo grand daughter?) Josie is so happy to have me around as well. She has this big smile on her face.
I had a great day yesterday and answered the call of the wild again at 5pm but was back again this morning. After all how do I face my new wild friends when they know Mummy comes and looks for me and I give in for a bottle?? Not sure if I can ever live that one down.