I was privileged to spend time with Dillie the Deer and her parents in their Ohio home as part of a magazine assignment about 10 months ago.
This story of love started the day Dillie was abandoned, when her mother discovered she was blind. When the three-day-old blind fawn was brought into veterinarian Melanie Butera’s emergency clinic in 2004, she didn’t think the fragile creature would survive, let alone teach her a lesson in healing.
Since then, the deer has become part of Melanie’s family that includes her husband Steve and Willie the poodle.
Melanie quickly discovered that Dillie had no trouble navigating the stairs, so they decorated a private bedroom on the second floor for her.
Melanie was battling cancer when Dillie arrived and she gives Dillie huge credit for helping her healing process and giving her hope.
I was with Dillie for 4 incredibly memorable hours. When I said goodbye to Dillie and her wonderful owners, their living situation with Dillie seemed similar to owning a dog. But then, dogs don’t usually have their own bedrooms.
All photos were made on an assignment for Guideposts magazine. All photos are © Scott Goldsmith 2018
(note:The April 2014 issue of National Geographic has a wonderful portrait of Dillie made by my friend VincentJ Musi as part of his wonderful cover story titled “Exotic Pets”.)