Melanie Butera, a vet who was working late at night in her vet clinic, and her husband, Steve Heathman, never imagined an incident that happened on the night of June 2004 would change their lives forever. They where about to meet a creature that would give them unconditional love and hope for the future. They were about to meet Dillie, a blind deer full of will for life.
One day, Melanie Butera and her husband, Steve Heathman, came across a deer that needed help. The dear was dying and after a while they found out that it was blind. At first, they believed the deer would not make it, due to its bad condition. However, what happened will blow your mind!
Melanie Butera was a vet and she really loved her job. However, her job was tough, because she always wanted to help each and every animal in need, but sometimes there was nothing she could do to save them.
18.Not Willing To Give Up
For a vet, it is really important to have the courage to let some animals that can’t be saved go to the other side and Butera knew it very well. However, one night in June 2004 she wasn’t ready to give up on a very ill animal that arrived at her emergency clinic.
17. A Tough Start
The animal that arrived at her emergency clinic that night was a very ill baby deer. The little deer had been rejected by her mother and the reason was that see had been born blind. Due to the rejection of her mother, the three-day-old fawn had never been fed.
16. Never Give Up
According to her experience, Butera believed that the little fawn wouldn’t be able to make it. However, her husband helped her and they started treating the little deer. They named the deer Dillie and took it home to Canal Fulton, Ohio.
15. A Sign Of Hope
Butera told us, “We put her on an IV drip because she weighed four pounds and got her back up and running after around two weeks.” Even though there was a sight of hope, the future of the little deer’s life was still uncertain.
14. Unable To Find A Home
After taking good care of Dillie, Bureta was worried about the place that the deer could live. “We then realized that she couldn’t go back to the farm and live with the other deer and she couldn’t live with our horses because they scared her too much,” Butera said.
13. Finding The Perfect Home
After of a lot of thinking Bureta and her husband decided to adopt Dillie and take her into their house. There Dillie became friends with the family dog, Lady, which helped her to learn how to move around the house.
12. A Happy Life
After some time, Dillie learnt how to go around the house, to use light switches and how to use the ice machine in the fridge. Butera allowed Dillie to go outside and play on her property, too. However, Dillie’s favorite game was to swim in the family’s swimming pool.
11. Part Of The Family
“She is housebroken and very gentle. She is never allowed to mix with wild deer. It would be illegal for her ever to go out in the wild.” Butera said In 2013 Butera at the News 5 Cleveland. Heathman also added, “We don’t look at her like a deer. I look at her more like an animal, a dog, cat, she’s just a real nice girl.”
After some time, Butera decided to make Dillie her roommate. The two girls was sharing the same bedroom and they had a lot of fun! Bureta wanted to share her moments with Dillie with the rest of the world and she set up a live webcam stream. Not long after that, Dillie had gained a lot of fans that wanted to learn about her daily life.
9. Feeling Loved
Bureta didn’t expect that her beloved friend would gain so many fans that cared about her. “Her love bank was so plentiful that she would touch the lives and hearts of people all over the world,” Butera wrote in 2013 in her book named Dillie the Deer: Love on Hooves.
8. Grave News
Dillie had become part of the family and the effect that she had on Bureta’s life would soon come to light. When Bureta found out in 2012 that the endometrial cancer she had been fighting for one year had spread to her bones, kidneys, liver, and lungs, she was wondering if she had lived a meaningful life.
7. Saving Grace
However, after spending some time with Dillie, she understood that her life had become meaningful due to that little deer that arrived dying at her emergency clinic. Dillie had become the meaning of her life.
6. Letters Filed With Love
Bureta wanted to explain the reason why she believed that the meaning of her life was Dillie. Butera said, “I thought about the thousands of letters of love we had received about Dillie. I had saved her. And now she affected more lives than I could if I worked as a vet for a hundred years.”
5. Love On Hooves
She also wanted to explain why she chose to write Dillie’s story rather than writing her autobiography. “I wrote a book called Dillie: Love on Hooves, which is the story of the love that she brought into our lives,” Butera explained.
4. The Embodiment Of Joy
“In that instant, I understood why people had become so enchanted by this little deer who should have never survived. Dillie was so beautiful, so peaceful and so serene. She was the embodiment of joy,” Butera said.
3. Words Of Love
“Her survival had been a miracle of love. Every molecule in her body displayed the glory of creation. This beautiful animal returned the love that saved her every day, delivering it to all the corners of the globe on her dainty cloven hooves.”
Now, Bureta need Dillie more than ever. Her future is uncertain, but with Dillie by her side she is’nt scared. Dillie is there for her and she reminds her that she has to fight as Dillie fought for her own life.
1. The Meaning Of Life
“What would it even have mattered if Dillie had died on the farm? The universe wouldn’t have skipped a beat. No one would have noticed. Yet in saving her life, she has saved mine. In giving her love, she has given me so much more. She proves to me that every life is a gift.” Bureta writes.