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#290 Leadbeater's Possum

Critically Endangered

It is very weird not having a mini-series going on at the same time. I'm going to paint a bunch of random animals for a while now but will probably do at least one more mini series before the project is done.

These possums are related to gliders, but they don't have the ability to glide. They are small, less than 7 inches long. They are also known as Fairy Possums. They are from Victoria in Australia, near Melbourne. Their biggest threats are logging, fires, and cats. They require hollows in trees and forests that are older or at least mixed-age so there are some of the older trees they can use for nesting. Even if the trees they use are not logged, logging activity in the area tends to destroy the trees these possums use. There has been attempts to get them to use nesting boxes, but very few of the possums seem inclined to use them. Another problem with the nesting boxes is they make finding the possums easier for feral cats, which seem to be learning that they can find things in the boxes whether they are possums or birds.

I took our beagle corgi mix to the vet today. The first section of the picture shows her displeased with the destination we've chosen to take her to. We have to wait in the car for the vet to come get her. The second picture is my son's lap when it was finally dog free. We live very close to the vet, that is just from him holding her for about 5 minutes while waiting. Stress is part of it, but this girl always sheds like mad once it starts warming up, especially her fluffy Corgi hind end! When we first got her it was just starting to warm up too. Because she had been living on the porch for her whole life, she was extra fluffy and we were completely in awe of how much fluff she lost. This, coming from someone who had a shepherd/husky/wolf mix who filled garbage bags with the fluffle that came off of him. I swear that per inch, this girl had more undercoat than our old guy did. In the third section of the picture here you can see the tumour on her foot which was her reason for going to the vet. She has had it for ages, and several others as well. She's a lumpy bumpy old lady. It is infected, so we are treating her infection before we double check that it is still a benign tumour. Most dogs would not be able to use the inflatable collar their injury was on their front foot. She has such stubby little legs though that it totally works. You can tell that she was very happy to be back in the car with us. She is anti-social, over-protective, and aggressive to strange people or dogs, but we love her very much. She is a very loving dog who is eternally grateful to us for saving her from her past life. She is starting to show her age, but I think she's beautiful.

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