Woman Helps Little Gopher in Trouble: Stunning “Thank You”

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally posted on November 25, 2011. Enjoy!

Written by Wendy Bays of Ontario, Canada

I was the oldest of six children along with numerous rescued cats and dogs.  Our (late) mother was on her own and it was a struggle for her but, she would always take in another needy animal that found its way to our doorstep.  One day, down the street where we lived there was a group of young children leaping and laughing at something on the ground.  My mother, who had an instinct when it came to animals in need, went down to investigate.  Sure enough, what the children were so excited about was the sight of a young gopher thrashing about in panic and pain while in a leg-hold trap near the entrance to his home in their lawn.  So, of course, my mother shooed the children aside, opened the trap, scooped up the gopher in her arms and brought him home.  After depositing him into a box, seeing her bloodied arm, it became clear to me that he had been biting her arm all the while during the walk home!  But, she would not let onlookers see that, nor let go of the injured gopher.

We Made Him Comfortable While His Leg Healed

So, we put him in a cage along with grass and soil, water and food. It took about two weeks for him to recover.  We didn’t attempt to handle him but, just kept him fed and comfortable while his leg healed.

The day came when we felt he was well enough to be set free. I took his cage out to an open field across the road. I opened the door and he bounded out and started to run away.  But, then he stopped and turned around towards me.  He then ran back and stopped right in front of me, sat up on his haunches, paused and gazed at me for a moment – as if to say ‘Thank you.”  Then he scurried off never to be seen again. I will never forget that thank you.

Are You a Hero Too?

Tell us how you’ve helped an animal in need. Load your story & photos (if available) on The Great Animal Rescue Chase website.  We’re uniting one million everyday animal lovers who are engaging in extraordinary acts of kindness.  Each day, one special rescuer will be featured here on Care2.com. The next one might be you!


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Photo credit: © Lucy Cherniak | Dreamstime.com


sonia b.
sonia b3 years ago


Miss Rose
Past Member 4 years ago

Absolutely heartwarming and sweet!!! ^^ I would give anything to see that!! :3 Thanks a lot for sharing!

And some people would still argue that animals aren't sentient... whatever.

Teresa Garcia
Teresa GarcĂ­a4 years ago

Nice story! T Y :)

Kim Janik
Kim Janik4 years ago

That was wonderful. Would have loved to have seen it!

C H.
Carol H4 years ago

Yes there is an emotional communication when you help an animal. One time a little mouse was being attacked by my cat, the mouse looked at me in fear and I could feel the panic in this little guy. I sprayed the cat with the hose a couple of times and he ran away the little mouse looked so grateful. I don't know but I could literally say a message passed between us, I don't know how to describe it. The cat was a nice old boy just doing his job but that mouse needed saving.

M. Squire.
Marie Squire4 years ago

ty for this post, care2

Lily Taylor
Lily Taylor4 years ago

Great story. Thank you... :)

Laura T.
Laura T4 years ago

thanks. this story reminded me of when I looked at them in a different light. I didn't value woodchucks for quite some time, their digging&eating were vexing me greatly until i rescued a drowning chipmunk, fast forward to months later&that baby chipmunk who couldn't find its nestmates had started to live w/the big mother woodchuck under the deck who had ravaged my garden. I had put down birthrate slowing herbs in, as there had been a population explosion the years prior&this old momma had taken in&was indeed sharing denning space w/the little chippie who was often sees staring into my windows at my rats w/a look that made me think it didn't understand why I had no room for one more. I used to attempt to halfheartedly shoo the woodchuck until I saw them sunning together&if I would venture out the chippie would try to defend his new friend from me. after some thinking I changed some of my plants around&found the woodchuck would avoid my flowers when provided w/wilder herbs that tended to overgrow on the sunny hill fast.she still stole plastic holiday décor now w/a tiny helper&i still had to crawl arm in burrow to retrieve things I thought were to high&solidly attached to have been pilfered but their bond&the mornings feeling eyes upon me&looking to see them peering into the window together at me changed my outlook.

Ruth Ann W.
Ruth Ann W4 years ago

There is a special place in this world for people who help and love and heal. Thank you

Michael A.
Michael A4 years ago