I am often asked what else I do, in addition to writing books. What I consider the most fulfilling aspect of my life is working as a permitted and certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. When I am not writing, my days are taken up with caring for orphaned and injured wildlife brought to me by concerned individuals. At the present time in Louisiana, we are dealing with record high floodwaters from the Mississippi River. The opening of the Morganza and Bonne Carre Spillways has sent thousands of animals out of their habitats and into unfamiliar territory. Now, more than ever, the wildlife rehabbers are working to save animals injured from interactions with society, or dealing with orphaned wildlife during the height of the spring baby season. And yes, it can be dangerous, especially when dealing with rabies vector creatures such as raccoon, fox, and bats. So why do I volunteer to put myself in harms way for no pay and no public recognition. Quite simply, I love animals.
My progression from rescuing dogs and cats to wildlife happened about eleven years ago when a neighbor brought me an orphaned baby gray squirrel. Her name was Widget McFidget McFee and she taught me how to love wildlife. The challenges with raising any wildlife orphan are much greater than raising a domestic baby. Chewed furniture, scratches, bites, and the occasional nut being buried in your shoe, can all result from raising a baby squirrel. But when you hold that fuzzy ball of fur in your arms, watch it grow, and see that little personality flourish, there is no difference, at least to me, between a human child and a wild child.
The day I set Widget free was a mixed blessing of tears and joy. My house seemed empty without her, but she gave me the confidence to raise more baby squirrels and return them to the wild. After her release, I started taking in more babies, and eventually received my wildlife rehabbers permit. Today I work with foxes, flying squirrels, fox squirrels, gray squirrels, raccoons, opossum, skunk, rabbit and the occasional otter. All of which would have never have been possible without Widget. And I was not abandoned completely by my first wild baby. Over the course of the next few years, Widget would bring her babies to me. She would bring every litter she had to my front door for a visit. Unfortunately, after hurricane Katrina, I never saw Widget again. But she is with me every day. With every orphaned baby I take in, or with every injured adult I help, I think of Widget and the wonderful gift she gave me. Never let it be said you cannot learn anything from an animal. I was taught the greatest lesson there is from a squirrel. I opened my heart to a world I never even knew existed, and I have become a better human being because of it.
Alexandrea Weis began writing at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen again and began her first novel To My Senses. Since that time she has writen several novels and sold two screenplays (White River and Blood Will Tell). Blood Will Tell is currently in pre-production with Buyer Group International. Her work has been critically acclaimed and is continually growing in popularity.
Her most recent book is Recovery, the second novel in the Nicci Beauvoir series which takes readers on a Big Easy thrill ride when a lover’s murder is solved and a spy with a bulletproof bravado quickens Nicci’s broken heart.
Alexandrea is also a permitted wildlife rehabber and works rescuing orphaned and injured animals. She recently has been working to aid oil soaked birds in the Gulf disaster.
You can visit Alexandrea’s website at www.alexandreaweis.com or connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alexandreaweis.com and Facebook at www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/To-My-Senses/113609858681394.