Son#2 (he's 8 1/2) wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up. Son #1 (age 10 1/2) has always been a nature lover, so it's not unusual for us to have some sort of amphibian, reptile or insect living in a tank or terrarium in our house. Some of the creatures are 'rescued' by my sons. Like the time our beagle was caught "playing" with a lizard. It was clear the lizard wouldn't make it. How do you put a lizard out of its misery, anyway? It's not like I could stomp on it (even if it's half dead) and I certainly can't afford to bring it to the vet (who would probably take it into another room, stomp on it... :-O ).
Anyway, Son#1 decides he wants to give the lizard a "good death" - that's Catholic for safe (in a lovely terrarium with beautiful plants) and surrounded by loved ones (in this case, my son). When the final moment came, Son#1 said a prayer and then we buried the lizard in my garden (where there are more dead animals than plants, it seems).
Tuesday night Son#1 and Son#2 find a moth with an injured wing. I'm not expert, but I'm pretty sure a moth can't survive in the church parking lot very long when it's missing half a wing so when Drew asked if we can bring it home and help it move peacefully into its next realm (is there a moth heaven?), of course I said 'yes'.
So this is why you'll sometimes find me in my PJs late at night burying bodies (non-human) in my yard.
Although he has "seen a lot of death" (his words), not all of our stories have unhappy endings. Two of the three wild geckos we collected when we evacuated to Lafayette, La for Hurricane Katrina are still alive and well. One just molted so that was pretty neat. (It's not as if these geckos don't run rampant in the part of the state were we live, but I think the boys wanted something to take from the experience besides the memory of our family of five sleeping on the sofabed and recliner in Uncle Harold's living room.) The box turtle we scooped up off the busy highway two years ago is doing well too. Then there are those like the frog we found lying on it's back on our porch. We put him in a terrarium, he rolled over on his back and stayed that way for 3 days. Whatever ailed him must've passed because he eventually perked up and was returned to the wild.