Watch “Hoppy the Deer” on CBC TV Christmas Day and Boxing Day

A few years back, our good friend Tony Girardin introduced us to his unusual pet, Hoppy the deer! Tony and his girlfriend Amanda found an abandoned fawn at the end of their driveway and decided to raise the deer as their own. Tony recorded their time with the deer and is presenting his footage in a documentary. David narrates this special tale, I (Beth Girdler) appear in my capacity as wildlife biologist and our good friends Terry Tufts, Geoff Somers and Kate Murphy provide the great music that supports this movie.

Hoppy the Deer  airs on CBC TV this December 25 at 7am and 11am ET and  at 10am, 1pm and 4pm Boxing Day. Be sure to tune in!

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9 Comments

Filed under animals, Canada, cute, David Francey, music

9 responses to “Watch “Hoppy the Deer” on CBC TV Christmas Day and Boxing Day

  1. Stephen Saines

    What an incredibly wonderful tale! Just watched on Boxing Day, and what a companion piece for the event in Ontario where Premier McGuinty relented on allowing a dear to remain with her adoptive human parents.

    I understand the need for laws to protect wildlife from being made too tame, but sometimes, intervention outside the law is necessary to affect that protection.

    I’ve done it myself. Sometimes, as in this case, the animal presents itself to you, and Nature has nominated you to be Prime Caregiver.

    I’ve had the opportunity to raise Raccoon Kits, right here in Toronto, after befriending a group of raccoons on the waterfront, down in ‘the docks’ to be precise. One kit (Raccoons are a matriarchal society) was ‘kicked out’ of the litter. He was heartbroken, and the only reason I can gather was that his scent denoted him as a male. I had an adopted feral Tomcat, 14 of pure muscle, possibly off a ship that had docked, who displayed what I thought at the time to be astoundingly noble properties. (I’ve since noted this behaviour in other Toms and Dogs….since realizing that *any* species would have to have Noble Characteristics to survive!)(That includes Humans!)

    The real surprise was not in his bringing home lost kittens, probably not even his, but his taking the Kit under his ‘wing’. Poor little Scamper. He was forbidden from touching Tom, but Tom took him out hunting every day, and protected him, even from his actual mother, who resented him.

    It’s quite a story, and I learned massive amounts by being forced to rationalize the relationship.

    It has come to my attention that there now exists on film (National Geographic) proof that Wolves and Bears not only compete, they *interrelate*! Astounding? NOt really, not when you think past the obvious. It’s those same *Noble* characteristics in many species, especially Mammals.

    Just as Wolves and Man have become the best of friends (Domestic Dogs) so the same could and should occur between other species!

    Think about it! It is only arrogance that would deny the possibility.

    And my most recent brush with nobility:

    For the last two years of his incredible life, I was the partner of the most amazing dog I have ever had. He led a sled-team up in the Yukon for twelve years. A number of vets had identified him as part Wolf, indeed he looked entirely Wolf, but in fact, he was a hybrid.

    Completely the opposite to what you’d expect. He was the most rational *sensible* dog I have ever had.

    He would assess a situation before reacting. Very, very alpha, but also devoted to being number two to my wishes. The pack instint is actually social order by another name. I have never been so aware of such noble characteristics in an animal before. Not even Tom was this noble.

    Unfortunately, after his fighting cancer for two years, and my being so lucky as to managing to keep him alive that long, the time had come when it was necessary to let him go before the cancer took him. The saddest day of my life.

    So the lineage is very clear. The more we look, the more we see these *human* characteristics in ‘wild’ animals.

    Or do we? Perhaps we’re just coming to terms with our own limitations of realization?

    I’m probably preaching to the converted, but I’d just like to add that perhaps Nature herself *does* mean for interaction between the species, but with that comes responsibilities.

    And immense joy.

    Thank you, for a wonderful half-hour, and the prologue was an incredible relief. One can’t do the impossible, but it does not make the outcome hopeless.

    Sometimes animals find you, and that is also a responsibility.

    Rofl! We don’t stand a chance, do we?

    Best of the Season to you All!

  2. Min-Kong Chin

    I was very touch by the documentary on “Hoppy” the deer. It saddened and made me feel happy at the same time. To see Hoppy giving back the love he received from Tony and Amanda. The way he and the cat got along so well, really touched my heart. Never have I thought a deer could behave the way he did. If I didn’t know any better, I would think he was another domesticated animal.

    The reason I am commenting because as a young child, I remember watching my mother bringing home fallen birds and nursing them back to health so they can go back doing whatever they were doing before.

    It may have been my young imagination as a child, but I could remember seeing these birds returning every so often. Perched on a tree branch singing to her as she went on doing her daily chores around the house as if to say thank you.

    I thank you for sharing this documentary with me. It moved me and re-newed my love for animals stronger then ever before. My heart goes out to Tony and Amanda. Thank you…

  3. gortexgrrl

    The scenes of Hoppy and the family cat grooming each other are absolutely priceless. Here’s to inter-species friendship!

  4. Phil Wilkin

    I wouldn’t have given up the fawn to nature alone if I was living in the wilderness. Hoppy was different, he was special, maybe he just wants to be part of that human family who once found and raised him. If only Hoppy could talk, he would have wanted the same thing. But alas…

  5. Andy Grayson

    Drummondville, Quebec — I’m just wondering, if this couple had been living in Northwestern Ontario or the Abitibi Region of Quebec, whether this documentary would even have been made? But because they live in the Quebec-Windsor urban corridor of “civilized” Canada — where all our film-making and documentary resources are concentrated, unlike the United States where they are found throughout the country — this couple was able to tell their wonderful story.

    Had they been living out in the Canadian hinterland, we likely would never have heard their heartening tale …

    I hope Hoppy is still alive, and I think there’s a very good chance he is. Numbers are in his favour; the higher and more dense the total deer population, the lower is the probability that any given deer will be killed. That’s because the number of deer has grown much faster than the number of hunters (hunting seems to actually be declining as a sport). So Hoppy’s probably still hopping and happy (lol).

  6. Nick

    I am the kind of guy that is hard to be touched. Yet, I was touched when I accidently watched this documentary on TV yesterday. It just totally grabbed my attention. I love this film.

  7. OMG! I saw this for the first time 2 weeks ago. It was absolutely priceless and sent to hell my rule about not crying before I have coffee in the morning!

    It’s amazing how such a simple story can touch such a wide variety of people. But then, that’s probably the key: everything about life can get so complicated. It was nice to see something that was just based in love and caring.

    Best wishes to Tony & Amanda, and to Hoppy, wherever he may be.

  8. Hello to all that posted comments about Hoppy. This is Tony from the Hoppy movie. I just wanted to say that I am really touched by the feedback. I’m really glad that you all liked the movie and I’m forever grateful to David Francey for lending his voice for the narration. Also thanks to Beth who starred in the movie as the biologist! I never imagined that such a simple story could touch so many people. Thank you all!
    Tony

  9. Good Morning I have seen the movie of Hoppy The Deer last year.What a wonderful story but sad. I also have a blog and posted about Hoppy.Almost everyday Im getting visits from Canada and United States.Im from ON.Canada.
    http://lisa-whathaveidone.blogspot.com/2009/04/hoppy-dear-true-story.html

    I hope you enjoy my blog post about Hoppy the Deer..I seen Tony been on your blog too..Thats great..

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