Posted on 11 Comments

The Day a Deer with a Collar came to Functional Rustic

Originally published December 9, 2017. Events occurred December 7, 2017  in  Dryden, Michigan  at  Functional Rustic.

The day a deer wearing a bright orange collar stopped by the house is a day I will never forget.

Deer with Collar Title Page
The Day a Deer with a Collar came to Functional Rustic. Valencia Merble the Dog spent the morning playing with Deer with a collar.

It was a cold Michigan morning and I was getting my day started. It began like any other day at Functional Rustic. The dog and I went to the barn to tend to the ducks and gather the supplies I would need for the day. The tasks ahead could easily be completed in the house where it is warm so I made the decision to move all my pallets and paint to the house.

Same as any other day, as I approach the house I instinctively look over my shoulder to check on the dog. This time however — it was not the dog at my heals sniffing the back of my coat. It was a deer — with a bright orange collar. As if the fact it was wearing a collar was not an indication enough to not shoot, the collar had “DON’T SHOOT” written on it. Ha Ha.

Deer with a Collar Visits Functional Rustic
The Day a Deer with a Collar came to Functional Rustic. The collar says “Don’t Shoot” on it.

I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I got the camera rolling. Initially I tried to keep my distance — collar or not it is still a wild animal. It was a very cute and very friendly wild animal though. He kept nudging at my hands but ignored any food or water offered.

I wanted someone else to witness this too so I tried to coax it toward the neighbors yard. Either the neighbor gets to experience the miracle of playing with the yearling buck or they can be there to help me if it knocks me out.

Soon enough the neighbor arrived — full hunting apparel and gear — from the woods. I wave him over and proclaim, “Look, I got one!” He too is amazed and perplexed by what we see.

When the Deer with a Collar first arrived I rushed the dog into the house. By this time though, the dog was going nuts wanting to come out and play and the Deer with a Collar kept trying to play with me. Thinking only of how cute it would be and not at all of the risks involved — I let the dog out.

Valencia Merble the Dog and Deer with a Collar
The Day a Deer with a Collar came to Functional Rustic. Valencia Merble the Dog spent the morning playing with Deer with a collar.

They did a slow sniff meet-and-greet to check each other out. In no time they were in play mode though. Watching it was equal parts awe and fear. The whole experience was surreal.

Below is a short movie of the videos I took the Day a Deer With a Collar Came to Functional Rustic. Enjoy!

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than stories about the wildlife? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.


“Happy Holidays” Wooden Ornament

“Happy Holidays” Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.




3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Silver

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.


11 thoughts on “The Day a Deer with a Collar came to Functional Rustic

  1. Once in a lifetime story!!
    Did you ever find where he came from?

  2. No idea where Deer with a Collar came from. I am optimistic about a new deer that hangs out in the yard. Apparently the young bucks in the area have a crush on Valencia Merble the Dog. It really seems like he is trying to play with the dog….she could care less. Hopefully next time he comes by I will have my camera.

  3. Love the way you refer to the critters—makes me laugh. Thanks for story about Deer With Collar—I’m going to enjoy getting to know you!!!

    Must Love 🦆’s!!!!!

  4. […]… — Read on […]

  5. I love this story and I am so happy that Ms. Lucky Duck sent me here – this is a precious little tale which warms my heart. I am going to follow you to hope for more animal tales like this one.

  6. Valencia Merble the Dog and I are thrilled you enjoyed our magical day. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to comment on the post. I know I enjoy sharing my animal stories but knowing you and others share my appreciation for these quirky creatures provides me one more reason to keep growing the Functional Rustic community.

    I don’t have blog posts to go with them yet, but I upload videos every week to YouTube of things that happen around the property – daily sunrise, breakfast with the ducks and turkey in the barn plus all the wild animals that stop by. Our yard is basically a maternity ward so we get to see baby deer, birds, frogs, turtles, beavers and coyote. Not thrilled about that last one – but someone needs to be the apex predator. Ha.

    Thanks again for following Linda – I look forward to reading through your blog posts too and learning who are. Below is a link to the Functional Rustic YouTube page.

  7. I am looking forward to your posts – I have to subscribe to your YouTube page, but I’ve never done that before, so will follow the link and try it out tomorrow. It seems someone else had a YouTube page and I had trouble following it because I don’t have G-mail or use any Google platforms. I had set up my boss’s G-mail account on my own computer many years ago, (I work from home and have done so the past 8 years), and for some reason, doing that has messed me up for subscribing on my own. But I will try again, as I do want to follow you. I love nature and animal stories – we need nice stories in our lives as everything is so negative these days. I will let you know if I have a problem and I have you already in my Reader feed. You might like this blog, and I find it enjoyable, though Kim has not written anything in a few months. But her old blog posts were very entertaining. She had some health issues and I suspect that is why she is not writing right now. I even reached out about a month ago on her last post to inquire how she was doing and got no response. I am very behind with Reader and comments today – I wrote that long post yesterday and got started later than usual. Where did this weekend go? Here is Kim’s blog site: “Red Dirt Farm”

  8. Thank you for the referral, I will check out her blog. I have a couple of gmail accounts and depending which I’m logged in to when I arrive at the YouTube page dictates if I can follow someone. I didn’t realize I had different accounts until I uploaded a ton of videos for the business to my personal gmail. oops. Ha. If you have social media (Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr) you can see many of the videos that way.

    I’m new to WordPress and am very much enjoying being able to read posts and talk with the writers about them. I’m realizing I can lose an entire day to the reader. I’m going to need to work on some time management. Ha.

  9. I am on Facebook, but since the blogging took off, I’m been scarce on Facebook and e-mail as well. I am on Twitter as well, but mostly to follow the weather by a few sources since I am an avid walker.

    You’re right that Reader can really take a lot of time and I’m still trying to work on time management – when you figure it out, let me know how, okay? 🙂

    For me, I’ve been blogging since February 2013 and for the first 4 1/2 years I had about 18 subscribers, all via e-mail. I’d had them for all those years, and then last Thanksgiving a few WordPress bloggers started following me out of the blue (I never tagged my post either) and I commented back and interacted and the next thing I knew my readership was growing in leaps and bounds. It is nice to write and take pictures and know you have more than a handful of people reading … of my 18 subscribers, only two ever commented … the others commented very rarely. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed!

    I am glad Ms. Lucky Duck discovered you and shared your site with me. 🙂

  10. Ha, perfect example of being careful what you wish for.

  11. Yes, it can be overwhelming sometimes – I have not gone to Reader and it is late … left work late, Checked on a fellow blogger’s site who found some newly hatched mallard ducklings yesterday and went to see all his new pictures – and that was about it … I don’t know where the evening has gone … 10:30 already. My boss has a big hearing tomorrow, so I’ve been here later every night for weeks … I am glad it will be over tomorrow, but he has another one next Friday. A lot of prep work. I usually get some time to stray over here during the day, but have not had the luxury of doing that much since this big case started.

Comment Here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.