December 22nd, 2017
“Santa needs good reindeer.”
That was what Red Jacket High School principal Mark Bracy told Mike Schaertl in early November. Schaertl, a chemistry and physics teacher in the district for the last 20 years, had gone home during his lunch hour to check on his two reindeer, Little Buddy and Moose.
Schaertl said Little Buddy had been noticeably lethargic the previous two days. He was urinating blood and didn’t want to go on one of their weekly walks in the neighborhood.
Through the love (and blood) of his half-brother and the care and creativity of veterinarians at Cornell’s animal hospital, Little Buddy overcame a deadly tick-borne illness and is now providing holiday cheer to those who visit the Schaertls’ “hobby farm” in Shortsville, Ontario County. It’s a Christmas miracle of sorts.