In late September, 2006, I received an email from Susan. This was like many emails I've received, seeking advice about an orphaned deer mouse that she had found. We communicated for about a month and Dermott thrived.
In early January 2007, Susan sent me a picture of Dermott. It was quickly clear that something wasn't quite right. I wrote back "I'm not sure that Dermott is a deer mouse. The dark outer hairs over the light coat doesn't quite look right, also his tail looks a little different than I would have expected. I would have expected his tail to be distinctly bi-colored, dark on top and light on the bottom with a sharp line where the color changes."
Susan sent some more pictures and I did a little research and soon discovered that Dermott was a Pacific Jumping Mouse. You can read more about the Pacific Jumping Mouse on the Animal Diversity Web site (http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Zapus_trinotatus.html).