I’ve kicked around the idea of getting Sadie a canine companion many times Problem is; she’s let me know she doesn’t want one. When we are at fundraisers and adoption events for homeless dogs, she is always anxious to go home…with just me. If I show attention to a dog, Sadie gets anxious, starts nervously twitching her tail, slobbering, and ultimately sulking. If none of these get me moving, she stands on her hind legs and places her paws on me with an imploring look that I can’t resist and I abandon the possibility of taking a dog home. Don’t get me wrong, Sadie is not socially inept…quite the opposite. She meets and greets both dogs and people with poise and often unrestrained enthusiasm, but she is like a canine celebrity and wants to leave her fans behind and retreat to her home.
So since Sadie seems perfectly happy as an only “dog daughter”, I pretty much gave up the idea of a second dog, and instead we take every opportunity to support homeless animals with portions of our book sales and fundraisers. After we were always a very content pack of two…that is until a very surprising Wednesday about one month ago.
Nothing exciting ever happens on a Wednesday….its the day to get over so you are closer to the weekend. On this particular Wednesday, I stopped at a place I never stop at to get a newspaper out of the box. As I rounded the building a dark SUV was blocking the exit. I waited impatiently and then attempted to go around this vehicle, but they moved in front of me and at a snail’s pace continued down the street. As usual, I was in a hurry to get to Camp Critter Creek to retrieve my darling Sadie from day care, and my impatience grew faster as the vehicle went slower.
Suddenly the passenger door opened…a man’s arm extended and he quickly tossed a bird into the air. I thought I was having a hallucination …why would anyone throw a bird out of a car? I looked out the side window of my car and I saw the bird land on a parked vehicle, so I quickly did a U-turn and pulled over.
Sitting on top of the truck was a very beautiful and very frightened little strange looking bird with a neon yellow feather headdress. I approached the passenger side of the car, but the bird moved away. I went to the driver’s side and stepped up on the running board. Cautiously I put my hand out and called to her. I’ve never learned to whistle so I couldn’t “talk” to her, but I did make a few clucking sounds…who knows maybe she was some kind of exotic miniature chicken.
The little bird took small hesitant steps across the truck’s roof and grabbed onto my outstretched finger. Not trusting her to stay there, I put my other hands over her small trembling body and she started biting me. Who could blame her, I think I’d bite the next person I’d meet after just being thrown out of a car.
I yelled at the old man on the porch to please go get me a box as the bird kept biting me. He disappeared into his neat little brick house and returned with a shoe box into which I placed the bird and poked an air hole in the lid. What I was going to do with her, I had no idea, but at least she wouldn’t be dinner for a stray cat that night.
I went into Sadie’s day care and explained what had happened to Patty…owner and chief kennel mistress. She too was appalled at the horrendous cruelty needed to toss a helpless little animal out of the car. Sure we all hear of cats and dogs being let out of cars and abandoned…but a bird hurled out on a city street? This was a new one to me and to Patty who quickly offered to keep the bird in a cage there at Critter Creek until I could find her a new home. Every morning the rest of that week Patty told me about some great discovery she had made about this bird…she liked to have her head scratched…she was obviously well trained, and she had a band on her leg that indicated she was not stolen from the wild, but raised in captivity to be someone’s pet. Sadly, it was blatantly obvious she had landed in the wrong home, but what to do with her now?
Fast forward four weeks as Sadie and I return home from our work day. Our house is not silent now when we open the door….Abigal greets us with delighted shrieks, chirps and a song tune we don’t recognize yet. Sadie runs to her cage and Abigal begins to flap her wings and when I approach the cage, she moves to the center of her perch and is ready to travel…out to the deck that is. She quickly got into the routine of being out on the deck in the evenings eating dinner with me and Sadie and watching all the wild birds come to the feeders.
Yep, we kept her…even named her before we brought her home. After we brought her home from Camp Critter Creek in a borrowed cage, we realized we liked her…ok…we love her. She’s bright and cheerful…she’s so funny and she has attitude. No plain spray water for her ...she likes the aerosol Evian Water Mist I use on my face…she likes to be noticed and included in things. Seems the best home for her was here with us.
Sure, Sadie seems jealous sometimes…she brings Mr. Squirrel over to the bird cage when I am paying attention to Abigal and tosses him in the air as Abigal screeches and the game is on. But just when I think she might feel this little bird is an intrusion in her world…I see her generous spirit…she stands with her paws on the table where Abigal’s cage is…they look at each other and Sadie comes and puts her head on my knee as if to say…it’s ok now to be three.
Now in the early morning hours now when Sadie and I drag down the stairs to begin our day, we have an extra step…we remove the sleep cover from Abigal’s cage and she whistles at us…not any old whistle mind you…a genuine flirtatious, flattering wolf whistle. As Sadie goes out the door for her morning stretch and I start the coffee, the comforting feeling of family surrounds me. Sadie my dog daughter finally has a sister …and heck… if Abigal thinks we look great when we first get up that’s just fine with us. When I put my face close to her cage…sometimes I ask her; “What’s your story little bird? What was your other life like?” She looks deeply in my eyes and silently moves her beak as if trying to tell me what happened to her…where she came from, but its not important...a little mystery is a good thing.. She’s one special little creature that we couldn’t be happier with who literally flew into our lives.
Causes Patti Lawson Supports
All causes that are kind to people and animals.
Pets of the Homeless