Pigeon Down


My daughter came running into the house frantically calling, “Dad! Daddy! There is an emergency and I need you!” She ran right past me…I follow asking what is wrong?? “A bird is stuck on a feeder and it’s hurt” she exclaims.  “I can help with hurt birds!?” I said as she passed me again. She didn’t even hear me. The Husband and Daughter run pass me and out to the neighbor’s yard toward a large triple shepherd’s hook holding multiple bird feeders. I yell out, “I guess I’ll grab towels…because we’ll need those to pick it up.” But, no one was listening.

I follow quickly behind them and we find a pigeon hanging upside down from the shepherd’s hook. Somehow its leg slid down between the hooks that branch off and the more it struggled, the more jammed it became. It’s leg was completely broken off being held on my a tough piece of skin. Our daughter stood by, teary eyed as I held the pigeon in the towel and the Husband pulled the leg free. We carried it home and find a box to keep it safe in. I tape it shut and the Husband and I get on our computer and iPhone to search wildlife rescue facilities. We find one and thankfully  they are open and yes, take pigeons.

We all jump in the car and as a family took “Lucky” the pigeon to the sanctuary to have his leg amputated and where he can be rehabilitated. I was thrilled they were open because if they weren’t, the Husband and I would have had to attempt pigeon surgery. Not that I doubt our skills, we do watch Greys Anatomy and are therefore overly qualified for such things. Totally.

The Wildlife Sanctuary was wonderful. They made us feel like our Lucky was the most important animal there. When we asked about his expected outcome, the receptionist explained that they normally don’t live long after release. That answer prompted the Husband and I to try to convince them that they needed a one-legged pigeon mascot for the office. What would be a better mascot for rehabilitation than a one-legged pigeon!? The receptionist smiled and entertained our crazy request, but I have a feeling we won’t see Lucky hopping around their office.  We made a monetary donation for his care and left talking about how many animals there were named “Lucky”.

I loved this experience for two reasons. 1. Everyone should feel the satisfaction of saving a living thing and 2. My daughter ran past me to find her Dad.

Only a milspouse can truly appreciate the second part. We all know Dad’s can be invisible for months after homecoming and that our children will pass them by to find us for their wants and needs. It’s just how it is after counting only on Mom for so long. I saw how my husband loved being the one needed and this made me feel like we just might be a normal family until the next deployment. That made for a great pigeon saving moment.

Here’s hoping that “Lucky” lives a happy one-legged life and I’m passed by more often. 🙂

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