You're gonna have an even better day when you see this.
and I have been together for several years. She came in as a baby
in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the
way even after surgery, it was broken in four places. She's my baby.
When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken.
She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give
her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet's office. From then
on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with
the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her
to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight;
and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We
also had to tube feed her for weeks.
This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand.
It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if
she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that
line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning.
She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come
in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that
Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized;
but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from
ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was,
standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live.
I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.
We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train
her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started
doing education programs for schools in Western Washington. We wound
up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle
Pets even did a show about us.
And in the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere),
so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair - the whole bit.
I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to rhe
Sarvey Wildlife Care Center and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom
would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This
happened time and time again.
Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving.
I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not
all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, my last option was a stem cell transplant.
Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the
results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was
the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out
for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed
her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said
a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped
both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on
my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with
her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that
for I don't know how long. That was a magical moment. We have been
soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.
Note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out,
and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was
terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about
buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body.
I have so many stories like that.
I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent
spirit as Freedom.
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not
be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."Isaiah 40:31 --