Friday, March 30, 2012

Freedom & Jeff

This is not a story of romance, but rather one that is so truly inspirational. Jeff goes on to share it with you:

Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer. She came in as a baby with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery. It was broken in four places.

When Freedom came in she could not stand. 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. 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 newspapers, radio, and TV. 
 Jeff shares how he was diagnosed with non-hodgkin's lymphoma but was eventually free of the disease.

The first thing I did was get up and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold, 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 magic moment.  We have been soul mates ever since she came in.  This is a very special bird.

We may not own a pet eagle, but the Bible gives us a wonderful promise:

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


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