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FREEDOM AND JEFF

FREEDOM AND JEFF

“We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.” – William Hazlitt

Someone sent me this story and I found it to be extremely beautiful and a great example of the will to survive in both animal and human.

Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer. 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 4 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 lie 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.

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 Sarvey 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, then 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 gone.

So 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 magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.

On a side 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.

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About Mme Jocelyne

Hi, I'm a transplanted northerner–(born and raised in New York to French immigrants–Oui je parle Francais)-living in Florida for 20 years. In the 70's I worked as a realtor in the Bronx – City Island to be exact. Then I started a family and didn't keep up my license. I aspired to a career in architecture, so I went to New York Institute of Technology for three years, moved to Florida and finished my degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville. After 10 years of working in my dream career I sustained an injury to my shoulder. This injury never healed because I was constantly on the computer doing cad design. I finally decided to make a career change – something where I could use my training as an architect. Needless to say, I was worried – where will the money come from? How will I be able to afford my career change? But, I put my faith in God and went for it. It’s the best move I ever made, other than my husband, children and dogs.

14 responses »

  1. Amazing story providing loads of hope……came here via dou dou

    Reply
  2. I came to your blog via doudou – so glad I did!

    Reply
  3. Reblogged this on dou dou birds and commented:
    Awesome story – totally worth reading!

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by. Your website is awesome and brings to light issues that need to be addressed to protect animals & birds from being abused by man. Great job!

      Reply
  4. This is a very touching story. Thank you for sharing it with us. It’s amazing the joy animals can bring into our lives and the strength we draw from them.

    Reply
    • Animals are amazing and do bring such joy. With that joy they also bring sadness when their little lives end. I never thought I would feel the same type of sadness when I lost Fifi as when I lost my mom. The only difference was the sad feelings lasted much longer with the loss of my mom.

      Reply
      • Pets become part of your family, so we are bound to feel the same pain as when a person dies. Have you read ‘Marley and me’ by John Grogan? Brilliant book about sharing life with a dog (Lab Retriever like mine) until his final days. Beautiful and funny. I loved it.

        Reply

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