Monday, December 14, 2009

It's been a year ago today...

Hey ya’ll,

Richard the Great Horned owl is doing well. I will put jesses on him soon and do some creance flying to get him back in condition and to also make dang sure he can fly. It’s considered bad form to let one go only to watch them flutter to the ground. The nice people in the Duluth subdivision have been very concerned about him and upset that someone shot him. Personally, I believe he was shot somewhere else, picked up and kept for a while and then dumped in their neighborhood because he also presented with a damaged cere and that just doesn’t happen in the wild. This nice subdivision ain’t no trailer part, you know, and if someone fired a shotgun, the neighbors would likely know about it.

While I had him confined in the tree house, he banged his cere up even more and while I would prefer them to remain cosmetically perfect, a boo-boo cere isn’t bad in the grand scheme of things. The cere is the fleshy part that connects the beak to his face. This is a shot I took of him last Tuesday after my dang basement flooded AGAIN. Ugh. He has spent the last month in the tree house and so he needed a good bath. A dab of Brylcreme, a splash of mouse flavored parfum and he’s good to go!

Thanks to Larry W. for inviting me to the Canton Rotary last week. Most everyone remembered me from haven spoken in the past. A lady came up to me and ask how Scully the Screech owl was doing! I couldn’t believe she remembered him. Last Tuesday however, it was Hal Coleman’s turn at the podium. He’s a marketing guru, so if you have a company that needs help, he’s your guy…

We had displays at Bird Watcher Supply in Hiram last Sunday and Phoenix and Dragon in Sandy Springs Saturday. I don’t have any photo’s of the Hiram venue, but my wonderful and talented cousin took this one of Sam and me.

Thank goodness for Nancy G. from Canton for allowing me to continue to borrow her truck until I can gather up some moolah to get another one. I’ll keep asking; if you know of anyone who has something, anything with a reliable engine and an a/c that works, we sure would be grateful for it. I’m still working on the other SUV, but the timing still isn’t quite right.

Barbie says, “I wonder hoo’s doing all that hooting next door…I haven’t slept a wink!”

Richard says, “Just give me 5 minutes alone with them, Plllease???”

Johnson’s the picture of health and honks his little heart out when I call his name…

Is this pathetic, or what? Face says while continuing his bath, “Begging is SO unbecoming, Mommy…”

Meanwhile, Peter had just taken a drink and had not washed off the dribble just yet.

A year ago today, I lost my dear Mina. I miss her every day and twice on Sunday. There was nothing I could do to save her. I will re-post this from last year. Ya’ll, hug each other and your beloved pets before you go to bed because each day could be your last, ok?

"I knew she was dying and all I could do was sit with her, with our heads together while my hands moved under her wings, rubbing her back. Oh, how she loved it when I rubbed her back, but today I was going through those motions not for her, but for me. My heart was breaking because I knew she was near the end of her life.

I spent three hours with my Red-tailed hawk, Mina at hospital today, saying goodbye to my dear friend, kissing her face and telling her how much I loved her and how sorry I was if I missed something that could have been fixed and most importantly, how hard it would be for me to go on without her. Not only was she my charge and companion for fifteen of her eighteen years, but she was also my teaching partner. Over the course of our time together, she taught many thousands of people, young and old alike, the importance of things wild and to encourage us to be good stewards of our own back yards, whether it’s the balcony railing of one’s apartment complex or the back 40 of a stately manor.

I had my chair pulled up to the exam table where she was standing on a towel. She was crashing by the hour and there was nothing I could do to help her except hold onto her. As we were leaning on each other head to head, I was crying hysterically, but I was trying to melt down quietly so the techs wouldn’t call the men in white coats to come cart me off. The top of Mina’s head was soaked from my tears and every now and then I would open my eyes and see someone different standing in the doorway of the exam room, taking in a scene that isn’t witnessed by many; that of an incredible bond between a wild animal and a human being. I knew when I left the veterinarian’s office that she would not survive this thing that was overtaking her by the hour. I don’t even remember driving home that day.

Do I cremate her and keep her in the book case? Do I plant her and cycle her back into the earth, or do I have her mounted so I can still kiss her beak and rub her back every day like I did for the last fifteen years? I chose the latter, so that she could continue to teach even in death. She gave so much and required so little. I would have given anything to trade places with her and assume her pain, but my burden is to stay on this plane of existence for now and figure out how to work through the pain of loss and to realize that having a broken heart isn’t fatal; it only feels like it."

Mina was the model for the bronze statue at Hawk’s Ridge Golf Club. We tried to have a golf tourney fund raiser there a few years ago, but the owner refused to come off the 5 thousand dollar grounds fee and would be keeping the majority of the Mouse Money. Oh well…

There will never be another Mina…I was so lucky to have known her.

At the Atlanta Celtic Festival

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

If you would care to donate a little Mouse Money, perhaps even as a gift in someone else’s name, you can scoot over to and click on the PayPal logo for your convenience. Thanks so much for keeping HawkTalk afloat this year. I appreciate the kindness you have shown us….m.


At December 14, 2009 at 6:35 PM , Blogger Gaina said...

I'm so glad Richard is doing well! That bit at the end about Mina had me teary-eyed. 18 is a fantastic age :).

I love the pic of Sam, he looks like he's in 7th Heaven having his head scratched.


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