Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tweetle Dee No More...

OK - so, I promised rantings and ravings, but... something happened last night that I just can't complain about, I just have to share the story with you.

Last night, approximately 10pm, I was working in the kitchen. Making some home-made fudge (as if that's not comical in itself), but if you must know, I'm making batches of the stuff to donate for a charity bake sale. Really.

I digress.

So, I'm in between batches and decide to head outside to check on my 2 dogs. I haven't "heard" from them in quite a while so that was rare and weird in itself... I ventured into the back yard and see one of the little imps with something odd dangling from his snout.

NOW... my dogs dig. A lot. They come to the house with whatever they can find. Patches of sod, roots, plants, flowers with the bulb still attached to them (granted the bulb was buried 7-8 inches deep)... whatever. This was nothing new.

I give them my little warning whistle, which usually gets them to scamper on over, when I hear a loud tweeting sound... yeah you guessed it. The friggin' dog had caught a bird. This dog, usually so lazy, he doesn't even jump on the couches, arose from his beaglish stuper and grasped onto an innocent bird.

Right away, my mind started swimming as to what to do next. Do I run inside for sneakers, and leave the dog to start chomping away at the bird? Do I run over to the dog and risk stepping in a pile of dog poop whilst barefoot (I don't think so).

So, I run over to the window and call my wife outside - she runs outside in a panic, realizing something is wrong. I yell "get me my sneakers, some rubber gloves, plastic bags, and a hammer, or shovel or something!!!"

Without questioning it, she actually ran inside and retrieved every item on my little shopping list.

I popped on my sneakers, and walked over to the dog. Needless to say, he didn't want to drop his newly acquired friend. I pried his jaw open with my hand, all while this bird was flapping violently against his snout and my wrist, and I managed to free the bird which now dropped to the ground with a horrific thud sound.

I brought the dogs, both the innocent witness and the guilty bird murderer, back into the house. My wife looked at me in awe and exclaimed those dreaded words... "Now what?"

I went back outside to examine the bird. A beautiful bird (really), just stood there. One wing was at least 75% gone. The other was a bit bloody, but looked alright. The bird would try and hop away from me and then fall over, quite sadly. It would work to stand back up, and appeared to breathing slowly and like it was a chore for it.

I'm an animal lover, so honestly, it broke my heart. I went back inside, and said I needed to euthanize it. It wasnt in good shape. My wife agreed and said she'd stay inside. I walked back outside in a fog of uneasiness...

There I stood, above the bird. Hammer in hand, along with two plastic bags. I watched him breathing slowly, and started to cry. Well, started sobbing actually. Call me a whimp, a loser, whatever you want... I dropped the hammer and just couldnt do it. I was so dazed about what to do... I had no ideas, or knew no other options. My wife came outside to see me crying and she started crying as well. She told me not to kill it, and that maybe it would heal. Trying to put feelings aside and use some sort of common sense, I could see the bird wouldnt heal, but I couldnt bring myself to kill it.

I got some heavy duty gloves and picked up the bird. I brought him to the outskirts of my back yard, fenced off where the dogs couldnt get to, and placed him behind the shed. I closed the lights and went back inside.

Problem solved? Nooooo... ignoring it doesnt make it go away, right?

I started explaining to my wife that it just wasnt right. Even if the bird didnt die from bleeding to death, it certainly wasnt capable of finding food or water. It might get eaten by a hungry animal, but either way, it was sure to die, and right now, it must be in pain.


I learned by callinbg the local 24 hr animal hospital, that if you bring in such an animal, they put it to sleep for you free of charge.

So thats what I did. I went back outside and there lay the bird... breathing and alert, but refusing to move. I scooped it up and placed him in a box. I drove him to the animal hospital, let them take care of it, and drove home in a silent fog. It was such a sad night for some wild bird that mean absolutely nothing to me.


Anyway... that was my night.

Whether I did good or not, I don't know... but I feel a little calmer knowing that the bird probably wen down much easier than alone in the backyard.

Sorry if I depressed anyone... the dog is alright though. It was his first time bringing me something alive... and I have a feeling this wont be the last time he brings me a treat like this, either.

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