27 August 2008
Hero For the Day
I would like to think I am a dog person. But I'm not. I cringe at the thought of hair on my furniture. I practically hyperventilate when I think of wet doggy paws tramping through my house. Nevermind the mess you have to go through when training a puppy. It was hard enough potty training my son.
So, why then, was I disappointed when an email - complete with heart-wrenching photos - soliciting takers for abandoned puppies turned out to be a joke? Perhaps it was their big, doggy-brown eyes. Or the shattered image of my son frolicking through the yard with a puppy. In the end, though, I think I like the idea of a dog, rather than the actual thing itself. Because when, after our initial disappointment we started researching yellow lab breeders, I became less excited at the prospect of adding a canine member to the family, and more frantic. Did we have the time to train, discipline and love this new member of our family? Would the dog a have an adequate, fenced-in yard? Would we pass the breeder's 10-point potential dog-owner inspection ? No. No. And hells no. I just didn't think we could hack it. At least not now, when we are expecting baby #2.
My point is, I am one of those people who thinks she is an animal person, but is really not, at least not if that animal has to reside in my house.
However, today at Salisbury Beach, I witnessed something that really pulled on my heart strings. An injured seagull. A seagull of all things! The damn bird went into my beach bag, pulled out a giant-sized bag of Gold Fish, flaunted them around the sand and still I could not help but be concerned about the fishing wire and lure wrapped tightly around its legs, inhibiting his gait. The poor thing must have been starving. Had it not been for the flock of seagulls (not the musical group, but an actual flock of birds) circling overhead, I would have given up the Fish, though it would have been much to the chagrin of my three-year-old, Gold Fish-obsessed son. Anyway, my friends and I hemmed and hawed for a bit, wondering what to do, while the injured seagull squawked and squawked and made itself comfortable in the sand. Poor thing. I wish there was something we could do. I'd cut if free myself if I could. Finally, my friend, and new hero, Kristen D., made her way to the lifeguard chair. A few minutes later, not one, but three lifeguards accompanied her back to where we were set up on the beach, and waited while a naturalist/wildlife expert made his way over in his Gator. He asked for a handful of Gold Fish. I dumped them in his gloved hand and he tossed them into the air. Seagulls swarmed from everywhere. Our injured seagull was in the middle of the pack. In a flash, the guy dove and took hold of the fishing wire-entwined bird. Five minutes later, the seagull was cut free and thrown to the wind, his wings spread wide. The gathered crowd cheered. And we watched as he landed in the ocean and darted around the water. If a seagull can look happy, this one definitely was.
So, here's to you Mrs. I Save Seagulls Wrapped in Fishing Wire. Here's to a job well done. May humans and seagulls everywhere take heart and live in harmony.