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  • This is a story and picture a friend sent me and I thought you would like also.

    Freedom and Jeff

    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
    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 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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