Monday, February 6, 2012

Touched By an Eagle

Thought for the day:  Celebrate your success and stand strong when adversity hits, for when the storm clouds come in, the eagles soar while the small birds take cover.

© Jeff Moore, UK
Some people think animals are a conduit between the physical and spiritual worlds. Native Americans strongly believe in animal spirits and animal guides.

Regardless of whether you believe in this sort of spirituality or not, if you've ever loved an animal, you're familiar with the special connections we can form with them. Most of us experience these connections with dogs and cats, or other domestic creatures.

Can you imagine connecting with a wild animal?

In Arlington, Washington is the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center. There, on a five-acre spread, volunteers rescue and rehabilitate orphaned, injured, and sick wild animals, mostly from the Puget Sound area, with the object of healing them and releasing them back into the wild.

I'd like to share with you a  remarkable story about one of the volunteers who works there, and the unlikely connection he's formed ... with an American bald eagle named Freedom.

Jeff Guidry is one of the volunteers at the Sarvey Center. In 1998, when a fledgling bald eagle fell from its nest,  Jeff brought it into the center for treatment. The eaglet's badly broken wings were fitted with rods, but the bird remained in critical condition, and hovered near death for weeks. Every day, Jeff cared for this bird he'd named Freedom. He murmured heartfelt words of encouragement to the eagle, and willed him to live.

Finally, on a day determined to be Freedom's last chance for survival, the day he was to be removed from the feeding tube if there were no signs of improvement, the bird finally lifted his head, and slowly stood.

Freedom will never fly, and will spend the rest of his life at the center, where he and Jeff are an inseparable team, an educational team. It isn't unusual to see the mighty bird nuzzling with Jeff, as shown in the picture above. And it also isn't unusual for Freedom to put one wing around Jeff's shoulder in what looks like a gesture of friendship.

But that isn't the whole story.

In 2000, Jeff was diagnosed with cancer, an advanced cancer requiring eight heavy rounds of chemo. In an amazing role reversal, during the entire debilitating ordeal, Jeff sensed Freedom's constant encouragement, and felt the bird willing him to fight, and to live. On the day Jeff found out the treatment had succeeded, he and Freedom went for a walk. It was then that this mighty eagle wrapped both wings around Jeff in what must have felt like the protective hug of an angel. While enfolding Jeff in his wings, Freedom rested his beak on Jeff's nose, and for a moment, time stood still. Can you imagine the majesty of this experience?

Why imagine? Here, why not listen to Jeff tell you about it himself?

An inspirational story, isn't it? It sure sounds like a spiritual connection to me.

You might even call it a love story.

                            We are eagles of one nest --- the nest is in our soul.  [Led Zeppelin]

                                        Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. What a charming story.

  2. Been a long drawn out weekend, the kind that makes you glad when the work week starts.

    That story and video did me a world of good.

  3. What a beautiful story. Made me teary a little. Thanks Susan. Sweet inspiration for a Monday morning.

  4. Thanks a lot for making me teary early on a Monday morning, Susan! (Like Monday mornings aren't hard enough ...)

    All kidding inside, this is an unusual and beautiful story!

  5. That is a truly lovely story--thank you so much for sharing it.

  6. I love this story. Very touching.

  7. You can sense the gentleness in that man....I guess the eagle can too.

  8. All you need is love, wherever you find it.

  9. Wow, what an awesome story. Thanks for letting us know about it.

  10. That's exactly how I rescued Lady Magnon (my wife). She still can't fly either!

  11. Oh, Susan, I love love love this post on so many levels. thank you.

  12. Cool post Susan. Animals are much smarter and feel so much more than we give them credit for.

  13. Hi, y'all. Thank you so much for stopping by, and for taking the time to leave a comment.

    Suz- I'm glad you liked it.

    Beach Bum- I'm glad to hear that. It's always good to start the week off on a positive note.

    Anne- Feel-good stories are my favorite. Glad to start your morning off with a bit of inspiration.

    Linda- You're welcome, and thank YOU for coming here to READ it.

    Liz- I'm so glad.

    Delores- Absolutely. I believe animals are excellent judges of character.

    Austan- You betcha. (Hmmm, sounds like that oughta be a song ...)

    L.G.- My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by to read it. (AND comment!)

    Jennifer- Glad ya liked it.

    Cro- You're too funny!

    Karen- I'm thrilled that you love love love it. Thank you for stopping by.

    Mr. C- Glad ya liked it. For sure, some animals are more intelligent and empathetic than some people I know. (Present company excluded, of course.)

  14. Okay, couldn't hold the tears back for that one. Good grief. That is just amazing.

  15. So beautiful. Tears in my eyes.


  16. Beautiful story! There is no anger, or revenge in an animal. If you respect what they are and what they're capable of - their nature, and you will earn the same.

    I rescue strays and have seen cruelty like you wouldn't believe. I've seen those same broken spirits, trust and love so completely it's brought tears to my eyes.

    Thanks for sharing this story of an amazing connection of spirits. (Hugs)Indigo

  17. Got a lump in my throat over this one, Susan.

    While I absolutely abhor the made-up stories that people enjoy passing around despite their having been proven to be a hoax, I have a sense of wonder and amazement for the real stories.



  18. Janie- Glad you liked it.

    Indigo- I'm so glad you stopped by. I had a feeling you would be able to relate to this story.

    Pearl- I hate those fake stories, too. Some of those darned things refuse to die; people just keep repackaging them with new updated lies.

  19. This is such a heartwarming story. It's amazing that they have such a strong connection, combined with a deep sense of loyalty. We can all learn a lot from this. Julie

  20. Incredible. *wiping away tears* Thank you so much for sharing this story. It touched my heart...I love animals and nature so much, always feel such a connection. Awesome quotes too, Susan. Love yours at the top and totally dig the LZ one. :-)

  21. Julie- Yeah, the connection is phenomenal ... better than some people manage with other people. Maybe because we're so busy running our mouths, we don't give ourselves the chance to make the most out of potential non-verbal communications.

    Tracy Jo- I'm glad you enjoyed it. That LZ quote struck me as perfect for this post. (Didn't know they had it in 'em!)

  22. There's nothing I can add to the amazement of this story. There's a song with the phrase, "He will lift you up on eagle's wings." But to be wrapped in the shelter of those wings is so powerful. Lovely. Thanks for the sharing.

  23. I am a fairly new "animal lover," never really caring for them before. That all changed when we got our first dog a year and a half ago. Not only do I love my dog, but I feel great love and respect for all animals. I'm not sure exactly how that happened, but I'm so happy that it did. This is an amazing story about Jeff and Freedom. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  24. what a beautiful story, thank you. And omg is that little fawn the cutest tiniest thing ever?

  25. ps contact me about a prize you won on my blog :)

  26. Barb- Yes, I actually thought about that song while I was writing this. In fact, I considered adding a video of it to the post, but decided it might be a little too schmaltzy. (But fitting!) I'm glad you liked the story.

    Judy- Welcome aboard, dear lady. Thank you for stopping by. I just reciprocated, and will be looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future. I'm glad you've discovered a new love for animals. They truly do add so much to our lives.

    Marcy- You're right, that fawn really is adorable. Soooo tiny. Woo hoo! A prize? Since I still haven't finished editing my "great American novel," it can't be a Pulitzer ... Guess I'll just have to get in touch with you and find out! Thanks!