Jeff and Freedom

My dad sent this to me in an e-mail this morning, and I couldn’t resist sharing with you. I hope it brightens your day.

Below is a picture of Jeff and Freedom. You may recognize them and be familiar with their story. If not, I invite you to read on and be touched by it. And if you’re an animal lover, you might want to grab a tissue first.

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 lie 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.


This is a Snopes verified story. Not everything in life is too good to be true.

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