Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We sped out of the beach parking lot on a desperate mission to save a life. I was driving and Chris was complaining that I needed to accelerate. I'm not a speeder and I do not like breaking any the law no matter how desperate the situation. I pushed down on the pedal... a little.

Earlier, we had been on the beach soaking up the last rays of summer sun when we spotted the unfortunate victim. A junior sea gull lumbered awkwardly across the sand dragging his injured appendage. It was obvious he had met some type of relentless foe. His wing dangled at an unnatural angle. He was alert but clearly uncomfortable, and looking for food, stopping just short of beach blankets in hope of a handout. It was heartbreaking from the start.

It doesn't take anything at all to convince Chris to help an animal and this poor, pathetic site put the rescue wheels in motion. He called Wild Care, the wild animal rescue shelter, to find out how we could help. They advised him to try to catch the gull in a towel and transport it to them as quickly as possible. He darted up the stairs and ran home to get the car and a box.

In the meantime I sat with Oscar and kept a close eye on the creature as he made his way slowly down the beach. Chris arrived back shortly and set out to catch the bird with a beach towel and a ceramic bowl of dog food as a lure. Dog food? I brought Oscar and the gear up to the car and then returned to the beach in time to see the heroic capture. Needless to say the bird had no interest in the dog food and was caught sans lure.

We ran the squirming towel up the stairs to the parking lot. Adrenaline flowing, Chris was firmly urging me to get in the car and drive while he held the shrouded animal in his lap. Thankfully, in the few seconds before pulling out, I had a fleeting vision of our speeding car careening out of control as a large, lame, panicked sea bird tried to flutter its way out of Chris's grasp. Our friend was already struggling a bit and I insisted that we take a minute to try to put him in the box rather than drive with him loose.

We got him in the box easily and were off.

We were just at Wild Care two weeks ago with an injured squirrel. We're not sure if he made it but, sadly, our pitiful gull did not. His injuries, we were told, were too extensive and the best they could do was give him painkillers to make his last hours tolerable.

As we drove home we felt relieved that this animal was not left to suffer and starve on the sand. We even laughed a bit. What are the chances of having to rescue not one, but two wild animals in less than two weeks?

Well, here on Cape Cod, apparently pretty good.

Oh, A.R.T.? Animal Rescue Team... that's us.


  1. Ha. Great post, Hun.

    Man, and to think we could sneak in a few final hours of beach weather before it's all over. Then this guy comes walking up: "What's up? I'm dying. How are you?"

    Ok, so reality is, it had two options of how to die: 1, find a place to park in solitude and slowly starve to death, or 2, get surrounded at night by coyotes and eventually pulled apart with a front row pass to the carnage. This makes the Matrix pills sound like candyland either way.

    Next there was the out-of-town douch-bag sitting 30 feet from us who was avidly reading is book in his beach chair opposite the crashing waves. As we watched the bird approach him, the guy shamelessly tried to whack it away for disturbing his "relaxation time" (seagulls don't just get within 2-3 ft of a human. This bird was desperate). Right there, we said to ourselves... "here we go again", and I ran back and got the car.

    Truthfully, were I in my peppery 20's, I probably would have thrown the guy's book in the water and hoped he'd respond negatively to it. I admit to having a problem with people like this. Anyway, I kept it cool and I could tell J'aime was happy to see her caveman evolving.

    The bird wouldn't make it — we knew that by the wing. Generally, if it's dragging, it's over. But the hell if we're going to soak up sun while watching it unfold.

    Sure, nature is nature. And playing God is almost always a bad idea. But needless suffering sucks, so there are exceptions. This was one of them for us. It's also simple, common decency.

    So there it is. A full belly and painless dose of neverland became option 3. Good to go.

    Hopefully the animals in my path can sharpen up. I've got work to do.

  2. Wonderful !!! He has always had a kind heart !But Chris knows better then speed . I remember a snowy morning when he was at our house and late for school and managed to crash his jeep only a few yards from our house because of speed on snowy roads !!!