Forty feathered friends at the footbridge.


Whether we like it or not, snow is supposed to descend on us … soon our neck of the woods will look like a snow globe. As you know, I’m no fan of snow, not even to set a festive mood by creating a white Christmas.

So, with that forecast for the white stuff in mind, I hurried out this morning to get some miles walked before the snow began to fly. Even though I’ve reached my goal, I still want to keep walking until year end.

I headed toward Emmons Boulevard where I stopped to admire some additional decorations since the last time I walked down that street on Thursday.  As to Christmas outside décor, I like an understated touch … my favorites are the lighted, white wire reindeer and the icicle lights … subtle twinkles that light up the night.

I went to the railroad tracks and then headed back.

Along the way, I stopped on the footbridge, where at least forty ducks and geese were splashing happily in the ice-cold water. They didn’t stay with their kind, but instead drifted lazily in the water, nibbling at reeds at the water’s edge, dipping their head for a drink or preening themselves.  Every so often, one rabble-rouser would decide to stir things up a bit verbally, but the others didn’t pay any attention and went on about their business.

I paused to watch them, just as I always do … that chance afforded me to catch an up-close glimpse of nature in the middle of the City is always a delight for me.

But today, as I stood on that footbridge, I was once again awash in sadness as I watched those feathered friends splashing and calling out to no one in particular.

They made me think of my little feathered friend Buddy, and, as I watched them, I felt tears leaking out of the corners of my eyes and dropping down into the murky waters of the Ecorse Creek.

You see … my Buddy has crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge.

You may recall just on Thanksgiving Day I wrote a post about the joy and companionship he has given me; I was grateful for that little beacon of light in my day. His very presence made me a kinder and softer person in this often-cruel world.

Sadly, that beacon of light has been extinguished and my sadness the past few days has been almost too much to bear.

Buddy rallied back after a respiratory infection and was seemingly 100% healthy once again.

Then, a few days later, suddenly he kept shutting his eyes and leaning his little mop top head against the cage bars, like he had no energy.

I began to worry.

The next morning when I got him up, he seemed to have lost the coordination that enabled him to hop or fly from perch to perch, and he kept tumbling onto the cage floor. This went on for most of the day, along with prolonged bouts of sleeping in the corner.

Friday morning he was worse, and could not move from the bottom of the cage … he looked at me, with bright eyes, and he seemed puzzled by his lack of mobility as he kept trying and trying to move around his cage with no success. Worried, perplexed, and sobbing uncontrollably over Buddy’s behavior, I asked my dear friend Marge if she could take us to the vet.  The consensus was that he had suffered a stroke and we had him euthanized on Friday morning. I will pick up his ashes after the holidays are over.

There is an expression that good things come in small packages – this little bird captured my heart and had me wrapped around his foot. I am sad as I sit at my computer and no longer feel his presence as he sat on the butcher block, only a few feet from me.  There is now an empty spot in the corner.  Several times in the last few days I have forgotten myself while sitting here and called to him out of force of habit.  I interacted with him constantly  … but this time there is no peep as a response.

All God’s creatures, no matter how large or small fill our hearts with joy.

Rest in peace Buddy … you are missed.

I am including two of my favorite pictures of Buddy taken shortly after I got him in December 2010, as well as an excerpt from “Lend Me A Bird” … the words give me some comfort at this time.

“I will lend to you, a Bird”, God said, “and teach you all you have to do. And when I call him back to Heaven, you will know he loved you too.” ~ Anonymous

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Forty feathered friends at the footbridge.

  1. Majorie Aubin says:

    Linda I am sure you are missed. You were a wonderful and caring companion to a brave little bird.


  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Linda…………………..Buddy did know that you were very good to him and loved him……that’s all that really matters


  3. Pingback: Hoofin’ it … | lindaschaubblog

  4. MeRaw says:

    Beautiful, and yet so sad.
    You must miss Buddy.
    Thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dra Martha Andrea Castro Noriega, MD WMA FACS says:

    So beautiful bird. He irradiated kindness and life. I am sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bindyamc says:

    Cute little one

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, he was cute and looked a little like a gloster canary but his mop top was not as round and “bowl shaped”. Sometimes he looked comical with his feathers parted in the middle. He looked like a sparrow, round body, like you said in your other comment. Not your regular-looking canary like Tweety Bird.


  7. Laurie says:

    What a poignant tribute to Buddy. I am sure you can imagine I misted up reading it. We were lucky to have had 2 such wonderful companions – Buddy for you and Benji for me – for the time we did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Laurie – I wasn’t sure I should send it right now to you – maybe too soon. When I was writing it, tears were streaming down my face, I took all the bird paraphernalia I had accumulated when I went to pick up his cremains. I told them I can’t go through that grief again. I had two identical cages so I could swap them and clean the other between vet visits (for a yearly physical and toe nail clippings in between). I had extras of each of his favorite toys as I was worried they would break from overuse (they never did). I had all kinds of extra items here in case we lost power in the Summer (battery-operated fans, paper fans) and in the Winter (battery-operated polar fleece scarves to layer between his covers, a Nasa blanket like you get after a marathon to keep from getting chilled). I worried constantly about him and prepared for the worst weather-wise, but a stroke was not something I would fathom.

      Yes, they were wonderful companions. I have not made a bagel, nor used the toaster since … it was a ritual for us every day to make a bagel and he got his piece. I cleaned the toaster up, put it in a plastic bag and put the cloth appliance cover over it … maybe one day I’ll be ready. His presence was great in the kitchen – the butcher block was bare so I put the toaster oven in the place where his cage sat so it would not be a gaping hole like he left in my heart. More hugs to you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s