Hey, sweet daughter! I need you to come and clean your bird’s butt!

These are words connected into a sentence that I never would have foreseen myself saying out loud or in my head…ever. Kind of along the lines as when I spoke gently to my son when he was about five, “No sweetie, we don’t stab the window screen with a knife.”

Meet our little friend, Oslo. He is an old dove my daughter is fostering who has a splayed leg. We had no intention of taking any more animals on, but my daughter advised me of a dove who was getting picked on by other birds at our local rescue, and could we please bring him home? “I’m not sure he has much time left.” Famous last words by the way when it comes to animals and persuasion. Those are the ones that give your eulogy.

This is Oslo who will be speaking at my funeral.

Checking with my husband, I expected an immediate “no,” but I think he understands the soft-hearted daughter he has in his life and generously agreed that she could foster him. Home came Os who is now the best Netflix watching buddy you could ask for…doesn’t spoil the plotline or talk through the show…yet demonstrates an immense interest in whatever appears on the screen.

At the request of my daughter, I have taken to letting Os sit on my desk while I work. He still has some power in those wings of his even though his flying days are over. At least once a session, I have to pursue him across the desk and rest him comfortably back on his cushioned pad. It’s a great exercise session for Os and good for me to move a bit from my chair. Today, however, he took off from his cushioned pad for a reason. A large nugget was adhesed to his bottom which I empathized must have been extremely uncomfortable. Once my daughter was informed, Os was bathed and is now back on my desk somewhat unhappily wet, but warm and snug wrapped in a tea towel.

Snug and sulky.

There are some situations in which you find yourself that you’re not sure how exactly you got here and could never have predicted. Here I am working at the dining room table on a cloudy Tuesday with a moist dove next to me and two barky dogs on the couch. My mental image years ago was more one of writing on a porch next to the ocean with a wide-brimmed hat and a flowy dress, but this will do. I suppose that dream was never realistic anyway as I seem to exist in leggings. I am holding on to the hat though.

I am sure there is some growth here…a point where I am a better, less selfish person than I would have been in a world without fostered pets who need butt baths, water physio, or anal glands expressed, but I am not feeling deep now. I am just sitting here, a woman with a dove and two dogs enjoying an afternoon of creativity and naps.

On pondering, I have decided in a world where taking the road less traveled makes all the difference, I off-road. Sure when I am having a sleepless night because of an ear-flapping dog or driving an animal for vet care to Vancouver, I wish for the road most traveled…like a freeway. But inviting elements I can’t control certainly makes my life more colorful.

And just as I firmly plant my foot and say “No more animals!”, another needy soul crosses our path (the Universe has a huge sense of humor), and we say “What’s one more.” Thank goodness our city has a three-dog limit in the bylaws because our soft hearts need municipal control. Why do you ask? Because our third addition is arriving today.

I think it’s time for my off-roading self to buy an ATV.

Stay tuned to meet Marin.

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