My one-legged lesson...

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” D.H. Lawrence

If you know me, you know I love animals. I mean, LOVE. It's honestly easier for me to love animals than humans most of the time. They're always right in the moment, and cute to boot.

So to see an animal in pain is really hard for me. I skip over videos of abused animals on Facebook because I honestly cannot take it. The video this week of the last 9/11 service dog being laid to rest had me bawling in a matter of seconds.

Which is why what happened to Lucas and I recently was so special. Earlier this spring, we noticed an oriole that would come and dance on our cars every so often. We think it's because it would see its reflection in our side mirrors or windshields and, thinking it was a male rival, would try to fight with it.

We thought it was adorable...until one day when we got home from a walk a few weeks ago and saw that the oriole had gotten one of its legs caught in Lucas's windshield wiper, panicking because it couldn't free itself.

Lucas grabbed the bird to hold it steady and tried to free it, but its leg remained stuck; it was shattered and had bled a lot. The bird, who was understandably trying to get away, was only making things worse.

Lucas calmly asked me for a pair of scissors and I ran inside to get them. When I brought them out, he amputated the bird's leg - the only recourse we could see at that point.  Finally free, the bird flew away.

We walked inside and Lucas lost it - his calm exterior melted away to reveal the heart of a man who adores animals as much as I do and wouldn't hurt a fly.

I immediately got on the Google and researched if it was possible for a bird to survive with only one leg. My results were mixed - some said yes, some said Lucas had sealed the bird's fate by cutting his leg off. I, of course, shared the former, not the latter to help soothe Lucas's frazzled nerves.

Fast forward to this week, when we got our answer. Not just once, but on two separate occasions, we saw our one-legged friend dancing on Lucas' car!


Sorry the picture isn't very good, but there he is, still alive and seemingly no worse for the wear.

Lucas and I totally celebrated this little survivor who came back to let us know he was OK. It was one of those moments when all seems right with the world.

And it reminded me of the D.H. Lawrence quote above. You see, that's why I love animals so much - they take what life gives them, and they move on. They don't rehash things, live in guilt or shame, or try to blame others for their lot in life.

Not a bad example for the rest of us, huh?

I know you've had struggles in your life and times when it felt like a part of you was being cut off, either literally or figuratively. I also know that, if you're like me at all, you've probably held onto some of those experiences longer than was good for you.

Letting go of painful memories doesn't mean they never happened, it just means you've chosen not to allow them to keep hurting you. CLICK TO TWEET

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So this week, try to be like the dog that shakes himself off, or like the duck that shudders her feather dry, after a spat with another animal.  It's the healthy thing to do...and it looks like a hell of a good time!

Has an animal ever inspired you? Or did you finally let go of something that happened in your past that no longer belonged in your life? Please share your story on the Shift Bars Facebook page. Don't worry, I'll be sure to have some tissues ready before I start reading!

To the wild in you,