Friday, July 2, 2010

Review-An Eagle Named Freedom, by Jeff Guidry

An Eagle Named Freedom
My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
by Jeff Guidry
Harper Collins
212 pages

Jeff Guidry is a volunteer at the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Washington State. He is also one of the best advocates for the injured animals who reside there. His philosophy is simple, to care for and rehabilitate each animal so that they can be released back to their home-the wild. At the center they educate by teaching, “Wild and tame are not the same.” He believes that taming an animal diminishes their freedom and they become a prisoner, condemned to a life confined.

Freedom is a baby eagle when she arrives at the shelter. Her injuries are so extreme, she will never fly again. With the help of her devoted caregiver Jeff, she is able to fly while in his arms. This is the story of a special bond, a bond of souls between the human and a wild one, a beautiful Bald Eagle who would one day be called Dream Flyer. Freedom becomes his wings when is diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Treatment is grueling, painful beyond words yet through it he is able to focus on the time he shares with his true friend, Freedom.

My heart is so deeply touched by this story. It is honest and genuine. Reading about the author’s battle with cancer is certainly difficult and will dredge up memories no doubt with most reader’s own personal and family experiences. What I enjoyed about his story is his positive focus and use of visualization to project the future. His relationship with the wild ones and his work at the Sarvey Center is full of humorous anecdotes and he shares the special life he lives with the reader. He teaches that we are a part of the world and we have forgotten how to communicate with the wild ones. It is up to us to learn to listen again. As I am writing this post, a red-tail hawk circles above, soaring with the thermals, screeching and peering down from above, it's as if she knows that I'm writing about her.

If you love animals as much as I do, this book is a must read, yet be prepared to drop a few tears-it’s unavoidable.

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