Bedford resident Laura Keating said sometimes she hears owls outside her window. “But I never see them,” she said. “I always wanted to be up close and personal.”
Be careful what you wish for.
Diane Hughes found a disabled owl cowering under a rhododendron in her Page Road yard on Thursday morning, and right away she called Keating – because “she’s a mom who loves animals. I just remembered hearing some time ago that she was into animal rescue.”
“I happened to be getting out of work early,” Keating said. “I went home, grabbed some gloves and some towels and a cage.”
Keating “didn’t think anything about jumping in the car and driving over here,” marveled Hughes. “I couldn’t believe it – an owl has talons and a beak. She was so calm – the way she was talking to the bird.”
Keating loaded the owl into the cage. “The owl was surprisingly cooperative. The owl clearly couldn’t fly. It looked a little lethargic,” she said, noting that there were no signs of external injury.
Keating was familiar with the wildlife clinic at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, since she took some rescuer classes there last year.
“I knew I wanted to get there as soon as possible,” Keating said, who called ahead. “From my training, I remembered: dark, warm, quiet. So I put towels over the cage, and drove the 40 miles with no radio or phone calls.” The owl “was just chilling. It didn’t make a sound.”
When the word got out, Keating said, “I started getting a lot of messages. It has been humbling. The animals are just wonderful, so if I can help one I will.”
“She’s such a good person,” Hughes said. “This is about how people in Bedford really care.”