I don’t do birds. I just don’t. I vaguely remember the stuff I learned in vet school, about air sacs and weird one way diagrams of their lungs and bumblefoot, but mostly I view them with the same untrusting wary eye I use for furtive men in trenchcoats skulking down the street.
When someone calls wanting to come in with a bird, I refer them to our local veterinary exotics specialist, who actually likes birds. He can have them. The last time I saw a bird, I was in the emergency hospital and my boss insisted I try and do something for a gasping little parakeet. I asked him what, exactly, I should do. “Give it some fluids!” he said, so I did, and while I was injecting a small amount of fluid in the appropriate space the bird up and died in my hands. Oh, the techs had a field day with that one. The amazing Dr V, who can euthanize a bird with a subcutaneous fluid injection! She turns water into euthasol!
There are few things I understand less than birds, but bird owners are right up there. I’m sure there are many perfectly normal bird owners out there, but the ones I seem to come across are always dressed extensively in beads, fringe, and crazy. I apologize to the normal bird owners in advance. I’m not talking about you. But you know exactly who I’m talking about, don’t you?
Anyway, I have a point, and it is this. I got lucky:
My daughter’s kindergarten teacher has a Great Pyrenees. Her son just adopted a Boxer from rescue. When I drop my daughter off, she whips out her iPhone and shows me all sorts of pictures, which I of course gush appreciatively over; then she asks me veterinary questions, which I answer, because I need to be on this person’s good side. She likes me, and she likes Brody, and she never gives me a hard time for bringing him to school to pick up my kid (and yes, I do have poop bags aplenty now.) She thought my art project story was funny. She is a dog person.
There are 2 other kindergarten teachers at this school. I found out that the teacher in room two, a tall, toned, tan woman, rides horses. Horse people usually start talking to me in lingo, then stop when I’m staring at them blankly, and turn away with a disgusted snort. She would hate me. I know nothing. Horses have big guts that flip around a lot, there is something about 4 on the floor but I don’t remember what or why I should care, and if you mix up fetlock and forelock, they kick you in the head. That’s all I got.
I hadn’t met the teacher in room 3, but she was on the playground this morning with my daughter’s teacher, who introduced us. “She’s a vet!” the teacher gushed to her co-worker, who adjusted the fringe on her shawl, peered at me brightly over her wire rimmed glasses, and chirped, “Oh! Do you see birds?”