Debbie Zuidema and her daughter Karri were getting ready for work when Karri's ride pulled up. Debbie went out to let the ride know that her daughter would be just a few minutes—but as she opened the door, the family's beloved pet cockatiel, Zoey, zoomed outside. Zoey landed on a nearby bush, then a house, then a rain gutter and then she was gone.
The Zuidemas searched all over town for their pet bird, but to no avail.
Not sure what to do, Debbie called her mother, Shirley Cole, with the news. "She was so hysterical that I couldn't really understand her," Cole told the Independent Record. "All she could say was 'Zoey is gone.'"
In desperation, the family placed an ad for their lost bird in the Independent Record.
Meanwhile Dave Madden was taking his 2-year-old German shorthair, Bella, for her midday run. She'll occasionally point Hungarian partridges or quail, and Madden will walk in for the flush. But on April 2 she pointed a bird that didn't flush.
"It was a perfect point," Madden recalls. "Her nose was six inches from that bird."
Much to Madden's surprise, it was a cockatiel. His girlfriend picked up a small cage and some food, and they began caring for the bird. Then they saw the newspaper ad and contacted the Zuidemas, who hurried over.
"Right off the bat the bird recognized them and I knew it was their bird," Madden said. "They were happy as a clam at high tide."
I've been on hunts in which bird dogs have pointed box turtles, mice and, most hair-raising of all, skunks and snakes.
What's the oddest thing your dog has ever pointed?