Kristina Furey

"There goes my hero"--Foo Fighters

When I was a child I had free roam of the world around me.  I had a brother named Kevin, who we called “K1”, my early pronunciation of Kevin, when I was just learning to speak.  That nickname made me “K2”  This was fitting, as I was his sidekick.  Well, when he allowed it or maybe better put, “when no one else could show up for the job.”  Hanging with his kid sister wasn’t exactly first choice for K1 but that did not stop my enthusiasm.  I was always up for the adventure.  A lot of it involved critters, wether going fishing, hunting for crayfish, creating our own butterfly or aquatic habitat or building a pigeon coop and learning that when you buy someone else’s homing pigeon, you may pay twice for the same bird.  One thing was for sure, we loved our little friends!  We wanted to learn about them, be entertained by them and we watched over them like a protective parent.   So it happened on more than one occasion that we’d find an animal in some unfortunate state.  Wether it was a bird that had mistook a window for a roosting spot, a lost dog, cat or ferret we found roaming the neighborhood, a turtle in the road or an injured bunny, our world would come to a stop and we’d do the best we could to help.

In our neighborhood, about a mile from our home, lived a vet.  He had a small farm with animals and  he had kids my brother’s age and mine.  My brother spent time hanging with one of his sons and understood that the vet would nurse non-domestic animals back to health when he wasn’t working.  The man was our hero!  When we would find an injured animal we’d plop ourselves down on the corner of our yard and wait for the vet to pass by on his way home from work.  Our parents used to 1/2 joke that he was going to find another route home if we didn’t stop interrupting his drive home with more work but we paid no mind.  We would stop him and show him the critter and ask him what we could do to help it.  He always took the time and occasionally the animal with him, if he thought it was something we would not be able to handle.  After he doctored it up and it was healed he’d drop it off with us and tell us to put it back where we found it.  

So touched by our heroes kindness and consideration for life, his quests to preserve it, I was inspired by his actions and thought back then that I wanted to marry a vet/farmer when I grew up.  I remember considering the vet’s son that was my age as possible husband material.  We were in the same class and even back in elementary school I noticed how he was like his father, soft spoken, kind and considerate.   Later, when I was in high school, he was working with his father after school, the day my dog was put to sleep.  He was no longer on my husband radar as I had decided by then, I was not marrying.  He was like his father though and I never lost sight of what I had admired in his father and recalled when he so kindly tried to comfort me with the description of what happened as they put my dog to sleep.  I could not bear being there but needed to hear from someone the details or rather that it was okay.

I thought my brother would become a vet or a national park’s ranger, with his love of nature, people and animals.  Still, I’m not surprised where he eventually ended up…  To be continued… 

"My Hero" by Foo Fighters


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