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Feathered friend returns home

By Staff
HAPPY AT HOME Dexter, a 7-year-old Quaker, sits on the shoulder of his owner, Eva McMahan. The bird flew away and was injured when she slammed into a window at Meridian Regional Airport. Dexter was reunited with McMahan on Saturday. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Aug. 30, 2001
Eva McMahan thought she would never again see her feathered friend, Dexter, after the bird flew from its home and disappeared.
But thanks to a Lauderdale County man with a knack for healing injured birds, McMahan's pet is happily perched on her owner's shoulder again.
How it all happened
Notifying his wife of the bird's disappearance was the last thing Wilmer wanted to do, but after an hour of searching for Dexter, a 7-year-old female Quaker, Wilmer knew he had no choice. That was Aug. 20.
Dexter had been gift from Eva's best friend. The friends thought Dexter was a boy… until "he" laid an egg.
With Dexter gone, the McMahans spent a lot of time searching nearby woods, braving briars and mosquitoes, and putting up signs that read, "Lost… One heck of a bird. Dexter is her name."
Six days after her disappearance, the McMahans went to Animal Medical Supply in College Park to post another sign. This is where James Jones comes into the story.
Truth really is stranger than fiction
It was an ordinary day for James Jones of Russell. Working at his part-time job at Meridian Regional Airport, Jones strolled onto the observation deck for a break.
Doctoring birds is not foreign to Jones, who said he and his wife, Faye, have revived "better than a dozen" birds that have flown into his patio door.
The airport is 7 miles from the McMahans' home.
A tearful reunion
Jones couldn't take the bird home, and was happy to give it to a co-worker, who offered to care for it. When the co-worker took the bird to Animal Medical Supply, manager Lana Gordon thought the bird was one of theirs that had flown away earlier in the summer.
After having been lost for five days, Dexter was dehydrated, hungry and depressed.
Wilmer said everyone in the whole store was crying with his wife.
A happy ending
Jones feels the same way.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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