Eddie the realtor

When my husband Matt and I lived in Nanaimo B.C., we dreamed about having a place right on the ocean. Matt had even had a vision board at one time and living on the ocean was one of the things that he had posted on it. I wanted to be close to my work on Fairwind’s Golf Course, but I too had dreamed of living on the ocean ever since I was a little girl. I used to daydream about living in B.C. right on the ocean, with a view of the mountains and I wanted to see whales in my backyard.

One day while working on the golf course, Matt and I heard a loud yell. “Hey!’ “Hey!” We turned to look and a man with a younger man with him, who turned out to be his son, approached us. They had seen us drive by on our golf cart with Eddie on my arm and they wanted to take some pictures. It turns out that they lived in Dubai, where having birds of prey is very popular. He told us that they come every summer for a month or two. After they got their pictures, we said goodbye and later on when at home, I turned to Matt and I said “I am so dumb! Why didn’t I ask what they do with their house when they are not using it?” “If we see them again, I am going to ask them.”

About a week later Matt and I were out on the golf cart and we saw two people on bikes coming toward us. I recognized the man and yelled out, “Hey!” We have since come up with a more extensive vocabulary when meeting than “Hey!”

They came over and I asked him straight out “What do you do with your house the rest of the year when you are in Dubai?” He had a huge smile on his face and said that they rent it out and that ever since our first meeting he had been thinking that it would be perfect if they rented it to us. We found out where it was and went there that very night to take a look. It was amazing! It was a nice big house on a beautiful piece of property right on the ocean. The view was spectacular, with amazing decks!

They were fine with us having a dog, cat and Eddie. We found the perfect spot to put Eddie’s pen. We moved in a few weeks later and stayed for three and a half years. We all got along great! We even got to see whales! We could not believe how lucky we were! All because they saw Eddie.

Last winter Matt and I started thinking about finding a new place because we knew they were probably going to move back permanently the following summer. We did not want to leave Nanoose Bay or the water. I wanted to have the same view. You’ll never guess.

Once again leave it to Eddie.

I was flying Eddie loose one day and a seagull was pestering him and he took off on me. I called and called but he didn’t come. I jumped in the car to go looking for him. I was driving up and down yelling out the window and blowing my whistle all to no avail. I could not find him. I got out of the car to search and a guy in a truck pulled over. He thought I was nuts because he had seen me go by a couple of times with what he thought was a soother in my mouth!

He could tell I was concerned, so he asked if he could help. I told him I was looking for my eagle. He then said “I remember you!” It turns out we had met a couple of years prior and had talked for a while.

He told me that there was an eagle that seemed to be in distress down on the beach right where he was doing some work on a house. He was finishing up building a big deck and told me to come with him. We went down to the backyard and looked down on the beach. No Eddie. I called and blew the whistle and finally Eddie came flying over. He had gone back home. Well, it was strange. He would not come to me. He circled over us, flying back and forth and all around above us. It felt like he was trying to tell me something. We stood watching him and then he finally settled on the rooftop next door.

I went and got him and put him in his crate in the car and then something made me ask the guy what he was working on. He told me he was finishing up a new deck and the finishing touches on a suite. My whole body sprang to attention. I asked if I could see it. He said “Sure.”

As soon as I walked in, I took one look and knew without a doubt that this was our new place. Just a few houses away from where we were now, with the same view and right on the water. It even had steps down to the beach. I asked if it was for rent. He told me “No, it was not.”

I thanked him for letting me see it and then went home. I walked in and said “Matt! Eddie found where we are going to live!”

We’ve been calling it home for four months now. Right after moving in, five Orca whales swam right into the little cove. We have never seen them that close. It was like a welcoming committee.

I did say I wanted whales right in my backyard.

Mistaken identity

A few years ago when I was living in Ontario, I volunteered for hospice.

Once a week I would go to the day center for people who were terminally ill. There would be volunteers offering energy treatments, massage, crafts and various other activities at the center to the ill visitors. On this particular day, I was on my way to the center with Eddie, an owl named Winston and my hawk, Daisy. I was going to do a flight demonstration outside for everyone at the center and give them an up close and personal experience with these majestic and beautiful creatures.

As I was driving the 15 minute route, a policeman pulled me over. I was not speeding, did not go through a stop sign and as far as I could tell, had done nothing wrong. After I pulled over, I waited for him to come to my window. It took him a long time and I was wondering if he was going to make me sit there all day guessing as to my infraction, when he finally came over and with a very smug look on his face and a slow, disdainful perusal of me, asked me if I knew why he had stopped me. I said “no, I do not” and he told me my sticker on my license plate was expiring that day. I told him I knew that and that I was going to get the new one that afternoon. With more bluster and bravado, he told me that he was not going to allow me to drive, I was going to have to get someone to come and get me. He asked me to wait and went back to his car.

After about 20 minutes, he came back and told me to get out of the car. He had a self satisfied look on his face that made a feeling of impending doom settle in my stomach. Feeling scared and somehow violated, he told me to come to his car.  He put me in the back seat behind the cage, and started punching in stuff on his car computer. I sat there in the back for what seemed like forever and then he started asking me questions. Have I ever lived in Toronto in the High Park area? “Yes”. Was it during such and such a particular time frame, I can’t remember exactly, I answered “yes.” Had I taken drugs? “No.” There was lots of silent time and intimidation in between questions. I was getting really scared and wanted out of the car. Was he some fake cop? Some creepy, crazed kidnapper? What was going to happen to me? To Eddie and my other birds? What about my demonstration which I was now late for? I was now alternating between cold chills because I didn’t know what he was going to do and hot indignation because I knew I had done nothing wrong. Is this how innocent people ended up in jail? Oh God I was going to go to jail!!

Then the most unexpected question.

“Have you ever been or are you still prostituting yourself?” he asked me as if asking me how I take my tea.


He then told me that a woman with my exact name, age, height and description, except the eye colour was wrong, had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. Now I was completely freaking out and I could see Eddie in my car looking around. I kept focusing on him trying to calm myself down. The police officer kept on interrogating me with the same questions over and over again, telling me that I had better just fess up as we both knew the truth, because, as we both knew, eye colour could be changed with coloured contacts lenses. “Are you still prostituting?” he asked me. “If this was a violent crime I’d haul you in now and ask questions later. “HUH?”

I had been in the car for more than an hour and a half. This was getting ridiculous and now I was getting mad. I said “Wait until I tell my parents about my real job. The birds in my car are just a cover.”

He never once mentioned the fact that there was an eagle in my car visibly seen. He was on a mission. I wished I could sick Eddie on him.

After another long silent block of time, he told me that even though we both knew the truth, he was going to have to let me go, but I was not to drive. He gave me back my documents and let me out of the car. I went back to my car, the birds all calmly sitting in their crates and I told them “You won’t believe what just happened!”

I then waited until the police officer left and then I drove to the center to do my presentation. I was a couple of hours late, but everyone was still there. I got everything set up and then brought out Eddie. Everyone gasped in wonder, awe and delight. I then proceeded to tell them; “Let me tell you why I am late getting here. I just found out that I am apparently a prostitute practicing somewhere in the Toronto area.” Blank looks. I then told them what had happened and it turned into a huge laugh for everyone with many off coloured jokes being bandied about. At the end of the day it was all worth it to see the looks on their faces and to hear all of the laughs at my expense.

Even Eddie seemed amused.

Incoming! Eddie plays with two golfers :)


Eddie is quite a character!

I thought it would be fun to share some of Eddie’s adventures and let you see some of his personality. He is quite a character, with a sense of humour and mischief, sometimes aloof and goofy and on many occasions, showing real compassion.

It was a hot summer’s day at Ballantrae Golf Course and I had just finished doing my rounds, checking for geese. There was not much happening on the geese front at the moment, so I drove my golf cart to the back nine of the golf course and hung out behind the green of a par five hole. My dog Biene was busy sniffing around and Eddie was sitting on top of the cart. We were just sitting there enjoying the weather and watching the golfers come and go, when I noticed a cart with two people in it, pull up to the tee.

Eddie was still sitting on top of the cart sunning himself, too quietly I might add, which should have alerted me to the probability that he was up to something. Beine was lying beside me in what little shade from the cart that she could find. I watched the two guys take their golf clubs out of their golf bags and step onto the tee. First one took his shot and then the next and I watched them put their clubs away and climb onto their cart and start driving down the fairway. Right at that moment, I felt Eddie take off from the roof of my cart and saw him heading directly towards them. The thought ‘Oh crap’ went through my mind because I could tell exactly what that goofy bird had in mind! Allow me to explain. Whenever Eddie would go off for a fly, when he was done, he would fly back to my cart, coming in low, straight at the windscreen looking for all the world like he was going to smash into it, or, if it’s down, to come right on through, before, at the last possible moment, sweeping upward in a graceful arc to land upon the roof.

This was something he had learned how to time so as to avoid sliding right across the top and onto the ground, which had, on more than one occasion, provided me with a few moments of real hilarity, much to his dismay. I just knew that his intention was to land on their cart and I thought “these guys are going to freak out”. Sure enough, Eddie comes in for his usual perfect landing straight at the windscreen and all I see is a guy dive off each side of the cart and roll onto the ground, the cart moving on without them down a slight decline until it stopped. “Ahhhhhhhhhh! AHHHHHHH!” I heard. “What the **** is that?” Eddie was now sitting calmly on the roof of their cart. The two guys were on the ground covering their heads and amidst all of this, I put my arm in the air and Eddie headed right back to me, looking quite pleased with himself after his lovely display of flying and landing manuevers.

Those poor guys had no idea what was going on and as Eddie was getting closer to me, I heard a loud combined scream “LOOK OUT!!” Right then, as if the whole thing had been perfectly orchestrated, Eddie landed on my arm and the guys jumped in their cart and came as fast as they could down the fairway, convinced, I think, that they were going to find someone being mauled by a huge wild bird! They drove up to me and in utter disbelief, letting go a string of expletives with words of having a heart attack mixed in, I saw that sure enough, their windscreen was down! It was all I could do to keep from laughing! Meanwhile, Eddie was sitting calmly on my arm as if nothing had happened and he was bored by the whole thing. They had no clue what was happening, they were still sure I was going to be hurt, their minds unable to catch up to what they had just experienced. Their hearts were still pounding and once they realized that Eddie was with me and not just some random crazy bird, they calmed down and we all started to laugh. They excitedly began to explain in unison, with wildly gesticulating arms, what it was like to see this huge bird flying directly toward their cart and how when they saw Eddie coming right at them, they thought he was going to come right through the open screen, hence the comical dive and roll!

I told them how funny they looked diving off each side of the cart! They said that they had had many experiences on golf courses but never in their wildest dreams did they ever think they would see something like this. They stayed for a few minutes and took pictures so that they could tell all of their friends, saying “No one is going to believe this!” and then they went on their way. I could hear them laughing all the way down the next hole. I turned to Eddie and asked him “What were you thinking, scaring those guys like that?” I swear he understands me and he was very nonchalant in his response to me. He stood tall and regal as eagles do and gave himself a shake as if to say “You have so much to learn, grasshopper.”