Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family

Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family

by Melissa Hart


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762796809
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,284,797
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Melissa Hart is a nature and travel writer and the author of Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood. She teaches feature and travel writing at the University of Oregon. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and their daughter.

Table of Contents

Foreword x

Prologue: "Clip Me" 1

1 Caged 8

2 Tooth and Talon 21

3 Disparate Species 32

4 Obligate Carnivores 46

5 Rehabilitation 57

6 Icon in the Closet 73

7 Detach with Love 83

8 Meow 93

9 Distressed Baby Great Horned Owl 106

10 "If We Have to Eat Roadkill" 117

11 Owl with a Foot Fetish 127

12 Lost Girls 140

13 Hazed 153

14 Wish You Were My Daughter 167

15 Parents in Progress 180

16 One False Move 193

17 The Red Thread 205

18 Ambiguity 217

19 Owl in the Living Room 226

20 Everything's Political 237

21 Love People, and Feed Them 245

22 Prostitutes and Bird Trainers 256

23 A Baby Who Hasn't Been Harmed 266

24 A Rescue Attempt 277

25 Always a Hidden Story 293

26 Destiny Child 302

Epilogue 313

Acknowledgments 316

Appendix (Raptor Centers and Adoption Resources) 317

About the Author 322

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Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
KristyMcCaffrey More than 1 year ago
Melissa Hart shares her journey of trying to adopt a child with her husband, first internationally then domestically, while also detailing her years of work as a volunteer at a raptor rehabilitation center. At first she cleans mews and brings food to the birds, but slowly she gains the confidence to train several different owls for the glove. This takes dedication and patience, and little does she know this is the perfect training for caring for a child who might have a history of trauma as well. If you've ever been fascinated by birds of prey, especially owls, then this book is a gem not to be missed. And any parent, whether biological or not, will relate to the wild longings that Melissa has for parenthood. I was captivated by her journey, and highly recommend this book.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Melissa Hart is an interesting lady with an interesting hobby - as a raptor handler she fell in love with handling birds who have come to be rescued through horrific circumstances, but it is her and other volunteers job to nurse them back to hopefully be released or as Plan B to become a advocate for their species.  She is drawn to volunteer through a guy, but stays due to her own personal convictions. My favorite part of the book was the ability to watch her transformation as a volunteer at the rescue center and how it paralleled with her and her husband's long story to adopting a child.  There were many moments when I had to remind myself that this wasn't fiction and that she really lived through these ups and downs and that she is one of many on the road to adopting a child.  The one part that kept me from completely falling in love with the book was all of the owl/bird/raptor terms, as a complete bird novice I enjoyed those parts, but would have loved a little definition and maybe just to give a few moments at the beginning to provide some basic bird terms.
Mengel2 More than 1 year ago
In this memoir, we follow Melissa Hart; recent divorcee living in Oregan.  While at a dog park, she meets Jonathan; tall, handsome and lover of raptors.  He educates Melissa on these amazing creatures and even gets her involved with volunteering at the raptor rehabilitation center that he works at.  At first, her decision to volunteer was solely with the hopes of getting to know Jonathan more, but as she gets more involved with these amazing owls, falcons, eagles and other “raptors,” she realizes that her desire to learn more about Jonathan has piqued her new interest in these animals.   Content with their new-found relationship, Melissa is happy with not having children of her own.  However, the time and love that she shares with these wounded animals has brought out a feeling that she never knew existed.  Her desire to start a family and explore adoption was born out of her love for these creatures.  And she realizes that the definition of family is not in matching DNA, but where your heart and love lies.   I have always been a lover of animals, so this book was one I knew would interest me.  However, it was more than just the aspect of animals.  The love that is shown not only to the animals, but between Melissa and Jonathan is beautiful.  And, as a parent to an adopted child, their story of adoption sealed my love for this book.  I absolutely recommend this book to others.  It not only appeals to animal lovers, but lovers of love in general.  
ConorSales More than 1 year ago
As a former wildlife rehab volunteer, I read this book with fond memories of the joys and pains of that work. Melissa Hart has captured well the emotional roller coaster that caring for hurt and broken animals entails. Her descriptions are vivid and compelling - although I bought the book for the experience of working with raptors, I found that the adoption story was a wonderful addition and allows the book to become something greater than the sum of the two stories; a tale of longing and loss, and eventual redemption and salvation.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
They continue to amaze me. It’s their finesse and their subtle ways that attract my attention as they soar so freely without restraints and then they sit and just stare as if pondering life’s great mysteries, they are truly amazing creatures. Melissa has captured their essence in her biography to such an extent that her own story seems to take second stage to the life of these winged creatures. Such detail and accounting she puts forth into this novel, explaining the lives of these birds of prey, that I feel that I have a world of knowledge in my hands, just holding this book. Owls, hawks, falcons, harriers and eagles are all covered in detailed in this book as Melissa narrates her memoir, which is in essence falling in love. Melissa’s first love begins when she meets Jonathan in the dog park. Working at a raptor center, she’s fascinated by the work that he does. She follows every word he says, catching every breath he breathes, she just can’t get enough of him. Asking if she would like to volunteer with him, she hesitates, she’s fearful, not because of Jonathan, no….she’s afraid of birds. Slowly and patiently, Melissa decides she can do a few duties around the center as long as she doesn’t have any bird contact. I thought it was so interesting how she was so absorbed with Jonathan but still so fearful of the birds that he adored. How she longed to be a part of his life but this fear so often plagued her life. Jonathan and the other individuals encouraged Melissa, pushed her to become more involved, encouraged her to get more training but her fear kept her from stepping forward. It was the Juno, the great-horned owl that fascinated Melissa. It pushed her to take the steps to start overcoming her fear slowly, for this fear would take a long time to fully beat. These steps would lead her to her second love in her life, the birds. Like all relationships, Melissa holds nothing back as she talks about the choices the couple makes as they handle work, marriage and the thoughts of parenthood as they make their way through adulthood. Melissa finds another love in her life, something she thought she would not have the chance to experience, but sometimes life is not predictable, you just go with the flow. I was given this book in exchange for an honest opinion. 4.5 stars
MakeupByOne More than 1 year ago
a lovely history