Women's Health

Animals and Their Role in Treating Ovarian Cancer

Animals and Their Role in Treating Ovarian Cancer

North-Western Native Americans consider blue jays as being helpful to mankind. And help—by way of emotional support—is just what Floridian Dina Theissen received from Gracie, a blue jay that’s been part of their family for around 2 ½ years.

The family connection with Gracie began in the spring of 2015 when Dina found a small ball of fluff near their mailbox, and soon realized it was a baby bird. A few days later, when Gracie’s parents still hadn’t returned to claim the bird, Dina brought the tiny creature to their home and turned the family’s enclosed patio into a nursery.

Dina’s daughter, Alyssa, named the little one “Gracie.”

Dina, her husband Ken, and Alyssa fed the bird dry cat food moistened with water. To maintain Gracie’s nutrition and support her normal growth, they fed her every 30 minutes.

Gracie nested into a blanket-lined basket Alyssa fixed up for her.

During the five weeks that Gracie stayed with the family, they found out Gracie was a boy, but hung onto the name Gracie, anyway.

Gracie and Dina bonded especially well. When Dina talks to the bird, Gracie focuses her eyes on Dina, who always refers to herself as “Momma.”

Every day since Gracie was “returned to the wild” in 2015, he has stopped by the Theissen household for a family visit and sneaks through a hole in the screen to enter their porch. His wild squaws are the doorbell.

In this fashion, Gracie has also brought along each of his four broods to introduce them to his adopted family.