It’s days since the deluge but the Bondi sky remains heavy and grey. I am taking Nitro the two-toned Cavoodle for his morning walk. Am feeling flat but hoping that my daily yoga stretch and meditation in the park will soon revive me. We get to the park and the dog is unleashed. I keep an eye out, waiting for him to assume the position that will require me to shove my hand into a blue plastic bag. But the only position he assumes is one of hunter as he leaps onto a lame lorikeet parrot. We are all surprised by this, especially Nitro, whose habitual chasing of birds has so far been without triumph. After a couple of seconds of shock, I am shouting like a mad man and yanking the bird from the furry jaws of death. Then I awkwardly attempt to re-leash an excited canine with one hand while holding a freaking parrot with the other. This proves rather painful as the lorikeet’s little beak pinches my hand, biting down like his life depends upon it (and from his point of view, it probably does). Somehow I manage to tuck the bird under my arm, safely padded by my hoody, leash the killer Cavoodle and head back home. Whilst walking I decide that I will drop the dog off at a neighbour’s and take the bird to the veterinary hospital in Bondi Junction. I took an injured bird there years ago and was surprised by how Hollywood handsome the vet was. At that stage, neither of us had a clue that he would later achieve celebrity status as the star of the “Bondi Vet” TV series (which conveniently ignores its true location since “Bondi Junction Vet” isn’t nearly as sexy). Once Nitro is safely enclosed at the neighbour’s, I head home, put the lorikeet into a box and then wash the tiny wounds on my hands. I look for some disinfectant but the best I can do is splash around some mouthwash. I know it’s supposed to kill mouth germs but am unsure if that extends to bird mouths. The car is parked a block away, so I walk along holding a hairdryer box like it’s a gift for the baby Jesus. As I enter the car, I notice that the inside of one hand is starting to ache. Is this the onset of some strange avian disease? And just how do you contract bird flu? Doing my best not imagine that this is the beginning of my end, I arrive at the vet. Dr Hollywood is rarely around these days, most recently sighted in an African jungle hosting a show featuring a number of dubious ‘celebrities’ all wanting to get the hell out of there. So another vet inquires about what’s in the hair dryer box. I unveil the little guy and the diagnosis is immediate: beak and feather disease. He says that most vets put such afflicted birds to sleep but that they won’t. Instead, they’ll take him and put him out the back in a little sanctuary they have. Lucky birdy. Or lying vet. I mention that I ended up with several wounds on my hands. I’m told not to worry as the disease is only passed on between birds. Seeing an opportunity too tempting to resist, I quip: “So I don’t need to worry about my beak and feathers?” Having achieved the sought after chuckles, I leave the bird behind and head back for another attempt at walking the dog.