Formerly feral dog discovers injured hummingbird, unknowingly becomes her hero

"I rescue this dog. He rescues the bird."
July 7, 2018 9:47 am Last Updated: July 7, 2018 9:47 am

Who rescued who?

It’s a phrase many use when talking about their adopted pets. While people physically save an animal, often they find it’s the animal that gives their life meaning.

For Ed Gernon, it wasn’t his rescue dog that saved him, but a tiny hummingbird that his once feral dog saved.

“The bird rescues all of us in a weird sense and it’s just a miracle.”

In 2015, Gernon adopted a German Shepherd mix that lived a very rough life.

“He was dangerous,” the Whittier, California, resident told CBS Los Angeles in 2016. “He was an animal that had learned to live on the streets and to survive on his own hunting ability, I guess.”

Despite knowing that the dog, Rex, “fought other dogs and killed cats,” Gernon adopted Rex and gave him a loving home.

Rex was given a home and surrounded by love.

(Ed Gernon/Screenshot)

About a month after Gernon brought Rex home, the two were out for a walk when the German Shepherd mix refused to move. The dog towered over some small creature, which Gernon assumed was no longer living.

“I mean it’s tiny and it’s dead as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “It’s covered in ants. It’s got no feathers.”

While out for a walk, Rex discovered an injured hummingbird.

(CBS Los Angeles/Screenshot)

“It was this little creature. This fragile creature that the whole world wanted to kill and he was trying to protect her so I thought I’d go the distance,” he told CBS Los Angeles.

So, Gernon took the hummingbird—which he later named Hummer—back home.

Gernon brought the tiny bird home and nursed it back to health.

(CBS Los Angeles/Screenshot)

He fed the hummingbird sugar water every 15 minutes and taught her how to fly using a hair dryer.

“You find yourself doing stuff you never thought in a million years you would do,” he said.

Over the course of several weeks Hummer’s health improved and the trio, especially Rex and Hummer, became a group of unlikely friends.

Rex, a dog that once hunted his own food, got along with Hummer.

After a year of living together, Gernon admitted he knew that one day Hummer would fly the coop, but even after leaving his windows and doors open, the tiny hummingbird never seemed ready to spread her wings.

Gernon formed an incredible relationship with his two rescues.

“I rescue this dog. He rescues the bird. The bird rescues all of us in a weird sense and it’s just a miracle,” he said.

While no updates were found, we hope Hummer is doing well today.

If you find an injured hummingbird, it’s best to get in contact with a local wildlife rehabilitator. To learn more, go here.