OKLAHOMA CITY - A Texas teenager was able to breathe a sigh of relief thanks to a local family.
On Monday, Ash Holbrook told News 4 that she was devastated because her emotional support pigeon was missing.
Holbrook was born very premature and was diagnosed with autism later in life. She says her pigeon, Geraldine, brings her peace.
“To make me feel OK and not alone,” she said.
Holbrook received Geraldine last year from a veterinarian in Oklahoma City, who rescued the pigeon. The bird was badly injured, so Holbrook raised her.
The family, who lives in Sherman, Texas, decided to come to Oklahoma City for the NRHA Derby this past weekend.
While parking at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, Geraldine managed to fly away.
Holbrook and her family pleaded with News 4 viewers to look to the skies for a pigeon wearing a pink diaper.
“Please, please look in the sky,” said Ellise Holbrook. “Look out. If the diaper is off, the way you're going to tell is she doesn't know she's a bird. She's going to try to come to you. If you see a pigeon behaving differently, say 'Geraldine.' She knows her name.”
Even though she did everything she could to put out the word about Geraldine, Holbrook says she didn't think she would ever see her again.
“I didn't really believe it because how are you going to find a pigeon?” said Holbrook. “ There's a million pigeons. It's just crazy. It's like finding a needle in a haystack."
Amazingly, Dolores Chavez saw the pigeon with a diaper on her carport and immediately knew it was Geraldine.
“She ended up right there and we were saying, 'Come on, come on Geraldine.' And she kept just scooping down,” said Chavez.
Chavez, who lives just five miles away from the fairgrounds, got Geraldine on her arm and called police. Authorities then got in touch with the Holbrooks.
"It's crazy," Holbrook said. “It`s crazy. I can`t believe it. I am like mind blown I guess, and that guy up there...he did it."
Chavez believes finding the bird was no accident.
Her son, who loved helping people and animals, died earlier this year. She says she believes that he sent Geraldine to their house to be rescued.
“I was so happy because I know now that he is still here with us,” said Chavez. “I just wish he was here to feel it also, but it really is something else.”
It was an emotional reunion for everyone.
“I heard that Ash has autism,” said Chavez. “Well he had spina bifida, and like I told her mother last night, I know what it’s like to have a child with special needs. And I felt like I was just giving to him as I was giving to her.”
She says everything happens for a reason.
“I don't think this could ever happen again to anybody else,” said Chavez. “This was something special. Nothing like this could ever happen and I'm just glad...I know it was him that did it."
Ash says she has a lot to be thankful for, especially for Chavez.
“You`re incredible and your son was watching out for her,” said Holbrook.
Ash is competing Tuesday night at the NRHA derby. She says she`s ready and at peace now that Geraldine is home safe.