Beginning on Sunday, May 12, 1957, Mrs. Ann Recoskie was in a panic. Her beloved parakeet, Joey, had escaped from her home at 514 Gilmour Street in Ottawa, Canada.
Ann asked all of her neighbors if they had seen her bird. None had. She searched the area, but there was no sign of Joey.
Today, one would turn to social platforms like Facebook or Nextdoor to let everyone know that they had lost a pet. But these options were not available back in 1957. Her best option was to place a Lost Pet ad in the city newspaper, the Ottawa Journal.
She called the paper and said, “I want to insert an ad. I’ve lost a blue budge.” Ann then provided Joey’s description and his serial number, which implies that he had a leg band.
Not long after the call ended, her phone rang. The voice on the other end of the line said, “Would you come at once to the office?”
As soon as she got there, Ann was taken to the Circulation Department. And there was Joey happily nibbling away on some bird seed. A wire paper basket had been flipped over to make a rudimentary cage.
No one knows what Joey did with his time during his nearly two days of being on the lamb, but he must have tired of whatever he was up to, and decided to fly through an open window in the paper’s circulation department.
The women who worked there purchased some bird seed, gave him fresh water, and took good care of Joey. But, he was probably very happy to go back home with Mrs. Recoskie.
As the paper proudly pointed out, Ann “received the fastest answer on record to an ad that wasn’t even inserted.”