What makes property management such an interesting, challenging, and rewarding business is the fact that everything that happens in life will eventually happen in the community. After all, this is where people live and…life happens. Ask any Community Director to describe a typical day in property management and they will most likely smile and start with a phrase like, “Trust me – I’ve seen it all.”
So just when Mark Tanguay thought he’d seen it all, along comes a little bird to challenge that. That bird is named Moxie.
It was a Friday afternoon – well, Friday the 13th to be exact. Some might consider that a spooky kind of day, but again, in property management – they’re prepared for anything. Mark Tanguay, Community Director for Silver Ridge Apartment Homes in Anchorage, AK was working in his office when he heard a loud, rumbling, screeching sound reminiscent of a scene from the movie “Jurassic Park.” He immediately put on his jacket and headed outside to investigate this unsettling, unfamiliar sound.
He quickly found the source of the mysterious screeching. A maintenance tech was cutting through a copper drain pipe. Relieved, he checked on their status, made sure they had everything they needed and headed back to the office when Donna, one of the residents came around the corner and asked for help. Mark noted that there was a certain tremor in her voice, a kind of panic. This wasn’t your everyday request for assistance, he thought. This was serious.
“Yes, how can I help you?”
“I just opened the door for a few seconds to pick up a package and both my birds flew out!” exclaimed Donna.
Mark made his way to the courtyard to find a long, slender bird flying in circles above the community. He figured the way the bird was circling, it was looking for a nearby landing and if it would just land in the courtyard, they might have a chance of catching it.
Meanwhile, Donna walked the property urgently calling out, “Moxie! Moxie!”
Mark refused to take his eyes off the bird, concerned that if he did so even for a moment, it would disappear. Suddenly, the bird swooped over the roof and into the neighborhood. Mark followed him, wondering how he would keep up with a bird through a maze of roads and fenced yards, and what he would say or do once he found the bird. This was something he wasn’t quite trained for, but he fully intended that the story have a good ending, so he kept his eye on the bird. The bird circled around the houses, banked right and then back on to the property, where it landed on a resident’s balcony.
Moments passed as he headed up to the top floor in search of the bird. Then he heard a quick screech and Donna say, “I’ve got him!”
Phew! Close call. All in day’s work. Almost…
After making sure the bird was secured, Donna made her way back downstairs and said: “I’m surprised that we were able to catch Skitters; I figured Moxie would be easier to catch.”
Right. She did say both birds escaped. And the search for Moxie began.
Mark and Donna split up and scoured the property, desperately searching for a bird that could have easily blended into the many nearby trees with bright yellow leaves. Moxie could be right in front of them and they might never see it.
Mark decided it was time to strategize and get tactical. He asked Donna to email him a picture of Moxie.
What are the chances of finding a runaway bird in Alaska? he thought. Then he recalled Weidner’s mission statement, “What Matters to You, Matters to Us.” Pets are part of the family at Weidner. He had to do everything he could to find Donna’s bird.
As Donna jumped in her car to drive the neighborhood, Mark sent an email blast to the residents asking them to check their balconies for Moxie. He hoped it would be that simple, but instinct told him to get the community involved, so he went on to Facebook and posted a picture of Moxie in groups, lost and found, missing pets, bird groups, crime groups, anything he could think of. By the time he was done posting, he figured it might reach about 47,000 people.
Friday came and went. Saturday came and went. Still no sign of Moxie, but a lot of hopeful, caring people willing to help with the search. It was now becoming a community effort, but with each passing moment, it seemed the chances of finding Moxie were growing dimmer.
Then, on Sunday evening at 8:39pm, a concerned citizen named Sue, sent a message. It read, “Hi Mark, if you check with Lake Clark Air, I know they found a cockatiel just like this today at Merrill Field.”
“I will relay the message. Do you know if they saw it or captured it?” asked Mark.
“They have it. I think they sent it to Port Alsworth. They didn’t know whose it was. Just give them a call in the morning and let them know you heard they have a bird.”
Mark exhaled. Moxie was found!
On Monday morning, Donna called the lodge at Lake Clark in Port Alsworth, and after exchanging photos, Donna knew for sure her Moxie was found and arrangements were made for her to pick up Moxie at the airport in Anchorage.
By noon on Monday, Donna, Skeeters, and Moxie were all reunited back at Silver Ridge Apartments.
As for Mark – “The Flight of Moxie” is all in a day’s work at Silver Ridge Apartments in Anchorage, Alaska.
Thanks, Mark, Donna and everyone who helped search for Moxie! On to the next adventure!
-The Weidner Team