This week’s Newshound is a special sort of, “pet,” who isn’t actually a hound at all, but rather, a turkey that’s been turning heads in the area of Pound Hill Road since at least last fall.
“Tony,” has been seen several times a week at the office and business park according to Jennifer Medeiros, administrative assistant at Rhode Island Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine.
“We actually thought ‘he’ was a ‘she’ at first because he was so small, and he was not showing his plumage yet,” Medeiros told NRI NOW. “Tony adopted us.”
The brazen bird walks right up to the door of the physical therapy clinic and stares in for long periods of time.
“I’d like to think it’s because he is visiting me, but I’m pretty sure he’s just admiring his own reflection,” Medeiros said.
Tony, a male turkey or “tom,” is not afraid of humans, and can often be seen strutting around the business complex, “plumed up.” Not one for haste or hurry, Tony seldom moves out of the way when cars approach, and has been the subject of many photo shoots, as people stop their cars to take pictures of the turkey, who seems to enjoy showing off.
“Clearly this strutting turkey is no regular ‘Tom turkey,’ so I felt ‘Tony’ was a much more fitting name,” Medeiros said.
Medeiros notes that somtimes Tony even jumps onto the hoods of vehicles, an act she describes as one of his more, “endearing traits.” She said the funniest thing the well-known bird has done was to jump onto the hood of a pickup truck and start pecking at a ball on the top of the antenna.
“He was having a grand old time playing with the antenna and would not jump off the truck until the driver actually started backing up,” said Medeiros.
Tony then ran to the back of the building, and was found perched atop a truck belonging to George Sparrow, co-owner and physical therapist at the business.
“When George tried to, ‘shoo,’ him off the vehicle, Tony decided to hop onto the truck roof,” Medeiros said. “It was quite comical.”
For added fun, Medeiros said Tony sometimes enjoys holding up traffic on Pound Hill Road and Industrial Drive.
“He has been spotted standing in the middle of a travel lane with large commercial trucks stopped in the road waiting for him to move,” she said. “He doesn’t care.”
The administrative assistant often finds the entertaining turkey waiting at front of the door to the business located at 621 Pound Hill Road, Suite 102, when she arrives in the morning.
“He’s always alone,” she said. “Always.”
Medeiros has been sharing pictures of Tony on her Facebook for months, and notes that the turkey has built up quite the following.
“There are many funny comments and positive reactions to the photos of my buddy, and people really seem to enjoy seeing what Tony is up to,” she said.
Co-owner and physical therapist Amy Glaude-Marcos said Tony is, “like the mayor of Pound Hill Business Park.”
And so this week, we at NRI NOW would like to bestow additional honors on this unique avian. In keeping with the legend of a local misfit who never seems to know his place, we dub Tony the Turkey Newshound of the Week.
Editor’s note: Following publication of this story, a reader contacted us with a story of being chased – and frightened – by a turkey she believes was “Tony.” We would like to note that those who see the turkey should not assume he is friendly and may be best off avoiding him.
We’ll be back to “normal,” next week with a story of a local dog as our “newshound.” To have your dog featured as a future NRI NOW Newshound of the Week, just email a photo and some information about your pet to firstname.lastname@example.org.