Monday, December 21, 2009

TJ, the Amazing Little White Dove

White doves used in dove releases at weddings, funerals and other special events can be much more to their owners than simple working animals. Many Professionals who release pure white homing pigeons, also called rock doves, have heartwarming tales to tell about how special these animals are as individuals. Lisa, a member of the White Dove Release Professionals serving the Sussex, Delaware area recently wrote about one such white dove.

I'd like to share a little story with you.

I have one white pigeon that was hatched with a defect. His feathers are deformed so that he will never fly. He looks like he has perpetual pin feathers, but he is soft. Well, this little guy is precious. I brought him into the house, of course. I felt that running around in a loft where everyone else can fly would be too depressing for him. So he has his own elevated cage, a ramp leads up to it, and inside is his food, water and a padded nest bowl. He walks around the house following me, cooing, and loves to sit on my lap or on a small cushy dog bed I bought for him. I place the little round bed near my head, if I lay down on the sofa to watch TV or read, and he snuggles right in.

He loves to be petted, picked up, kissed on top of the head, and enjoys playing with hair. He cleans up after the parrot, who tends to eat all of her food with the exception of the corn kernels she tosses perfect! He will even sit nestled down next to me, lean over and gently preen my eyelashes, or stick his beak in my ear, which always makes me laugh. He visits Dad, and he has his own little carry case. I open the case, and he struts right in, cooing, ready to go visit Dad's house. He enjoys the drive over, and sometimes will coo with certain songs on the radio; if I sing too, he coos louder, joining in. He loves Susan Boyle's new CD; loudest I've ever heard him coo.

Once we arrive at Dad's I open the hatch, and he struts out cooing, checks under the other bird cages for any treats on the floor there, then proceeds to look for Dad. He can walk very fast, and with such purpose, it is hysterical to watch. He goes right into Dad's bedroom, and will coo for Dad to pick him up. We have a special quilt just for him, and he walks all over the bed. He sometimes will pick up a card, if Dad is playing solitaire. He will perch himself on Dad's chest, nestle down, and take a nap with him while I fix dinner, or do other chores.

When I am drying my hair, I guess he must be cooing to get my attention, and I can't hear him over the dryer. He'll walk around the bathroom cooing as I dry my hair, and must think I am ignoring him. He is smart. He would not give up, and figured out how to get me to notice him. He walks over and climbs on my foot, and stares up at me. He wants me to "dry" him, too. He loves it, and even lifts his wings up for the warm air. When he stands on my foot, most of the time I have slippers on, and I still feel the weight of him, but in the summer when I am bare foot, his little toe nails tickle unbelievably, and it always makes me laugh out loud. He will stand on my foot, look up at me and coo until I sit down and dry him, too.

Funny little bird! Now that he knows he tickles my foot and makes me laugh, he does it more often. He is very smart; when he gets a laugh for a response, he remembers and does whatever made us laugh more often, then looks up at us, coos and struts around in circles cooing, I think it is his way of joining in the laughter.

This little pigeon puts many smiles on our faces every day. His name is TJ, and he knows his name. If I am a few rooms away and call, "TJ", he will come walking very fast. It is very cute. Dad and I get a kick out his little "tap, tap" footsteps as his toe nails click, with his little pink feet walking across a tile floor to come and see what we want.

TJ even made an appearance in the local newspaper. I brought him to the Blessing of the Animals at church; he was the mascot to bring blessings back home to everyone else. I guess I am not the only one who thinks he is cute...the photographer taking many photos of many animals decided TJ had to be on that page.

Everyone asks about the doo-doo. Well, he doesn't go much, and when he does, it's a perfect little round ball, and picks right up with a tissue. I have Cockatiels, Conures, Doves, Parrots, a Macaw, and I have had Canaries, Finches and a few wild birds in my care over the years, and he is by far the cleanest bird ever. Thank goodness, because I love him so much it wouldn't matter anyway.

I'm sure there are others that would have put him down, once they saw the deformity. You never know who may become so precious to you, who may make you laugh out loud and smile daily, or who will work their way into your heart. Who would think that it could be a little bird? Who would think that a little pigeon that couldn't fly could bring so much love and joy to life?

Merry Christmas, Peace, Love and Joy to You All!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

White Dove Releases Commemorate Veteran's Day, 2009

As we honor our Veterans with white dove releases across the nation we would like to reflect on what a Veteran is.

Veterans are those proud and self-sacrificing individuals who swear at a point in time, before God and man, to protect and defend their most cherished nation and way of life as a member of the armed forces. Each and every Veteran answers the call to duty, and makes a choice to sacrifice dreams, wants and needs for a time in order to go and to serve wherever the country most needs him or her.

A Veteran stands lonely vigil in foreign lands, walks in harms way, puts personal well-being aside, to stare down any threat, and conquer any foe.

We recognize and honor those individuals who are Veterans, who answered the call to a sacred duty, for which they give of their own lives to protect and preserve our nation and liberty. The white dove is a perfect symbol of the Veteran's service and the nation's appreciation, recognition and thanks.

Monday, October 26, 2009

White Doves soar with hope at 2009 Komen Race for the Cure

The White Dove Release Professionals is proud to feature the printed text of the speech made by one of our members at the Survivor's Ceremony for the 17th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Fashion Island, Newport Beach, Ca.

I’ve been a part of this ceremony for the last 15 years as the vendor whose company has been hired to release 100 doves as part of the survivor tribute.

At past Races, I had always felt a great sense of empowerment amongst the survivors here; their pink t-shirts and roses waving in their hands, some shaky and a bit overwhelmed, but all so very, very brave.

How different this ceremony will be for me this year. When I received the request to book this Race date from the survivors, who pay for my doves, I froze, and a flood of emotions took over because I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February. I had a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

I had thought about the times I felt uncomfortable sharing the stage with the survivors and as I cried with them, I really had no idea what it must be like to face the diagnosis. And even though I did not choose to be part of this sisterhood, I now have such a greater understanding and want to make a difference as my journey continues. I am proud to be joining you here on stage, and as my gift to the Komen Race for the Cure® I will be releasing my doves as a donation every year until a cure is found.

Yes, my life has changed, some of the days harder than others, but I did get one thing I always wished for, the perfect blond hair, no roots or split ends (wig off). Pause…

I know now that the many years I spent participating in this event, along with the support of my amazing family and friends, has truly been the backbone to help me fight MY cancer. But for what I have lost, I have gained so much more. This year as we release the doves, may their grace and beauty bring hope to all who are racing to find a cure!!

Presented by Pamla Wright of White Flite White Dove Releases, September 27th, 2009.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Remembering the heroes of 9/11

As the eight year anniversary of that terrible day draws near, hundreds of thousands of people across this nation and even around the world join together to honor the people who lost their lives; and the many who selflessly offered aid; and the families who continue to live with the absence of their loved ones.

The White Dove Release Professionals, whose members service many areas all across the United States and Canada, will be sharing in the privilege of recognizing and remembering the beloved lost and the brave survivors of that day's tragedy by providing white dove releases at public and private ceremonies on September 11th.

May the beautiful white doves we release in memory and honor of the heroes and victims of September 11, 2001 bring a measure of healing and peace to all who witness their soaring flight.

Embraced Forevermore

As we remember our thoughts of eight years ago
sadness still lurks in the solemn shadows below.
As those towering inferno's fell to their death
the hero's within them drew their last breath.

It was a very sad ending to such a beautiful day
all of those people had died in such a horrible way.
The story's now history as we try to move forward
a hard thing to do when you think of the martyred.

As we remembered our thoughts of eight years ago
those people who jumped from a sky high window.
The ones in the buildings who were trapped by the fire,
the ones on the planes who never knew what transpired.

Police and firemen who climbed those stairs to rescue
anyone who had survived, no matter how few.
Their day had just started and little did they know,
they were the victims of a coward’s evil deathblow.

In honor of those hero's who went in our place
we will never forget you, you're forevermore embraced
by all of the Americans and the whole human race
as we try to move forward at a slow steady pace.

Each one of you died as a hero on that infamous day,
rest assured that your memories will never fade away.
In the land of a free democracy and in honor of our brave,
we fly Old Glory today and forevermore she'll wave!

Adapted from the poem by Jimmy Phillips, 2008

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Professional White Dove Release Business leads to Scholarships

Twin sisters, Rene and Robyn Cooper, are co-owners of Highland Doves, a professional white dove release business located in Morgantown, West Virginia. They provide professional white dove release services for weddings, funerals, memorials, and special events such as their local American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraising event, Veteran’s Day programs, and many other community benefit releases. The sisters have donated numerous professional white dove releases for non-profit events over the years.

Rene and Robyn began their white dove release business when they were just 15 years old. They received some coaching from their uncle who also raises pigeons, and has his own professional white dove release business. They began by building their own specialized pigeon loft from plans; doing the work themselves with a little assistance from their father. Once their loft was built they trained their first flock of young pigeons for the white dove release work, and continued to increase their flock by breeding, hatching and training more birds every year. This process has allowed them to build their business as the demand for their white dove release services has grown.

Rene and Robyn have operated their white dove release business very successfully, and almost totally independent of adult help since the beginning. At first the girls’ father had to drive them to do training tosses (training flights), and to their white dove release jobs because they weren't old enough to have driver’s licenses. But since the age of sixteen they have done all their training tosses, professional white dove releases and marketing events such as bridal fairs without any adult help.Rene is now a sophomore attending West Virginia University School of Dentistry. A couple of weeks ago one of her professors pulled her off to the side, and invited her to an upcoming awards banquet. Rene attended the banquet, figuring she was probably going to get a plaque or something similar. It came as quite a surprise to her when they were down to the final award of the night, and she was awarded a large scholarship for the rest of her college career. When she was presented with the award the crowd was informed that this was the most distinguished scholarship a dental student could receive from this school. To receive this award the recipient must excel in all categories of the dental school. Rene was advised during the presentation that the sponsor of the scholarship was impressed with her grades, her attitude and the fact that she had established and operated a professional white dove release business since the age of 15.

Robyn attends West Virginia University on the West Virginia Promise Scholarship. Her scholarship requires the recipient to maintain a 3.4 grade point average. Robyn feels that her experience with the white dove release business has contributed a great deal towards her being awarded and maintaining this scholarship.

Rene and Robyn both have bright futures ahead of them, and can thank their feathered friends for paving the way.