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!