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by Dottie
Rated: E · Short Story · Pets · #1474353
This special bird brought comfort and love into the lives of his adopted family,
This special bird belongs to my friend, Chickie, who retired to Florida over ten years ago. I didn’t know she had a bird, until just recently when she mentioned that she thought her bird was dying. We communicated by e-mail regularly. When she mentioned the bird, it was a surprise to me.

In a recent e-mail to me, she told me she was feeling low. Her bird was very listless that morning and stayed at the bottom of his cage.  She had to go to work, but when she returned home, there he was still at the bottom of the cage. He had pooped all over his beautiful white feathers.  Chickie took him to the Bird Vet. After his examination, the Vet thought he had pneumonia and a liver problem. The bird was given two shots, one for the diarrhea, and the other for vomiting. Should the bird survive through the night, the Vet was going to put him on antibiotics. It cost Chickie $222.00 for the initial visit and the shots.  It would cost another $68.00 for the antibiotics.

She bathed the bird as best as she could in order to get the dried up poop off him, but his feathers were all discolored in some places. She was distressed at the bird’s condition, and hoped he would improve. Chickie has had this bird for many years, and didn’t know what she would do without him.

The next day, Chickie started telling me about how she acquired the Dove. In 1995, when her father’s second wife had a heart attack, the doctor told him to gather the family together, because his wife might not survive. Predictably, she died. That day, the bird flew into her Dad’s garage. The door had been left opened, because her family had all come down to Florida, and they were going in and out of the house. This beautiful white Dove flew in and wouldn’t go out. The family left the garage door open all night, but locked the inside door. They covered everything with newspapers, including the car, the washer, and the dryer just in case the bird left his droppings on some of the things.

The next morning, the bird was still there. He wasn’t injured, but had just made himself at home in the garage. When Chickie’s Dad saw the bird, he exclaimed, “It’s the Holy Spirit”. Her Dad decided to keep the Dove. It was as if the Dove was sent there to lend solace to his grief. My friend bought her Dad a pigeon cage, and he had the bird for six years, until he became ill with Prostate Cancer. He named the Dove, Coo Coo Roo, which is Spanish for Pigeon. When her Dad ended up in the hospital, he asked his daughter, Chickie, to take care of his bird. He said, “He’s a special bird.” The Dove was his pride and joy. Chickie promised her Dad that she would take the bird. She had a large family, but no one really wanted the bird, and the mess that comes along with his care and upkeep. Her Dad passed away a year later in 2002.

The Dove had been in captivity since 1995. The life span of a Dove is about 18 years. Chickie does not know the actual age of her bird. She does know that her Dove is a Rock Dove. The origin is from Columbia, South America. Most of these birds are trained to be homers. They are used in Weddings, Funerals, Birthdays, and other occasions. When the Doves are released, they fly right back to their owners. It's a nice business to be in as well as a hobby.

One year, Chickie entered him in a contest at the Florida State Fair, and Coo Coo Roo won two ribbons for his appearance.  It all came about when she brought her Dove to the school, where she worked as a nurse in the infirmary. She went to the ESE Department and showed Coo Coo Roo to the children. It was show and tell time. In the audience that day was a substitute teacher. He happened to be a judge at Bird Contests. The teacher was so fascinated by the bird’s beauty, he told Chickie to enter him in a contest, which she did. Registration was only $4.00, and the event at that time was a few weeks away. However, the day before he was going to appear in the contest, Chickie again brought the bird to school. That was a mistake. He was nervous and kept grooming his feathers excessively, which caused him to lose a middle tail feather. Still his beauty prevailed, and he won second prize. Judges look for perfection. He would have taken first prize had it not been for the missing feather.

She has him on a very special diet, and buys it from a feed place in Portt Richey about three towns away from her. It consists of Rape seed, Red and Black Millet, Oats and Groats, Canary seed, and Flax and Parakeet seeds. The diet is mixed special for Pigeon Fanciers, Pigeon Racers, and Homers. That’s what she has been feeding her bird all these years. It’s called Pigeon Candy. Coo Coo Roo also gets a liquid vitamin, and has a bird guard on his cage, which Chickie changes every three to six months to prevent mites. From the care given to that bird, he’s very special just as he was for her Dad.

In another e-mail to me about his illness, Chickie said that her Dove survived the night. She had to go to work, and called her neighbor, who had a key to her house. She asked her to check up on the bird, and then telephone her at work. The neighbor called and told Chickie that the Dove was lying at the bottom of the cage when she got there. He did get up and walked toward the water cup Chickie left in the corner for him to get at in order to take a drink. The neighbor said that the bird then walked around a little more.  When Chickie returned home, he was lying at the bottom of the cage, but then got up, walked again toward the water cup and took a drink. She changed the paper in his cage. He had pooped, and it was a little watery, but not like it had been for the past couple of days. He even cooed at her, and she hoped that he was coming around.  She called the Vet, but he wasn’t going to be in until 4 PM. Chickie was told to call him back after 4 o’clock, and he would mix the antibiotic Rx for her to pick up.

Chickie picked up the antibiotic the next day. When she got home, she noticed that her precious bird had pooped once. She had to open his beak to dribble the liquid RX into him. The bird didn’t fight her, but he managed to spit some of it out. She had to give the medicine to him every 12 hours. In the evening, he was standing up on his legs, and even cooed at her. He was still lethargic, though. Chickie said he was pooping and drinking, but she hadn’t seen him eat anything yet. One good thing is he didn’t have his beak open like the previous day. That’s a good sign. 

With each day, the bird has been improving. Chickie has been giving him the antibiotics faithfully every 12 hours. He’s looking much better, but he’s not eating. She’s sure he has lost weight. She keeps trying to help him. She won’t give up trying to save him. The bird looks a little brighter with each day that passes. She knows he will come through his ordeal with this illness.

Good news! Coo Coo Roo has survived his illness, and has returned to good health. I don’t know where that beautiful Dove came from when he flew into that garage, but I somehow know he is more than special and came to Chickie’s family through the grace of God. Who knows, he could have been a Dove that strayed away from a flock of birds on a special mission, maybe released to the air at a happy or somber event, or was lost and found his way only to extend love and comfort to his owners.



Today is November 11, 2009.  Coo Coo Roo has passed away.  I received this note in an e-mail from my friend, Chickie.

I'm very saddened today, when I got home from work Coo Coo Roo was lying on the bottom of his cage, dead. I felt so bad. I carefully wrapped him in fine white tissue paper & placed him in a shoe box. Tomorrow my friend's son is coming over to dig a deep hole in my back yard so I can bury him back there. I'll buy a Garden Stone to place over the site.

© Copyright 2008 Dottie (dillyd32 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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