Most people that know me know that I am not really much of an animal person. I mean don’t get me wrong…kittens and puppies are cute…but I could do without the feeding and the cleaning and the pooping. When we first got our boxer, Sadie, I said to Hot Papa, “It is my job to PET the dog. Nothing else. Not feeding, not walking. Just petting.” Of course, being the mama of the house, that lasted for about two months and next thing you know, I am the one getting up and letting the poor dog out (Hot Papa would sleep in to the point that the poor dog’s eyes would be turning yellow cause she had to pee so bad)…and of course, once you let her out, you have to FEED her. So she is my dog now. And if Hot Papa decides to leave me for Charlize Theron, I’m taking that fucking dog with me. That being said, I could have done without a dog to begin with. She has grown on me, but it took a long time.
My kids, on the other hand, LOVE animals. They have posters of penguins and fish all over their room. They have to pet every dog that they see. They can be licked and knocked over a million times by Sadie or any other puppy and they will laugh and come crawling back for more. E-man has decided that he wants a hamster. (I have not decided what to do about that quite yet.) Smiley’s favorite movie for about three months was “Marley and Me.” They both pour over the nature magazines that they get monthly in the mail. You get my drift.
So, we walked outside into the rain last Friday morning to take E-man to school. I noticed something at the end of my yard and when I got close to it, I realized it was an adult mourning dove. It was just chillin. It did not even try to move when I got close to it. I worried that its wing was broken or something and that I was going to have to do something with it before Sadie got to it first. We continued walking to the truck and it was there that E-man discovered a dead baby mourning dove. It’s neck was twisted in such a manner that I was convinced that it’s parents must have been connected in the Bird Mob and this was some other asshole birds way of getting revenge.
I swallowed back my own vomit and quickly rushed the kiddos into the truck, all the while telling them not to look. Of course, to an almost four and almost seven year old set of boys, this was much like a trainwreck. They HAD to look. And then they had to talk about it the entire way to school. “Eww,.” E-man said. “What was wrong with it’s neck mom? That was so gross. And sad. Don’t you think it was sad, mom?” and Smiley was chiming in and saying, “Can we fix that bird mommy? Daddy can fix it. It will fly.”
Sigh. I never thought I would be discussing death with my kids before I had even had my morning coffee, but I guess the time comes for every parent at some point.
When I got back to the house, Smiley couldn’t stop worrying about the adult bird that was still alive and sitting in our yard. I could see a little tear welling up in his eye when he asked me, “Mommy can we take the birdie inside the house? It’s raining.” I couldn’t bear that little face looking so sad, so I did what anyone would do. No, I didn’t just put it out of its misery. I called the goddamn animal rescue league in Verona, PA and asked if they took in wild birds. They did. Okey dokey. Road trip.
The lady that I spoke to said to get a piece of cloth to cover the bird and then gently put it into a shoebox to transport it. I grabbed an old tank top and ripped it in two, and then proceeded to go back out to the mourning done. It was really pouring rain by this point, and of course LIGHTNING and THUNDER! Cause I actually lease a black cloud with an option to buy, just in case you were wondering. I crept up to it and just as I was about to throw the tank top over its body, it sort of hopped and flew away. It was too high up for me to reach, but couldn’t get up high enough so that I knew something was still wrong with it. I looked down and OMG. A baby friggin’ bird was laying there. Alive. it had been under the mama. I looked around for a nest and there was none to be found. I couldn’t leave the friggin bird there to be eaten by Sadie or some other animal. So I scooped it up and I drove to Verona.
First I drove the wrong way down Rt. 8. I did that for about twenty minutes. Then my GPS wouldn’t work so I sort of had no idea where I was going. As I was fooling with it, I nearly ran over a group of construction workers who were working on the road. They all gave me dirty looks and I drove away, only to have to drive back through them again when I realized I was going the wrong way again. I called the animal rescue league and they girl who answered talked me through the directions. Which was funny cause when I walked into the door, she acted like she had no idea who she was and that she hadn’t just spoken to me 45 seconds before.
Another lady came out and took the friggin baby bird. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. They gave me a case number and said that I could call back in 72 hours to check on it. And if I wanted to pay a thirty dollar donation, I could come back and watch as they released it into the wild.
So, I called today to check on little Fluffy. I have decided to call it Fluffy because it’s, you know…fluffy. I am pleased to inform you that Fluffy is doing wonderfully, he is in the incubator with another baby dove, and does not need to be dropper fed. Goooooo Fluffy!!!
And now I will leave you with a little ditty that my grandmother taught me as a child:
“Spring has sprung,
the grass has riz,
I wonder where
the birdies is?”
And now I know the answer.