Pierre the 3 am dove
Pierre is a domestic dove, about one year old, with a severly splayed right leg. It points out horizontally and as a result, Pierre can't stand and walk. He can only scoot, paddling a bit with the stuck-out leg. It would have been relatively easy to fix when he was a baby but now, since he's a year old and no longer growing, fixing it will require an expensive and serious surgery.
He arrived at 3 am, dropped off by his young mistress who was headed off to college in Delaware who could neither leave him home nor take him with her.
He's a very sweet little bird and a good sport about his predicament but, the more time I spend with him, the more I believe he needs the surgery. If you'd like to help, please click here to donate.
More to follow. Check back for updates.
Pierre has been joined and sweetly befriended by Piper, a stray dove that wound up at SJACS, so weakened that she couldn't stand up on her moderately deformed legs. It's heartbreaking to think of her, out lost in the world, trying to find food with no wild skills or flock to help. Thank goodness she wound up at SJACS and is now safe with MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue. I wonder if someone, displeased with her deformed legs, set her "free".
She's a wonderful friend for Pierre and they are VERY happy together. (Read more about their relationship on her page here.) She's a little more able-bodied than he is and a little more adventurous (now that she's recovered some from her ordeal). She will help him through his recovery from surgery and inspire him to use his "new" leg once it is under him. I see lots of fun and adventures for this adorable couple and a long, happy life. Doves can live 25 years!
I'm not going to schedule Pierre's operation until we have received donations to cover half of the $1400 it will cost. We've got $215 donated so far. Visit Mickaboo's Angel Program to make a donation so that Pierre can stand up, perch, walk and keep up with his friend Piper.
Pierre and Piper are close friends inside the cage they share as well as when they're out and about exploring.
On 3/26, Pierre and Piper were joined very unexpectedly by a magical little friend named Pixie. Pixie was a healthy baby king pigeon (with an adorable little updo to the feathers on the back of her head) that I didn't need to bring home from SFACC but that I seemed unable to resist. I never expected her to befriend Pierre and Piper but that is what she did- flying over to introduce herself, very sweetly and gently, while they were foraging in the sunshine on my sun porch one morning.
You'd think the trio were long lost friends by how strong and complete their friendship was. Pixie was more than twice the size of the doves (even though she was very petite for a king pij baby at only 300g) and I was worried about housing them together at first but she was so gentle and careful and graceful in her movements and they were all so happy together, that I moved her into their cage.
She was another party-starter for Pierre and he often followed her explorations.
They were an incredibly happy, compatible and cute little trio and when I moved Dixie in with two recovered baby king pigeons, Giovanni & Nina, on 4/5, I wasn't sure if it was the right thing or not. But she quickly charmed them and became their new BFF and Piper and Pierre continued on just fine so I left things that way.
Tragically, shockingly and completely unexpectedly, Pixie died on the morning of 4/8. She hemorrhaged internally and bled to death. I have no idea why. She was as perky and vocal and active and endearing the afternoon before as she had been since I met her. She never exhibited any symptoms of illness or distress. I'm still in shock that it even happened.
But Pierre and Piper are fine and I'm sure they will always cherish their huge-yet-petite friend Pixie. Pierre's surgery, depending on the rate of donations, will be scheduled either for 4/19 or 5/3. Click here to donate (follow the directions at the link and include "Pierre the dove" in the note). And check back here for updates on this incredibly sweet little bird.
4/12/10 Video:4/16/10 UPDATE:
When I first started caring for Pierre, I was leaning against corrective surgery for his leg. I don't have any experience in the matter but just watching him, he seemed to manage and there's always a risk with surgery and money is a huge factor. The orthopedic surgery to fix his leg is expensive and, in a sense, it's elective because he doesn't have to have it. And I have my hands full trying to fundraise enough for all the emergency vet care that MickaCoo birds need (like Pablo with his torn off wing and poor Peter who swallowed a sharp piece of wire).
But now, having lived with him for awhile, I've come to agree that he should have it fixed. The surgery has a high rate of success, he's in good condition (something that may not always be the case- he's at risk for pressure sores and infection) and Pierre wants to stand and to walk and perch.
He does his best to keep up with his friend Piper but she can fly up and is now spending time on a perch in their cage- something he can't do. Pierre can fly down but he can't really launch to fly up very well.
Since Piper has started roosting on the perch at night, clever Pierre (not to be outdone) has started getting into the basket at night. It isn't easy and requires a lot of flapping and tricky effort to balance and get in to it and then to get back out. Sometimes I can't bear to watch him struggle at it. But I'm proud that he does it- that he makes all the effort.
Another thing that Pierre does that I think is really special is that when I roll their cage outside for sunshine and fresh air, he always lifts a wing to sun bathe- as if he was showering in the sunshine.
Pierre's story was featured in the Mickaboo newlsetter (see it here) and I'm working hard to raise the money for his surgery. There are so many worthy causes and the economy *sucks*. Donations have been slow so far. To help Pierre, click here and follow the directions- you can donate via PayPal or mail in a check. And check back for updates to Pierre's story.
Monday 4/19 UPDATE
Tuesday 4/20 UPDATE
Wednesday 4/21 UPDATE
Thursday 4/22 UPDATE
Friday 4/23 UPDATE
Saturday 4/24 UPDATE
Sunday 4/25 UPDATE
Tuesday 4/27 UPDATE
Friday 4/30 UPDATE
Saturday 5/1 UPDATE
Thursday 5/6 UPDATE
Friday 5/14 UPDATE
Wednesday 5/19 UPDATE
Tuesday 5/25 UPDATE
Saturday 5/29 UPDATE
Wednesday 6/2 UPDATE
Monday 6/7 UPDATE
Tuesday 8/3 UPDATE
Wednesday 8/18 UPDATE
Wednesday 9/15 UPDATE
Monday 9/27 UPDATE: Tragedy
Tuesday 10/5 UPDATE