Not really an animal person. Nothing against animals. Just, I don't seem to get those warm-fuzzies from cuddling up with a non-human. They are cute and all. I mean, really! And, I guess I do love little puppies. But, then they grow. And smell. And shed. And poop. And chew. And I just don't think the benefits of an adorable little puppy, outweigh the adult version's mess.
My OCD may be part of the culprit. Oh, and then there are the allergies. I'm allergic to everything except horses and feathers...and feathers are if-y. Anyhoo...
My Sweet Little Brady Lady? She is an ANIMAL LOVER! So is Dancin' Jimmy. So, I guess at some point I will just have to deal. But, right now, it's Shelby. Shelby is a dove. Only, Shelby is a little species confused. Or is is phylum confused? I dunno. Frankly, I think it is amazing that I even remember the word "phylum." Shelby and her life-partner, Snow (we really aren't sure who was a boy, who was a girl, or if we had both), were a gift to Bradyn from my father when me and the big girls moved in with my parents. It was 2005, after my ex-husband and I split. Pa got them for her to help take her mind off of everything. They built them a cute little apartment. Then, 8 year-old little Bradyn, to help them feel at home, painted a jungle scene on the back of the cage. You know, 'cause everyone knows that a dove's natural habitat is the JUNGLE. Love that girl.
Oh man. Brady Lady was fit to be tied, she was so excited. A week after she got them, after having tortured them every day for hours a day, ran in the house and announced, "Nana, Mama! I taught the doves a new trick - and they hardly shake at all, anymore!" Poor doves. But, they grew to love their new little playmate. Thank God they were not the kind of birds that could fly any sort of distance. Silk doves. Bred for magic shows and stuff. They weren't going anywhere, and Bradyn capitalized on that fact everyday as she carefully placed them on her tummy and taught them to crawl up her shirt and kiss her. I can only imagine the emotional turmoil that would have ensued, had we been forced to deal with a fly-away pet.
The doves have remained with my parents - living in the barn where my dad does his woodworking. Well, we lost Snow this past fall. It was horrible. There was a memorial. And a plaque to go with it:
Not sure what caused Snow's demise, but we were worried about Shelby - in the barn, where possibly a snake had gotten to Snow. SO.....
My dad gave us the bird.
We finally gave in and let Bradyn's feathered buddy move in. Initially, it was to stay in the garage. Then, the crazy cold hit and we just couldn't bear to leave it out there. So, now we are the owners of the luckiest dove on the planet. Shelby hit pay-dirt. And, oh the mess. And, oh....what was that?
I'm in my office one day working like crazy when I hear, "Err - err - ERRR!" I swear, it sounded exactly like a rooster. I looked out the window to see if maybe one of my crazy neighbors was just being silly outside. Nope. Must have been in my mind, I thought. Maybe on TV. Then, again. Dang it, I got up and came down to find that silly dove cockadoodle-dooing. I am not even kidding you. And, although we have taught Anna (who is now in love with the bird, and MUST say "Night-night!" to the bird every night) that the bird says, "Coo!", Anna will certainly one day question our integrity. Because, this bird does not, in fact..."Coo!"