When my son was about four years old, there was a pigeon with a bum wing walking around our townhouse parking lot. The conversation went something like this:
“It’s a beautiful white dove.”
“Actually, it’s just a pigeon, Max.”
“We have to help him.”
“Well, let’s see how he makes out on its own, and we’ll check on him in awhile.”
Shockingly, the pigeon did not make a full recovery in the 12 minutes that Max was willing to wait.
“We can’t just leave Pidgety. We have to help him.”
All of sudden, the common pigeon had a name, which as anyone with kids knows, is just a hop, skip and a jump to pet-hood.
In case you’re wondering, the options for vets and/or wildlife refuges willing to care for a wounded pigeon are fairly limited in South Florida. Pigeons just don’t have the cachet of falcons and they’re not on any endangered or protected species list. I had worked my way through most of the animal rescue options, and getting nowhere fast, when finally, bingo: Wee Care Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Near as I could tell, it was just one woman who had turned her home into a refuge for everything from skunks to raccoons to—thank goodness—injured pigeons. Max and I drove the hour to Homestead, and left Pidgety is very capable, loving hands.
Fourteen years later, this is the same kid (now a young man) who will gingerly carry a spider outside, cuddle with a mangy-looking stray cat, and make sure a lost dog gets home okay.
So today’s collage is inspired by Pidgety, and all the animals we’ve tried to save since then!