I had an experience yesterday that is still making me a little sad today.
I turned into the driveway of our local mall and there was a bird sitting in the sunshine in the middle of the drive. I slowed but it didn’t move, despite looking like making as much effort as it could muster. I put my hazard lights on and got out to see if it needed help getting to the garden.
I’m not sure I’ve ever held a bird before. I’ve held chicks at farms and at Love Bug’s kindy, but this was a fully grown dove. It was beautiful. But it was in a bad way, even I could tell that much.
I put it on the grass to see if it could walk or fly, but it barely moved, so I picked it up, held it close stroking its feathers and got into my car. Once in I tucked it in my sweater near my heart and spoke softly to it for the few minute drive to our vet.
In that short drive the shaking calmed and it cooed. As I stopped the car it craned its neck and looked straight at me, then nuzzled in – as if to thank me.
The vet nurse didn’t seem surprised to see me. I gave the dove one last stroke before I handed it over.
This little one is in a bad way. Thank you for bringing it in.
I offered to pay, but they wouldn’t hear of it.
I shed a tear or two when I got back to my car. Doves mate for life. If only I could let its mate know that the end was gentle.