MickaCoo: Pierre the 3am Dove

Written by Elizabeth Young

On Saturday March 6th, I received an email from someone who was moving and needed to find a new home for her splay-legged dove, Pierre.  When I move, I take my pets and so I'm always unclear on what such an inquiry means.  I replied that same day (quite proud of myself for such a prompt response) and asked why she couldn't take Pierre the dove with her and when she was leaving.  Her reply was that she was driving across country to college where no pets would be allowed, that Pierre couldn't be left at her home and that she was leaving that night. There seemed to be some family drama involved.
I received this information at around 8:00 pm.
I sent an emergency plea to the Mickaboo Discussion Group army of angels and considered contacting some folks in her area directly, but it was getting late and it sounded like the surrenderer could get her dove from Elk Grove to me in San Francisco so we went with that.  I sent the Surrender Contract, suggested a donation be made, and gave her my address. I was not sure if I'd ever hear from her again. 

I am somewhat biased against surrenderers, I regret to say, and probably am not as warm or empathetic as I should be.  But I was impressed when Pierre and his young mistress arrived (at 3 am). She had carefully completed the Surrender Questionnaire and handed me money that I'm a little worried had been meant for her gas and meals.
Pierre, like most birds would be, was upset and frightened by all the excitement in the middle of the night and I felt bad for how stressed he was when I went back to bed.
In the morning, he had pulled himself together and what a little sweetheart he is.  Pierre's right leg sticks out at a 90° angle rather than pointing downward like it should. As a result, he can't stand, perch or walk.  He scuttles around on his tummy using that little leg like a boater would use a paddle.  If this defect had been addressed when he was a baby, it would have been easy to fix with a hobble but now, given he’s over a year old and with all his growth plates sealed, it can only be repaired surgically.
Pierre doesn't complain and is a good-natured little dove. The more time I spend with him, the more convinced I've become that he needs this corrective surgery.  He wants to stand and to perch and to walk.  Dr. Speer (an avian veterinarian) is impressed with Pierre and the fact that he doesn't have any pressure sores or infections on his vulnerable underside.  Eventually, that's what happens to birds like Pierre.  So with some encouragement from Mickaboo's founder Tammy Azzaro, reassurance from Dr. Speer and inspiration from little Pierre himself, I've committed to raising the $1400 his operation will cost. 
Since his arrival on March 6, Pierre has been joined by a little dove friend named Piper. She(?) was picked up as a stray by SJACS and has a clubby little foot that, while imperfect, is functional.  Pierre likes her very much and the feeling is mutual.  There was no posturing or showing off on either of their parts when they were introduced - just quiet interest in each other and sweet compatibility.  I think they will become a mated pair and that they're taking the always-wise "friends first" route.
Your donation, big or small, towards the cost of Pierre's operation would be greatly appreciated.  You can send it to Mickaboo with a note saying that it is for Pierre the dove, visit Mickaboo's Angel Program page, or click here.
I'll be updating Pierre's page on my blog at www.RescueReport.org so you can see a video of him and follow this little's sweetheart's progress along the way.
To be able to help more birds like Pierre, we need adopters!  There are many birds waiting to come into the welcoming embrace of MickaCoo right now but, until some of the current 50+ foster birds are adopted, we have to turn them away.  Please consider adopting a MickaCoo bird!

MickaCoo has many doves in need of adoption, as do many Bay Area animal shelters.

The more MickaCoo reaches out and publicizes the need for homes for rescued pigeons and doves, the more inquiries we get from surrenderers who, for whatever reason, need to get rid of a bird (or 20).