Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What About Bob?

“I’m afraid Bob is gone,” the quiet whisper woke me from my sleep.

“What?” I sat up in bed.

Kirk had already left the room.

I jumped out of bed and grabbed a robe from the closet.


1 week and 1 day earlier.


Bob came into our lives 8 days ago, early Sunday morning. Kirk had gotten up at 4:30 to finish painting the house before the hot July sun baked us. He was doing some prep work when “Bob” came waddling by him, and walked out toward the pool.

Bob is a rock dove also commonly known as a pigeon. He had a broken wing and somehow came to our backyard.

When Mason woke up, he discovered Bob in the grass by the big tree, taking shelter in the shade. He ran inside, “mom there is an injured bird in the backyard!”

I gave direct instructions that he could watch the bird but needed to stay far away so as not to frighten the bird.

I googgled and yahooed about broken wings. Their wasn’t much we could do if we didn’t take him to the vet.

I called shelters, knowing that it would be hard to find help for a common pigeon. No such luck.

Over the next days we put out water and food for the pigeon. One day as I watched him bobbing across the lawn, it came to me. I told the kids that his name was “Bob”.

Sometimes Bob hung out in our shed, sometimes we could see his head popping up behind our bunko (a cement bench by the outdoor fireplace). Sometimes he just took a loop around the yard for…exercise?.

Every night we checked on Bob. He was eating and drinking.

When Bob jumped in the pool one day and couldn’t get out, Mason ran to the rescue and scooped him out. I wondered if that would be how he would go.

After the fireworks on 4th of July he didn’t leave the shed for 2 days. We thought he was dyeing. But then he was spotted doing his laps around the yard on Wednesday morning.

The sentiment around the house became, “Poor Bob.” “Where is Bob?” Wednesday at lunch, Madison asked if we could pray for Bob.

Last night, I was out watering the grass. Bob  was walking around. I heard a small splash and turned to see that Bob had hopped into the pool again.    I ran over in a panic.

 “Bob, what are you doing?”

I was surprised to see Bob floating like a duck and using his wings as paddles. When he paddled over to the ledge, he couldn’t get out. I put my hand down to help and he paddled away.

He tried to get out again and failed again. I stuck my hand down in front of him, under his chest. He looked at me like, “I guess I don’t have a choice”

He hopped onto my hand and out onto the pool decking. He shook his feathers out, gave me a “whatever” look and waddled away.

This morning Kirk went out early to check the pool cleaner. That is when he found Bob face down, legs up, in the pool. He came in to wake me up. We would need to take care of the body before the kids woke up.

As I grabbed my robe from the closet, I glanced back out our bedroom window. Kirk was walking by the window with Bob on the pool scoop. I couldn’t believe it, but Bob was flapping.

I ran outside.

“Where is Bob?”

Kirk pointed into the grass. A soaking wet Bob was sitting in the grass looking a little dazed. I gently scooped him up and moved him to the pavement. I was afraid that in his dazed state, he would be vulnerable to fire ants.

“What happened Kirk?”

Kirk said that after he woke me, he came back out to find Bob back upright and floating like a duck. He scooped him out and put him in the grass.

So… Bob is back in the shed taking shelter from the sun.

Maybe pigeons have 9 lives too. Hopefully he will be ‘‘bobbing” around for awhile. He has at least 5 more lives to use.

Sometime in mid November Bob disappeared. From the scattering of feathers in the backyard, we think one of the neighborhood cats got him. For the 6 months that he was with us, it was fun. He got used to me going out to the shed when it was time for his dinner. Bob would follow me to where his food dish was. Sometimes he would tap his nose on our sliding glass door, and that would drive our cats crazy. Bob was interesting that was for sure.