I’m deeply grieving the loss of one of our “pet” wild doves that (who) lives (lived) in our yard. A red tail hawk clutched the fragile, innocent dove then landed on the fence. I ran to scare it away, but it held the dove in its talons and only left feathers scattered behind.
I feel so helpless, hours later, weak, unable to speak, holding onto that image in my mind.
I have not cried so convulsively since finding my Grandmother dead over 25 years ago as she lay on her dining room/kitchen floor. As I walked in her house, the harbinger of bad news was my little dog greeting me at the door shaking, shivering, with what appeared tears in her eyes. She knew.
Do dogs cry? I believe they do.
911 couldn’t save my Grandma. Who do you call when you lose a dove? All I could do was try to scream, which was pretty tough given I was diagnosed with bronchitis today and have little voice. I can only speak with a whisper now. What was left of my vocal chords was spent wailing in despair.
Do adults cry? You bet.
Something (someone) very close and dear to my heart was stolen, murdered. (Oh, I know. That’s what hawks do. It’s part of the cycle of life.) I’m heartbroken.
Hours Before Its Death
I sat outside late afternoon after attempts to take a nap were futile due to all the coughing. I thought I would enjoy the peace and quiet of my garden. Then I heard that familiar sound – that whistling sound they make when taking off and landing. The dove looked at me as it landed on the fence. It walked around a bit deciding if it was going to chance going to the ground with me 6 feet away. It chose to fly up to the tree.
In the next 30 minutes 2 doves performed their reconnaissance missions. They flew from the side of the house to see if I was still there, saw me, then did a 180 back to their perch on the roof. Later, they did the same thing after my husband arrived home and was outside taking care of some plants.
Fly down. Swoosh. Back to safety.
The doves wanted the yard to themselves. Shortly, they got their solitude.
An hour later I saw them chasing each other on the fence. Well, boy was chasing girl. Boy was trying to jump on girl. Girl would fly a few feet. Boy would follow. They continued this mating ritual for about 20 minutes, never leaving our yard.
This is the 4th spring our yard has been home to doves. Two sets (4) of baby doves grew up here, because their parents decided it was a safe haven. Five doves frequent the yard daily. Now only 4 will call it home.
We learned what doves like to eat and buy their millet from Whole Foods. A pan of water has a drip line to it under their favorite tree/bush where they are sheltered. Almost every day, they spend hours hanging out, eating, and playing around.
They know us and will land and eat while we’re outside, as long as we are not too close to their resting and feeding areas.
Did we make the yard too much of a safe haven?
Was their guard down so much that they were not on the lookout for their predator the hawk?
The safety of the yard was broken today by the invasive hawk.
What’s worse is that the doves were doing what they do, especially in spring. They were loving each other. They were distracted by their ritual, in the safety of our yard.
I didn’t care who heard my crying as I gathered a few small feathers, screaming for the dove to return, wishing I had not witnessed such a violent act.
I then heard the cooing of the now single dove from the rooftop. It was calling out to its fallen love.
Do doves cry? I now know they do!
Does Time Heal?
How do we heal from emotional scars?
Time. Time softens the blow.
I pray for God’s strength during times of pain. Other times I cry out…
My husband tried to comfort me that maybe we’d see our dove in Heaven.
Do animals go to heaven?
I don’t know. When very young, I believe I saw a glimpse of Heaven, seeing my Dad and young kids happily skipping and playing around him. I sure hope our beloved animals, even the wild ones, are there, too.
I wish I could speak to the love doves and comfort them and let them know I’m hurting and mourning, too.