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Pet Stories: In Your Own Words

The Mourning Dove

By: Duncan

I'm on my third reading of Out On A Leash! I haven't figured out how to share something extraordinary with Mike, my signifigant other. He's been playing with me and says I read your book like some would memorize the Bible ... "Verse 6 Psalm 5: the word according to Terry. Dog spelled backwards is God." Don't get him wrong; Mike is wonderful. I tease him because he reminds me of the playful and unconditional love I used to receive from my childhood pet (a basset hound named Angus). I explained he must have received a Walk In of Angus during his serious automobile accident (required a helicopter medivac) many years ago. So, I'll try to share this with you.

Recently, I was sitting in my living room ruminating about exploring my nature of reality. I noticed a mourning dove sitting on our balcony ledge. He/She seemed to be fixed on me but I knew the sliding screen door, between our window, was blocking her view of me. Our bird feeder had been empty for several days and no doubt the dove was patiently waiting for the next serving of feed. Before I knew it, I'm negotiating with the feathered friend. I pledge more attention in keeping our feeder supplied with seed. In return, she must display proof in understanding my thoughts.

Mourning Doves. First I ask her to jump from the balcony ledge to the arm of the feeder. Then up to the prominent ledge squared around the feeder box (see photo). She does this. Then I ask her to jump inside the box. No problem, she does this too. Not enough for me, and knowing the feeder has been empty for several days, I ask her to pretend to eat from the box. And to eat as though she hadn't eaten for days. To my astonishment, she looks down and feverously pecks at the screened base of the feeder. I'm amazed! And in some ways this is more exciting than my first experience with astral travel, from my bedroom and beyond the moon (I returned once I feared how far I was and how easy it felt to sever with my body's life chord).

I've been tending much more to the bird feeder. I've noticed a more respectful exchange (and pecking order) of eating between the various families of birds. Although they have displayed their limits with me. Asking them to refrain from pooping on our ledge and inside our balcony does not appear to be of interest to them.

Oh, but it feels wonderful to achieve these small steps. Especially when struggling to understand the big dance of life we display in the Universe's fishbowl we call Earth.

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