A few years ago my husband got the idea in his head that he wanted a bird. In the house. We had already been down this road with a little cockatiel named Aussie. Windi (our 11 year old Sheltie) hated her guts. So of course, Momma (being me) hated her. No, I didn't hate her. I strongly disliked her, and the feeling was mutual. The little birdie brat would bite my ear, or finger, or whatever appendage she could get a hold of whenever I was trying to be nice to her. Through various circumstances (the main one being me whining that Windi was too traumatized for us to keep the bird), we gave Aussie to some friends at church who took wonderful care of her.
Fast forward a few years. Sweet husband wanted another bird, but one that didn't require as much socialization as cockatiels and other parrot-like birds require. He saw an ad in the paper for a guy selling doves. This was right up his alley, he thought, and I decided I could handle it, too, since the pretty cooing would be nice instead of the annoying squeaks and squawks of the other bird. So, since the guy selling the doves said they really needed to be sold in twos and if we were lucky we might get some baby doves out of the deal, we came home the proud owners of two very pretty doves, whom we named Jonah and Belle. We really couldn't tell the gender of either one of them, but we were hoping. Pretty soon we figured out that we had a matched set when we found eggs in the cage. Oh, the joy! Baby doves!
One thing the dove seller didn't mention (or maybe he did and I wasn't listening) is the fact that doves are extremely, um, for lack of a better term, prolific. Pretty soon we realized that we were going to be blessed many times over with babies. They kept "increasing their number" as King James would say. And kept increasing. Until finally there were 17. Yes, I said 17.
Now, before you have visions of doves flying all over my house (and all that comes with that vision...ahem), let me say that they were all in the office where my husband had built a kind of aviary where they all had plenty of room and were contained in that area of the house.
Soon after realizing we were creating a new ecosystem in our office, it came to my attention that having that many birds in one area (which happened to be my Pampered Chef business area) was not doing my allergies any favors. I stayed sick for about 6 months without realizing what was causing it (duh). When the light bulb finally flickered over my head and I realized what was causing it, we quickly took the huge cage outside and my house was mine and my family's again.
Why am I relating this story to you? Why do I feel compelled to share?
Oh, I don't know...
Excuse me...I need to take a Claritin.
Author's note 7/25/08: To clear any confusion, yes, we had REAL doves that we took out of the house. Hence the beautiful dove in the picture at the top. She was our favorite. I just thought the similarity in the situations was a blog post waiting to happen. : )