This beautiful lady is my dove, Snowball. She and I first met when I was 12-13 years-old. I was in my yard admiring the birds that were thoroughly enjoying my new bird feeder, when she wandered along.
Granted, putting out a bird feeder had attracted a wide range bird species flying into my yard over the past few months, but you certainly don't expect to see a white dove under any circumstance. My childhood best friend raised cockatiels so I was no stranger to birds. My interest piqued, I started walking towards the feeder, causing bird after bird to flutter away--but not her. She stayed perched on the fence. I stuck two fingers out and put them against her breast just as I had with my friend's birds and she hopped right on my fingers. This was NO WILD BIRD!
Realizing that this was a domesticated bird, I brought her into the house and built a makeshift cage for her, much to my mother's dismay. Not knowing whether she was a boy or a girl, my sister and I came up with the generic name of "Snowball" for our new pet. (Years later, we'd learn that she was, in fact, a girl after she started laying unfertilized eggs).
We're all completely positive we know how she ended up in our yard....Some idiot likely decided to go to a pet store and buy a white dove to release for some ceremonial purpose (my church is located just 1.5 miles down my street), not realizing that domesticated animals CANNOT survive in the wild! The simple fact that Snowball didn't move away from me as I walked closer to her was proof enough for me that she wouldn't have survived another week had I not taken her in.
If you want to release white doves for your wedding, etc, you can rent them and their trainer for your event. They're called "homing pigeons" and they're trained to fly out when released and to fly back to their owner when called. I'm sure the idiot that released Snowball was disappointed when she didn't fly off into the sky as anticipated--she just flies to the nearest branch if you release her from your hands. If you open up her cage door, she'll just sit there. Perhaps after a half an hour, she'll venture out, but no, she's not trained to "perform."
Anyway, Snowball has been my sweetheart for the past 13-14 years. Her personality hasn't changed one bit and she loves cooing and squawking. I get nervous because the average life-expectancy of a white dove is up to 15 years. I dread the day that I go to her giant outdoor cage (she's a very spoiled lady) and find her lying on the ground. After all, 15 years is a long time to spend with anyone.
The picture was taken in my room against my door. I brought Snowball in for some quality one-on-one time. She's been sitting on top of my laptop screen this whole time, being a very good sport with all this typing. Such a lady...
- Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS