Do you know the legend of SUPER Dovee?
In 2009, I received an email seeking help. It said, “I’m trying to find a loving home for Dovee, a white pigeon I have in my bathtub in Pacifica, CA.” And that is how the story of Cheryl and SUPER Dovee began.
Cheryl was new to birds but a lover of animals and she was determined to help this stray King pigeon that had been hanging around a neighborhood shopping center. She had initially found him a home but he had been returned and needed another. MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue was full up and the best we could offer at the time was coaching about how to care for him and a spot on our waiting list.
Cheryl was a quick study and took wonderful care of Dovee while he waited for an opening with MickaCoo. Cheryl began volunteering with us at outreach events all over the Bay Area, helping to inspire support for these smart, gentle birds that are so under-served and overlooked. And she continued to foster Dovee until the day someone inquired about adopting him- that’s when she realized that Dovee was already home- with her, and on October 4th, 2009, Cheryl officially adopted Dovee.
I call Dovee “SUPER Dovee” not because he is so special and charismatic (which he is) nor because he looks so good in his SUPER Dovee Pigeon Pants, complete with cape (which he does) but because he brought with him Cheryl- an incredibly amazing supporter for MickaCoo. Cheryl has invested thousands of hours of her time as a volunteer these past four years and donated thousands of dollars. She has lovingly fostered more than 100 pigeons and doves in her five-star aviary and bird room. Cheryl has introduced thousands of event-goers to the plight and potential of these birds; logged thousands of miles on the road; donated nearly a ton of pigeon feed and hosted five $1K Garage Sale Fundraisers for MickaCoo. Cheryl has braved heartbreaking rescues including saving homing pigeons used for testing in a university lab and 216 Persian High Flyers abandoned in filthy sheds. Cheryl serves as the Chair of MickaCoo’s Advisory Committee and our Financial Coordinator and inspires all of us every day with her big, strong heart.
It retroactively scares me to death when I think that, if MickaCoo had been able to foster Dovee right away, Cheryl might not have joined us in this daunting work at which she is so effective. Since SUPER Dovee, there have been other birds that have brought us amazing people and they too earn the title “Super” for their outstanding volunteer development skills. Thanks to racing pigeon Super Elinor, we have volunteer Jill. Thanks to Ringneck dove Super Tutti, we have volunteers Janelle & JJ. Self-rescuing Super Polka Dot brought us Laurie and so on… but there is only one SUPER Dovee and thank goodness, he brought us SUPER Cheryl.
By Elizabeth Young, founding executive director of MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue