Background Switcher (Hidden)

Chet and Libby

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wet Libby, Chet intrigued.

Before you get your Chetfix, here's a message from Debby Kaspari:

On May 10 we lost our home and belongings to a massive tornado; in the past few weeks Mike and I have been astonished and humbled by the greatness of heart and generosity of this community, online and off. So many people have rallied to help us that words can’t begin to express the deep gratitude we feel as we heal from this disaster and begin to rebuild our lives. Our warmest thanks go to you, our friends, who have helped us by way of Julie’s wonderful blog. And a great big thank you (with hugs and kisses) to our dear friend, the amazing Julie Zickefoose. We are recovering and moving forward with purpose and joy.

Love to all from Debby and Mike Kaspari.

Zick here: If you've been meaning to but haven't gotten around to giving to the Tornado Relief Fund, see the right hand sidebar. You guys are the BEST. Thank you a million, on behalf of my dear friends. And now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Doves, doves, doves. She's stuck on doves. And we dogfans are here, faithfully waiting for a Chetpost. Yes, he's made little cameos, but we need a big ol' Chetfix. All right. Here's your Bacon.

It's hard to teach a dove vigilance behavior against a dog who won't hurt her. Libby never bothered to be afraid of Chet Baker because she didn't need to be. She was no more afraid of him than she was of me, Bill or the kids. If I wanted to run a real orphaned bird boot camp, I could bring in spaniels, I suppose, who'd stare at them and rush them and scare the daylights out of them. With the work I put into these orphans, I can't risk having that kind of dog around. To live in our peaceable kingdom, Chet Baker must understand that birds are absolutely off-limits. And he does. He's the best boy.

Libby was hangin' out in her wide open flight tent, her halfway house, one fine hot day. She was thirsty, so she took a long, cool drink. You can see that she's sucking water up. Most birds dip their mandibles, then tip their heads up to let the water run down their throats. Doves and pigeons are the only North American birds **capable of sucking liquids up into their bills. I'm not sure how they do it, but they just stick their bills in the water and vacuum it up.

**I'm thinking the Old World sand grouse can do this, too. Anyone?

Suddenly, she got a good idea. You can pretty much see when doves get an idea.

She would take a bath!
Her first bath, ever ever ever!

She had a creeper. Chet Baker was as intrigued with this new development as was your faithful blogger.
Libby soaked her belly, then decided to sun for awhile. I've seen wild mourning doves sun with one wing held high as they lie in our bird bath. I thought at first it might be defensive behavior directed toward Chet, but I think it had more to do with thermoregulation. She seemed to enjoy having a cool wet belly and a sun-warmed side.

That is most peculiar, Mether. Look what Pweep is doing.

I need a closer look.

Hullo, Pweep. You are cute, and I enjoy watching you.

She knows I will not hurt her.

I am actually here to protect her.
And that is one of many reasons Mether says I am the Best Doggeh. Also, I am very cute, and I smell like sunshine all the time. I do.


He do. Plus, he's exceedingly shiny and smooth.

I am SO impressed with Chet's gentlemanly behavior. Our dogs (both terrier mixes--so I'm starting to think Bostons are a very special brand of terrier indeed) would have gulped a tasty morsel like Libby down, lickety-split. Chet looks positively blase in some of the photos.

Incidentally, I noticed some of our yard doves doing the same wing-salutation thing just recently. Looked out the front window and just saw a wing sticking up above the curve, but I couldn't see what the rest of the dove was doing. S/he was in about the right spot to be taking a dustbath in the sandy gravel of the gutter--interesting!

Oh I laughed out loud at your pics of Chet and Libby. What a wonderful dog. I too have a dog who has learned to ignore birds, but he's a 75 pound hound mix who's learned to play nice with our chickens. It's a hoot watching him pretend not to notice as they run around the back yard.

While I've never rehabbed young birds I have raised two groups of laying hens, and I am amazed at what they just know how to do--scratching for food, taking dust baths, nest building--the list goes on.

Instinct is an amazing tool, but so is a dog's ability to learn to behave in ways that go against that instinct. Chet is one handsome, intelligent fellow!

Thank you for the message from Debby and Mike Kaspari. It is so good to hear that they are doing well.
Love the photos of Chet and Libby, the one eye look over the table edge is a hoot ! A good dog, indeed.

Yes, Chet Baker, you do.

Pweep and Bacon....very sweet.

Such a good boy that Chet Baker is!

While I've never rehabbed young birds I have raised two groups of laying hens, and I am amazed at what they just know how to do--scratching for food, taking dust baths, nest building--the list goes on. Love the photos of Chet and Libby, the one eye look over the table edge is a hoot ! A good dog, indeed.

Too funny! c'mon be honest, do you photoshop those expressions onto Chet's face!! :-))

OK, this is strange.
Yesterday a friend called to say she found a bird huddling under a planter outside her store. It was very young. No nest/parent in sight. She tried to give it seed and it wouldn't eat.
I was heading into my gig at the Medina Raptor Center this morning, so I picked up said baby and thought, "Hmmn. Looks like a young dove or pigeon."
Which is what it turned out to be. So now it's incubating and being fed (a little tricky with young doves), and I checked in at your blog, wondering, "I wonder what Julie has in store," and it's a ... dove.

@ Cyberthrush: He just DOES it. I quack out loud when I get the photos up on the screen.

Wow. Karen, I fed Libby commercial parrot handrearing formula, which you can get at larger pet stores (sometimes the big chain stores carry it). They also sell feeding syringes which look like a big shotgiver only plastic. Let me know if I can help, OK? Doves are worth the work.
Glad you saw this--read back and you'll find out more about raising Libby.



Julie - In fact, when I got to the raptor center we fed the dovelet (not a word, I know) something called Excite (I think) through the very syringe device you described. S/he is now warmer her heels in an incubator there, and will get great care there. Which makes me happy. Though perhaps not as happy as I would be if I had a dove hanging out with my dog in my own yard. :D

Maybe Embrace? which is the brand of baby parrot formula I used for Libby. I'm so glad to hear this. I'd take another dove in a heartbeat. They're so dear. Thanks for letting me know what happened it yours, Karen.

I was amazed and delighted to get a handwritten thank-you note from Debby Kaspari yesterday - that's real class! If you speak with her, please tell her how impressed I was that she would take the time in the midst of chaos to write a note. Did they lose all their family treasures? marge

I, too am amazed at Chet's ability to not gobble up Libby. my terrier, although I do not think she would eat it, would be too curious not to at least have a lick. Chet makes me smile and I am so grateful you share his adventures with us, Julie. Carry on in your amazing quests!

Chet, you are a gift.

Posted by Anonymous July 11, 2010 at 12:26 PM

I enjoyed your series of pictures. What a nice picture story.

[Back to Top]