On Friday August 4th, shortly after 3 pm, I was outside feeding my bestest Pigeon pal Pierre. He had been a blessing to me the last couple weeks while I had been off after my accident (I broke a couple ribs after falling 8 ft from the back part of the roof). It was a physically painful and mind numbing boring time, I welcomed all the beautiful backyard beasts that distracted me, especially Pierre. Funny, the day of my fall was the official 5 year anniversary for Pierre coming to visit.
As I fed him, I watched the sky get dark, the winds pick up and we both knew some bad weather was rolling in. Just a typical Summer thunderstorm, nothing different than what we've encountered many times through the past.
I could tell Pierre was getting ready to leave me, taking shelter before the storm hit us. I wished for him to be safe and I would see him later. Off he flew. Little did I know that would be the last time I would see him.
Here we are about three and a half months later, and still no sighting. He's had some long disappearances in the past but even from the first weekend away this time, it felt different. None of the others in his flock were missing, even the missus was here daily. Of course I still looked out for him day after day, week after week, despite my gut telling me he wasn't coming back. To this day, I still scan the Pigeons and a couple times my heart skipped a beat when I thought I saw him out there.
Pretty much all my hope has faded.
I really don't want to do this blog. In a way I'm not ready for it. I always knew the day would come but who ever expects such things? Pierre does deserve a tribute.
I'm sure through his life elsewhere he wasn't thought about a whole lot by people who passed him by. Maybe someone stopped and looked, thinking "man, that is one fat Pigeon!"
It would be nice to think a few thought he was rather handsome.
I like to think he had a friend or two elsewhere in his travels. Someone must have befriended him since he was "people friendly" from the get go. The first day he showed up, he walked the length of the backyard, hopped up the deck steps, walked across the deck to where Angie and I sat. He looked up at us. Then he flew up into Angie's lap like he was introducing himself. Then he flew into mine. Little did either of us know that he would make such an impact on our backyard and my life.
Pierre was not just a Pigeon. Pierre was my friend. We had some great bonding moments over the years. He trusted me. The time I helped him with the thread around his foot, how I took him into the house and then up to Toronto Wildlife Centre certainly is testimony to that. It wasn't always about getting a feed from me.
I will miss the dog days of Summer and us just hanging out.
I will miss the winter mornings where my coffee gets cold as I rush out there to help him get through another frosty day.
I will just miss him.
He may have been a part of a flock, but to me he was a stand out bird.
Sometimes I thought to myself that I should keep one of the sticks he brought to me over the years.
It has been quite a ride with him. My sharing our life together on social media had positive and negative effects. I know he changed the feelings in some about Pigeons, slowly realizing that they are personable creatures. I listened to the idiots who asked me again and again if he shit on me. Calling him a flying rat and calling his kind disease-filled pests. I figured out the best line to say to those who still opposed this friendship... "I always know where I stand with a Pigeon". Honestly, that line works because it is very true. I was once asked if I would catch him and sell him to this person for $20. They were serious, putting a bill in my hand, wanting to take him home as a pet. That person got a big "fuck you!" What I really liked was people, out of the blue, people I never expected to hear say such nice things about my bond with him. They were genuine, thinking it was pretty cool to have this bird come day after day to visit.
Pierre was King around here. He knew it too. I find a lot of Pigeons walk around like they are king shit but Pierre definitely was all that, and a bag of chips.
There's no point in talking about the what may have happened to him. There's a number of possibilities but why even think about any of them? It's better for me and those who admired him to think about the good times, hold on to those special memories.
All I can say is I am grateful he flew into my life. He changed me for the better. I never hated Pigeons but I wasn't big on them over the years when I first started my backyard bird feeding. It's funny to read some of my rants on this bird species in Facebook memories. I was rejoicing mornings where none of those pains in the ass were around. It's laughable now. In the memories though, I still find moments where I had compassion towards them and helped a Pigeon or two despite my frustrations at their antics.
Pierre opened my mind and heart to his kind. As many of you know, I have made a number of friends because of him. Thanks for that my beautiful boy!
I wish for another time to look him in the eye.
One more photo.
Anyway, he will forever be in my heart and my memories. I'm sure some of you will take a moment to think about him, all the pictures and posts over the last 5 years; or if you are one of the few who actually got to meet him.
If for some chance he does show up at the back door again, you all will read about it here. If I can pick my jaw up from the floor.
Adding this as it's wonderfully overwhelming, the comforting words by friends and fans of Pierre after I posted this blog on my Facebook page. He touched a lot of hearts in people who never met him.
What a great tribute to a great bird! Well done Rob, I'm sure Pierre would love it and be strutting around telling everyone that 'he's' your favorite :)
You are one special man and Pierre is one special bird.
You really did a great job with your buddy. He was a beautiful bird.
Your best blog yet Rob - I loved it but feel so sad for your families loss . You certainly changed my outlook on pigeons- always think of yours when I see one !!
Thanks everyone. I will raise my glass to him tonight. :)
You made me cry. What a wonderful tribute. Pierre was so lucky to have you in his life. Hugs to you....
He's lucky to have known you. And there's always hope...
Lovely tribute, so sorry to hear.
It won't be the same coming online and not seeing you & Pierre. Am clinging onto hope that he may return. Thanks for sharing this remarkable bond with us.
Cheers to Pierre on this Whiskey Wednesday . I don't see many Pigeons out my way but when we go to a Blue Jays Ballgame we sit and eat our hotdogs outside the dome and the local pigeons always get tossed a few pieces of bun.
I certainly appreciate them more after reading your blogs.
Coincidentally, before reading your post, Barbara, I finished off my post the way you started yours.
I cant imagine your sorrow at his loss. I'm holding out hope though with fingers crossed he returns. ❤ Pierre
Your story touches my heart, Rob <3 What a beautiful tribute to a very special (and handsome) fellow!
Oh how I wish I could see your jaw hit the floor.... this was loving tribute to the King of pigeons. Although we love the Jerseys, there is only one Pierre.
You made Pierre a real creature( bird) with a personality! I'm sad he is not in your life right now but I'm being optimistic!! You were blessed to have him in your life ❤️
Beautiful tribute to your pal Pierre. I really hope he does return.
OMGosh ... what a truly loving, heartfelt blog/tribute to your wonderful pal, Pierre. I still have tears. Through all of your posts and photos, I too, like many others, have learned to appreciate a bird that many people look down on as ordinary or even as a pest. They are full of character and personality, as individual too in their looks from each other as people are. I was also dreading the day that you came to the realization that he probably wasn't coming back. He certainly had a good long life for a pigeon, probably made even longer and more fulfilled from his long-standing friendship with you and Angie. Of course, one can always hope for that one miracle but rest assured that through you, he has struck a real chord of appreciation and respect with bird lovers everywhere. Cheers to Pierre on this poignant Whiskey Wednesday. RIP
So sorry Rob 😞
oh no Pierre has left Bloor street,sorry for your loss of a fine-feathered friend hugs
Once again, thank you, to everyone for taking a moment out and sending some kind and comforting words. I might actually copy/paste these to the blog for any future readers to see how he touched others over the years.
Got the whisky in hand. Cheers to all of you!
So sorry this chapter in your life has seemingly come to a close. Pierre's life lessons will live on.
Cheers Pierre and Rob with a toast of white owl!!
What a beautiful tribute. I’m sorry for you and Angie. I really do hope he’s well and just off on another adventure!
Lovely tribute. Sorry to hear about Pierre.
What a wonderful tribute to him!
An amazing bird indeed.
He was/is a very handsome bird and I have enjoyed reading all your posts about him.
Wonderful tribute to Pierre, thank you so much for sharing your journey with him with all of us!
Thanks for sharing this incredible relationship.
So sorry for your loss Rob. Pierre was so handsome and we loved reading about him. I too have a love for pigeons. I sometimes just sit in parking lots and take pictures while they interact. They really do have personalities and you did your best to show Pierre's.
Pierre was legendary! A Thirsty Thursday Cheers to Pierre!
So sad... But what a beautiful tribute.
Thanks for sharing Rob, and condolences to you and Angie on the loss of this special relationship.
Beautiful tribute. Such a handsome little guy.
All of pigeonkind owe a lot to Pierre, who I'm sure has helped change the minds of many people about pigeons after reading about your adventures together.
We will be raising a glass/tumbler of 40 Creek in his honour.