On September 21,2010, I was closing up our garage for the evening, when I noticed something move out of the corner of my eye. Perched above the window, on a valance, was a pigeon. It was dark outside, so I closed the garage door and figured I would let the pigeon out in the morning. We feed the outdoor birds, so I had bird seed, and also a bowl for water. I brought out a dishpan and put some warm water in it. He jumped right in and splashed water everywhere. Nice clean bird. I did not get any sleep that night as I could not wait for morning to see this precious bird again, and I wondered what he would do. I got up early, and opened the garage door, and the pigeon flew out. I figured that I would never see him again. He was only gone a couple hours, then came back to the valance. I immediately went on line, and found out all I could about the care of pigeons. I went down the street to a neighbors house, who I knew had pigeons, to find out if any of hers were lost. She said no. I kept the garage door open for Buddy to leave, unless I saw a hawk in the area. I would keep saying a phrase. "If you love me, set me free. If you come back then it was meant to be." I spent alot of time with him in our garage. He would tilt his head and listen to every word. After a couple days, my husband went out to the barn, and came back with a piece of wood. He made brackets, and put the plywood over the valance to give Buddy more room to move around on. It was so much for comfortable for him to sleep on. A couple more days went by, and we figured we had ourselves a precious pigeon, so we went to a supply store and purchased a large chicken coop. As we were constructing the coop, Buddy got down on the floor with us and watched. After construction was complete, we put the coop in the corner of the garage, under his ledge. I put the food and water, and grit in it, and lowered the door. He jumped on the door, and went right in and started eating. After he finished his meal, he sat on the open door and cooed. I will never forget the sound. This bird made me so happy, I couldn't wait to get up in the morning to see him. I would open the garage door and he would fly out for about 2 minutes, then right back home. Did I mention he was afraid of other birds, so some days he would not venture out.. We figured that a predator had tried to get him, or maybe his mate, and he found his safe place with us. Anyhway, I would count the weeks that he was with us. Last Tuesday would have been week 8. I got up in the morning and opened the garage door. Buddy was waiting in his spot to go take his flight. As usual, he took off and I held my breath. I always checked the time when he left. It was 8 a.m.. I sat in the garage waiting, as always. He usually made a cirlce over our house, then wuld come back. At 9 a.m., I had a terrible feeling. I counted the hours and no Buddy. You cannot imagine all the thoughts I was having. The heartache was setting in. All day I kept opening the house/garage door to look and see if he had arrived back home. Evey time, I would feel a pain in my heart. This day was different. I went from thinking a hawk got him, to maybe he had spent his time with us and was on a mission to get back home. Now, we are in day 4, and no sign of him. The tears won't stop, and I can't help but blame myself for opening the garage door that morning. The garage is empty now, except for his coop, ledge and food. I tried looking on the site for how long a bird might go missing, but could not find another story of this happening. So in the meantime, we keep our car outside, and the garage door open. Everything just as it was when Buddy was here. He was, and still is so loved. He was the joy in my day. Now reality is setting in and it's very painful. Thank you for reading this. Hopefully I can write someday and say that Buddy has returned back to his adoptive home, where he will be again welcomed with an open garage door, and love. Sincerely, Buddy's mom.