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Dove returns to home of fallen West firefighter’s mother


Posted on September 12, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 12 at 10:19 PM

LORENA, Texas -- A domesticated dove, lost during the aftermath of the West explosion, has found its way back home in what some might call a miraculous fashion.

The dove belongs to Carloyn Pustejovsky, the mother of fallen West Volunteer Firefighter Joey Pustejovsky.

Pustejovsky says she kept a number of white doves at her home before it was destroyed by the West Fertilizer Co. blast last April. She’s only been able to recover one until now.

On Tuesday, Pustejovsky was phoned by Lorena farm owner Pat Kultgen. Kultgen claimed to have rescued one of Pustejovsky’s doves and wanted to arrange a meeting,

“I was on the farm and this white dove landed inside one of my barns,” Kultgen said. “It was white, tame, and seemed to have had its wings clipped. This led me to believe it belonged to someone, so I began calling around looking for area dove breeders.”

Kultgen’s research led her to Pustejovsky, who seems to be one of the few domesticated breeders in the area.

“When the explosion happened, I just thought they were all gone," Pustejovsky said. "But then I got a phone call this week at work from Ms. Kultgen and she said, ‘I have your dove.’ I said ‘what?’”

Doubts circulated in Pustejovsky’s mind as to if this was even her dove.

After all, nearly five months have passed since the explosion; the farm is an estimated 31 miles away and dove season is in full swing.

But after meeting Kultgen and seeing the dove in person, Pustejovsky says she knew it was one of hers.

“I don't know how to describe it when I saw him, for some reason I knew it was one of mine in my heart,” Pustejovsky said. "When Ms. Kultgen called me I was praying to my son, asking him to just give me a sign to let us know things will be OK."

“I think it's a sign of hope that everything is going to be OK, and that Joey is watching over us," Pustejovsky said.

Kultgen shares the same sentiment.

“It’s a God thing, we found one another so fast,” Kultgen said. “This is hope, bottom line it's hope for that community."