I am a doctor and work in an elementary school. Recently as I was climbing the inside steps of the school I unexpectedly felt a bird land on my right shoulder. Even though I could feel the bird and the breeze from that of flapping wings, I could not see one. I knew this bird was Francis, a pet Ring-Neck Turtle Dove that I had for 24 years. He died in September of 2009.
All of it was extraordinary but the really peculiar thing about this visit was that I saw nothing, but only felt Fran land and sit on my shoulder. Also very odd was that I knew instinctively that it was Francis who visited me; it was his presence and without any consideration I automatically knew it was him. The experience came completely out of the blue and I hadn't been thinking of him at all. I don't know when he actually left my shoulder either. It was not frightening at all.
I purchased Francis as a chick when I was in college and he witnessed much of my life. On one or two occasions I took him to school with me to share with the students. He was a people lover and was very friendly. While most of his time was spent in a cage, he was occasionally allowed to fly around the house or bathe in the sink. When our son was a baby, Fran would fly to the crib and watch him. He liked to be around us. After a summer of ill health he died while he rested on my chest.
In 1995 I had a similar sensation and visit from a friend when he died while traveling abroad. All of it is very cool and I wanted to share my experience here. I think the deeper meaning may be that our pets, friends, and family maintain consciousness that lives on after they die. They are with us and continue to love us. I am delighted to have had these two experiences.