My Poor Little Bird

Posted in Pets on November 3rd, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JJ, my parakeet, is very sick.  I had parakeets when I was younger, and I know enough about them to know that we are lucky that he’s still alive.  His chirping and squawking gradually decreased until I realized the other day that he doesn’t vocalize at all anymore.  He is very lathargic, and sits puffed up on his perch where he loses his balance every few minutes.  His tail is bobbing when he breathes, which is a sign of respiratory distress, and he has some discoloring around his cere (nose), which indicates discharge.  The other day, I noticed that he was sitting on the bottom of his cage, which is a sign of imminent death in parakeets.  Based upon my research (past experience, the internet, and bothering the heck out of the local pet store), JJ seems to have a respiratory infection – something that is often fatal for small birds.

But he’s hung on a few days now from when I first believed his death was imminent when he was at the bottom of his cage.  After all, parakeets’ instincts are to hide their illnesses.  If they show any sign of being sick, wild birds will be cast out by their flock, so if captive birds allow signs of illness to show, it’s often too late to save them.  I got some birdie antibiotics, and I’m hoping that he is drinking his water where the meds are.  He is still eating, and that’s a great sign.  We put a blanket over the cage, and are trying to keep him warm and calm so he can rest and get well.  It’s just touch and go at this point, so I’m praying for my little bird.  I got so attached to the little guy!  I got him right after my beloved dog passed away, and seeing my happy little bird helped me feel at least a tiny bit better.  And now I’m watching him suffer; it’s hard.  I want to move him back upstairs where it’s a little warmer and quieter, but I’m afraid of stressing him out too much, which is basically the same reason I don’t want to take him to the vet.  I guess I’ll wait for him to improve a little more before moving him upstairs; that’s the only plan I have right now.

Like I said, he does seem to be improving – the loss of balance on his perch seems to have subsided anyway.  But he still does not look well, and he is not vocalizing.  He is less than a year old, so maybe his youth is keeping him strong and resilient.  Poor JJ!  He is just a little parakeet, but he means a lot to me.  If you could send out a little prayer for JJ, we’d appreciate it.  And pray for my husband while you’re at it; he’s fighting a nasty cold.  Obviously, Hubby’s health is a billion times more important than JJ’s, but if I wrote a blog post every time Hubby got sick…   well, I wouldn’t have time for that!  Besides, Hubby’s illness is not life-threatening.  I wonder if Hubby and JJ have the same thing?  That’s one thing that stinks about this time of year – all the illness!  Wish I could transfer some of my super-immune system over to Hubby, who seems to get EVERY single thing that comes our way…

Freedom And Jeff

Posted in animals, Fun Forwards on October 26th, 2009 and tagged , , , , ,

I received another touching email forward, and I have to admit that I snopes-ed it because it sounded so fake.  It’s the story of Freedom the eagle and her friend Jeff – here is their story:

Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer.
She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken
wings. Her left wing doesn’t open all the way
even after surgery, it was broken in 4
places.   She’s my
baby.
When Freedom came in she could not stand
and both wings were broken. She was
emaciated and covered in lice. We made the
decision to give her a chance at life, so I took
her to the vets office.   From then
on, I was always around her. We had her in a
huge dog carrier with the top off,  and it
was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to
lay in.  I used to sit and talk to her,
urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay
there looking at me with those big brown eyes.
We also had to tube feed her for
weeks.
This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still
couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the
decision was made to euthanize her if she
couldn’t stand in a week. You know you don’t
want to cross that line between torture and
rehab, and it looked like death was
winning.   She was going to be put
down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in
on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go
to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t
bear the thought of her being euthanized;
but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone
was grinning from ear to ear.  I went
immediately back to her cage; and there she was,
standing on her own, a big beautiful
eagle.  She was ready to live.  I was
just about in tears by then.   That
was a very good day.
We knew she could never fly,  so the director
asked me to glove train her. I got her used to
the glove, and then to jesses,  and we
started doing education programs for schools in
western  Washington.   We wound up in the newspapers,
radio (believe it or not) and some
TV.   Miracle Pets even did a show
about us.

delete freedom
In the spring of 2000,  I was diagnosed with
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  I had stage 3,
which is not good (one major organ plus
everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of
chemo.   Lost the hair – the whole
bit.   I missed a lot of work. When I
felt good enough,   I would go to Sarvey
and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would
also come to me in my dreams and help me fight
the cancer. This happened time and time
again.
Fast forward to November 2000, the day after
Thanksgiving.   I went in for my last
checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not
all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last
option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they
did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for
the results.  I went in Monday, and I was
told that all the cancer was
gone.
So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and
take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty
and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her
up, and we went out front to the top of the
hill.   I hadn’t said a word to
Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me
and wrapped both her wings around me to where I
could feel them pressing in on my back
(I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she
touched my nose with her beak and stared into my
eyes, and we just stood there like
that for I don’t know how long.  That was a
magic moment.  We have been soul mates ever
since she came in.  This is a very special
bird.
On a side note:   I have had people who
were sick come up to us when we are out, and
Freedom has some kind of hold on
them.   I once had a guy who was
terminal come up to us and I let him hold
her.  His knees just about buckled and he
swore he could feel her power coarse through his
body. I have so many stories like
that.
I never forget the honor I have of being so close
to such a magnificent spirit as
Freedom.
Hope
you  enjoy this.
Jeff

Awww, that eagle sounds so sweet!  So how did we get stuck with this big red jerk?

Squawky begins bath