Friday, July 31, 2009

Second Day at Target and a Rough Homecoming

This morning went pretty well. I am starting to get the hang of working the line. I know I must be doing good when they forget about me every once in a while. I have worked my best to learn the ropes quickly and today they did have some hours to give that I was very tempted to take. I am glad that I didn't.

I came home and Peanut, our little English Budgie, was struggling to breathe and walking as if he were limp on one side. I remembered a vet that I passed on the way into work and wondered if they took care of birds. I knew whatever was going on was pretty serious. The odd thing is, he was fine yesterday. He was running around and playing like normal. He didn't eat or get into anything out of the ordinary. If he had, undoubtedly, the other parakeets who follow him around would have gotten sick, too. I called the vet that I passed on the way to work, and they agreed that they could see him right away. Eight in the morning used to be early for me. Now, I have already been up for five hours or so. Tim and I brought him in and the vet took one look and I could tell from her expression it wasn't good. She said she thought he had a brain tumor as he was very slow on his responses, seemed blind, and was showing behavior concurrent with nerve damage. He hadn't pooped yet that morning, either. While I was holding him, there were a couple of times that I thought he was going to stop breathing. The doc told me what I was afraid of when I brought him in. She said the most humane thing to do would be to put him to sleep.

I may have a lot of birds and I might just be crazy, but I love these little guys so much. I can tell you their stories, their goofy behaviors, and things that you just can't help but laugh about. I might have "eleven more", but the one I lost is mourned like the member of the family that he is. I keep thinking that I need to go and find him and see what he is up to or if he is behaving. A tear rolls down my cheek as I realize that isn't going to happen any more.

Peanut was a beautiful bird with a lot of life. He loved to be ornery and jump on other birds' tails just to be silly. He was the first budgie that the cockatiels ever saw and so he took great pleasure out of chasing them around and listening to them hiss. He was gentle and after he got to know the cockatiels, he would preen them and cuddle with them. He did that for Buster yesterday while Buster was in the hospital cage. He even sang Buster to sleep at one point. Peanut loved to be chased and would always put up a good chase if you wanted to put him somewhere or if you just wanted to play. He would routinely sing himself to sleep at night using all the sounds that the flock made in his song, including conure screams, quaker warblings, and cockatiel's whistles and their version of the "Big Rock Candy Mountain". Since we got two more budgies, he actually began to sound more like a budgie again. It was a shame that his life was taken from him before his first birthday, but we gave him all the life that we could. He was loved from the beginning and cherished. I will miss him greatly. He will always have a special place in my heart.