Monday, January 12, 2009


For those of you that know me very well, you already know I have issues. For those that don't know me very well, I'm about to explain.

I love animals. Obviously. But sometimes perhaps I try too hard to save them all. There was the time I took a sick raccoon to the vet. And the time I brought home a seagull with a broken wing. Once I managed to actually save an animal... from under the fridge at a friend's house. Not to mention that all of our pets are rescues, either from someone who couldn't take care of them or from a rescue group or from the pound or from being dumped at my park...

So last night we almost ended up with a new pet.

My husband takes Max out on bike rides almost every day. He (Max) has a lot of energy and since we don't have a yard (yet), this is how we try to channel some of that energy. Yesterday they left about 4 pm... and usually they are gone about 45 minutes. This time they weren't gone very long at all.
Their regular bike route takes them down the sidewalk next to a major road and then they turn into a community with lots of houses and a pond and all that. But this time as they were riding next to that major road, Chris spotted an animal on the sidewalk. He stopped the bike but the little guy didn't run from him or Max. He wasn't sure what to do but he knew he couldn't just leave him out there. He was too close to the road and it was going to rain... and he just didn't belong outside. So he picked him up and brought him home.
He opened the front door and, without coming in, asked me to come outside in the hallway because he had a problem. lol...
I went out and what did I see?

A PARAKEET on my husband's shoulder!!!!
A fat little pale green and yellow parakeet!
I'm sure you can guess the first words out of my mouth.
"We have a birdie!"
And this was said with a big grin on my face.
Apparently my husband was relieved. He was afraid he shouldn't have brought him home. But what else was he supposed to do? You can't leave him out there on the road!!

I sent him off to buy a cage and some food and proceeded to steal the birdie so I could schlep around the house with him on my finger.
He promptly went to sleep. Poor little guy was exhausted.

We got him settled in his cage with food, water, and one of those little scrapy beak thingies and we went to a birthday party for a couple hours. When we returned I peeked in on him and he was still asleep. Little kid that I am, I had to stick my fingers in so he could climb on and I could see how he was doing. Unfortunately, that maybe wasn't such a good idea. After I woke him up he had a hard time getting his balance and he kept falling over. Chris began researching online to see if he could find something about what might be wrong while I tried to convince myself he was just worn out from being lost.
Eventually even I could see that there was something not right. So then I began the task of convincing myself that even if he died, at least he died safe in a warm house as opposed to being eaten by a feral cat in the rain.

Chris called an emergency vet and they actually had an avian vet call back. She said that most birds cover illness really well so by the time they are showing symptoms, it tends to be pretty bad. She suggested we bring him in in the morning.

In the meantime, I kept checking on him. He was lying on the bottom of his cage but he was still breathing.

And then he wasn't.

My poor new little parakeet died.

I didn't even know him or have him very long but I am still sad. We wrapped him in tissue paper and dug a hole in the rain out back and buried him (shhh... I don't know if you are allowed to do that kind of thing) and now I'm sad.
Stupid empty cage.

We had said maybe he could be my "office" bird if we got the new house. Maybe I'll have to get one eventually...


Emilee said...

It is safe to say that I am exactally like you. :) If I wasn't I wouldn't have Buddy. He came up in the backyard, and I convinced my parents to let us keep him for just ONE night, and it has turned into 3 years.
I've had 2 wild rabbits, attempted to keep 2 cats (my mom hates cats :( ), and have tried to rescue various other animals. It's just instinct or something. I want to save them and keep them and love them all! The only animals I've been successful at keeping is Buddy. The others have died in my care or were released or taken to the local shelter. I know exactally what you are talking about.
I'm sorry your little parakeet died. At least he died in a warm new cage with someone who loved him. You are so compassionate, Tracy!

Tracy said...

Yay for Buddy!
He's a fantastic dog and I'm so glad you got to keep him!

It's so hard for me because everything keeps dying... the raccoon, the seagull, and now the parakeet. Why can't I save them??

Mutt Gal said...

Well it's a good thing the three of us don't all live together. We'd have a zoo! I love hearing rescue stories.

Good for you, Tracy (and your hubby) for helping that birdie. I'm sorry he was so sick, but it's good that you gave him a peaceful place to die. : )

Tara, NFC Photography and Makeup Design said...

I try to save everything too!! I am soooo like you... I cried for two days when my goldfish died!

I had something similar happen to a little squirrel that fell from his nest that I tried to save one time. He made it for about a week. Unfortunately I was really attached at that point.

Birds really do hide illnesses well, and he was probably already very sick when your husband picked him up. But you guys did the right thing and you're right, at least he was in a safe, warm house!

PS: is it odd that the captcha I have to type below is the word "bark"?! :)

Rachel said...

You have such a big heart! You are right he was in a safe warm place when he died and he knew that. You guys totally did the right thing. And now you have a cage just in case another bird ever needs rescuing. I'm so sorry this happened and I hope you aren't too sad. We had a similar experience with a rabbit and I cried. :( I hope you feel better soon.

Tracy said...

Thanks guys!
I'm glad I'm not the only crazy one out there! ; )

We went to PetSmart last night for cat food and my husband stared at the parakeets for ages and then pouted when I wouldn't let him get one.
Although I suppose we DO have the cage now...

Vinnie said...

Awe - what a sweetie you are.

Beth Andrews said...

You are the sweetest soul. You definitely made the last few hours of his life safe and comfortable and that is really important.
I'm sorry, but glad you found the little guy.