The Budgie – A Sensitive Soul

My mother passed away in February and I took on responsibility for her budgerigar Sky. He is a lovely little bird – very noisy and feisty – isn’t hand tamed and doesn’t like to be touched. Heaven help you if you try! He is approximately 5 years old – give or take.

Mum used to bring Sky with her when she visited, so I was aware of how to look after him, but other than that I really didn’t have a clue about budgies. I remember one we had as a family pet when I was a teenager and that was about it.

Sky and I got into a routine for the first 5 months – I opened his cage door every morning but he never left it. He was happy to flap his wings inside his cage which is large enough to do so with room to spare.

Then came the day about a month ago when he ventured out and the problems started. On the few times that he started to fly around he flew into the walls and had a nasty fall when he misjudged a shelf – this had never happened to him before and he went into shock.

This noisy, feisty little bird became quiet – he couldn’t hold onto his perch properly and ended up walking around on the bottom of his cage – it was truly heart breaking to watch. He would jump at the slightest movement or unexpected sound and fly around in a panic. I knew that there was something seriously wrong when he allowed me to hold him in my hand on 3 separate occasions when I had to rescue him from falling off his perch.

I am fortunate to be friends with some animal healers and communicators and one of them instructed me on giving him Rescue Remedy and that helped. She didn’t see a serious illness with him, just a bit sore from his collisions, and she did some distant healing on him and he perked up quite a bit, but was still far from back to his normal self. He was much calmer though and didn’t go into panics, so I decided to get him checked out by the vet as well.

Sky was far from happy at being caught and put into a very pretty tissue box and carted along to the vet, a very pleasant man who specialises in small animals. He examined him and found him to be underweight, but with no external damage, good eye sight and no problem with his claws. However, he did suspect that he might have liver and/or kidney problems and told me that budgies often only lived between 5 to 7 years and that 15 years (which is what I had read) was the exception rather than the rule. He gave me some medicine and made an appointment for the following week, but I could tell by his demeanour that he didn’t expect Sky to survive.

I was absolutely heartbroken – this little bird had crept into my heart and was also a connection to Mum and I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him so soon.

Synchronicity is a big part of my life and I was given further information which would be of great help and another piece in the puzzle. I was again told that there was nothing physically wrong with him, but that he was grieving, deeply depressed and didn’t see the point of living. It was suggested that I put a photo of my Mum in his cage with him and to add a bit of curcumin to his food/drink to help build him up.

I immediately printed out a photo of Mum and put it in his cage and I couldn’t believe the change in him – if someone had told me, I would have had a hard time believing it. He immediately started to eat and drink as if he was making up for lost time. His food was near Mum’s photo and he would stay close to it while he was eating. One night I peeped in on him and he was fast asleep right next to her. He also found the strength to get back onto his perch again and started moving round his cage – it was truly miraculous. I also put a piece of Rose Quartz into his cage and he spent quite a bit of time close to that too.

He was obviously still stressed though, so I cancelled a further visit to the vet and decided to let nature take its course. With the help of my friends I had done everything I could and it was now up to Sky to decide whether he wanted to stay or not.

It has been an emotional month watching this little bird going through his trauma, and it has been an ongoing healing. Just last week he went through 3 days of literally sitting on his perch virtually motionless, just eating a little now and then, but showing no interest in anything. I felt helpless and wondered if he was craving companionship – though he had always been a solitary bird.

However, just 3 days ago he started to make some noise and showed some interest in his surroundings. The following day he started to play again and was climbing everywhere and today he hasn’t stopped chatting. It does my heart good to hear him.

Once I came out of my emotional state it occurred to me that the reason he was flying into the walls might be because I have no pictures on those particular walls, so he can’t judge where they are – I will rectify that before he is ready to venture out of the security and safety of his cage. Fingers crossed!!

Conclusion

This whole situation confirmed to me the necessity of an holistic approach to healing. There were a number of people involved in Sky’s healing and they were all necessary parts of it.

The animal healers/communicators helped me to help him with his shock and enabled me to feel confident to take him to the vet without giving him any additional stress. They also prompted me to deal with his grief about losing my Mum and to give him the necessary care in that direction.

The vet put my mind at rest as to his physical condition and that he hadn’t injured himself whilst flying.

I truly don’t believe that Sky would be alive today if I hadn’t put the photo of my Mum into his cage with him. It might sound far-fetched, but you might just believe me if you had seen the virtually instant change in him.

It has made me wonder how many animals have died or been put down due to emotional and mental problems, rather than physical. This is something that I didn’t even consider just five weeks ago. I think most of us are aware of dogs and larger animals pining, but how many of us – myself included – would have considered that a little bird like a budgie would go through a similar process?

I still spray him with Rescue Remedy and give it to him to drink, and add curcumin to his grated carrot. I will continue with that for a while longer, until I feel it’s not necessary any more.

I have had a ‘thrown in the deep end’ education this past month – one that I will never forget and I hope that my story will resonate with some of you that read it.

In the meantime, I am very happy that my feisty, noisy little friend is still around and sincerely hope that he will be for many years to come.

Do you have a story about a pet which relates to my experience?

The Infamous Beardie – Sam (2)

Sam’s first sighting of a seagull brought with it an identity crisis which was never resolved. Was he a Beardie, or was he a bird? Hard to be certain – but Sam’s uncertainty led him (and me!) in to many a predicament.

Perhaps the worst occurred one January, when the wind was whipping the sea in to such a frenzy that mountainous waves were assaulting the Gower coast and the tides at Three Cliffs and Pobbles Bays were singularly untrustworthy.

That Sunday morning, I had no thought of going down to the beach. Walking with Sam high on the cliffs, my priorities were to return to the warmth of home and have breakfast. But my bird-dog had other ideas!

As I paused in my walk, to talk to a fellow stroller, Sam took himself off. Next thing I knew, he was barking from way below me, on golden sands that were fast disappearing beneath the incoming sea. Happy as can be, he was all but flying across the beach in pursuit of a whole flock of gulls that were adding to his fun by lifting off in different directions.

This way and that Sam went, oblivious to everything except trying to fly like his friends. He had not noticed that the sea was rapidly taking over his territory. I shouted to warn him, but my shouts were wafted away on the wind. Not that he, engaged in his favorite activity, would necessarily have heeded my warning, had he heard it. Scared stiff, I hurtled down the nearest path – reaching Pobbles beach just as a gigantic wave crashed over rocks at the furthermost point and curled across the shore, lifting Sam bodily and sweeping him out of his depth. With that one wave, the last of the beach had vanished and I had had to scramble on to a rock-formation jutting from the foot of the cliffs in order to avoid sharing Sam’s compulsory swim.

Terrified for him, there in that churning cauldron, panic froze me for a few moments. In my frozen state, I saw Sam succeed in clambering on to a solitary rock that seemed to me, then, to be situated in mid-ocean. As he clung, with waves surging round him, I strove to work out how best to mount a rescue operation.

My bedraggled boy clearly had no intention of leaving his rock voluntarily – and if I went to him the chances were that we would both drown. But if I didn’t, and a wave tossed him from his precarious perch, it could also hurl him against my range of rocks, stunning him, with perhaps tragic consequences.

Remembering that life-saving equipment was positioned by the path from Pobbles, I began a race against time, trying to reach it and Sam before the sea claimed him.

Luckily, there was a man walking his Corgi down the path – and he reacted speedily to my cries for help. A native of the area (while I was a relative newcomer) he understood wintry tides better than I did. Waiting for a wave that receded farther and faster than its predecessors, this good samaritan plunged in to the sea waist-deep and waded out to Sam’s rock. Surmounting this, he pushed the wingless bird into the water! Riding, literally, on the crest of a wave, Sam surged toward me and was deposited safely on the far side of a deep gully. Even without wings, this presented no problem and we were soon enjoying a soggy reunion.

But his rescuer was still stranded on the rock! Shouting my heartfelt thanks across, I heard the response: “I may yet need rescuing!”

Fresh panic set in. How fast could I alert the rescue services? I must save Sam’s savior if it was the last thing I did. His Corgi looked at me expectantly as I tried to look confident… and competent.

Before there was need for me to demonstrate my rescuing ability, a giant wave surged and then receded sufficiently to permit a reprieve, after which thanks could be properly given.

Did Sam’s life-threatening experience deter him from further gull and sea-related adventures? I wish I could report that it did, but it did not. If gulls were in the vicinity, Sam seemed to lose all doggy instinct. I even saw him surrounded by rabbits, on the moors, unaware of their existence because a gull was overhead. And I saw him ’round up’ a solitary sheep on Rhossili beach, only to abandon it as the gulls again began teasing him. But that’s another story…

Copyright: Pamela Glynn

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