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Review for Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue, San Jose, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Feather Shaped Hole

This is one story of why I volunteer to foster special needs birds, they are inspiring beings who give as much to me as I give them. Animals with disabilities don't feel sorry for themselves, they take what they are given and they adapt. They may need little accommodations and medication but they aren't much different from able bodied animals. Even with tragic stories they forgive humans and learn to trust and love again.

TJ is a Mitered Conure who was stolen from his bird family back when parrots were imported from the wild in bulk. We don't know the story of the roughly first 30 years of his life, but we know the last 2 years when an animal shelter contacted Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue to take in an aggressive, loud bird. TJ spent the last 3 months as my foster.

TJ was dumped at the shelter for biting and screaming and was report as having spent the last 15 years in a small cage in the garage, I would be cranky too. In foster care TJ learned about healthy food, toys, and that not all people are to be feared. Things went well for TJ for the next year and a half as he discovered the human world could be a fun place to explore and play...until he fell off of his cage in a full out seizure. His seizure had been brought on by a stroke.

He spent the next month hospitalized having mini-strokes as the vets worked to get him on the right medications and him learning to cope with his new limitations. Finally he was stable enough to go home. He still displayed traits of stroke patients weakness, impaired sight, impaired feeling only on one side of his body plus his speech was slurred.

TJ's first day here he couldn't hold his head up, he could only lay on his padded floor. Within a few weeks, he was doing well enough to perch on my hand with a towel for extra grip. As he regained more strength he became more stable and was finally able to perch on my hand and hold himself up. The picture above shows his improvement. He grew stronger and started to play again, we made small tweaks to his medication but the after effects of his stroke were fading.

Everything was going well up until last weekend, November 14, 2015. I walked into TJs room and he didn't look right. As I helped him out of his cage I knew we needed to rush to the vet. I hurried out of the house and held him to my chest so he could see me and feel the warmth of the sunlight through the window as we drove to the vet. I could feel him getting weaker. TJ was in heart failure, his lungs were wet and breathing was ragged. It was just a few hours later that I got the call he was gone. This week I bring TJ back home to bury him.

Mickaboo has many birds like TJ, birds getting another chance at a new life. Most of our birds are heathy and ready to join a new family but we also have many medical cases and don't turn away birds with preexisting conditions. All donations go to medical care for our foster flock. TJ is just one reason why I give my time and have a few feather shaped holes in my heart.

Role:  General Member of the Public