Parrots Grieve Too

Death affects our companions as it does us.

Parrots Grieve Too

Life at best is unpredictable. It happens whether we are ready for it or not. The same holds true for our feathered family members also. I have been witness to this in a very touching, and heart-wrenching way recently with the loss of Ollie, a Quaker who had become the well bonded companion to Jesse, a very mature Double Yellow-Head Amazon.

   Ollie and Jesse became best friends when Ollie was surrendered to our Rescue after becoming too aggressive to remain in her former home. She had been a sweet, lovable Quaker until the age of five when she suddenly decided that biting and attacking her former Mom was her favorite pass time. It was a painful and well thought out life choice made in Ollie's best interest, and so Jesse and Ollie became friends.

    Their relationship grew from indifference to a well established bond that kept them within close distance from one another always. they played, ate and hung out together everyday all day long exploring their large free-flight bird-safe room.  Many years were spent together enjoying every moment of their mixed species bonding. On Christmas day of 2015 Ollie suddenly became quite ill and withdrawn. Jesse, always her loyal friend watched over her aggressively protecting her from anyone who got too close. After a thorough Veterinarian exam, including x-rays and blood work she returned home to resume her active, happy life with her best friend.

    One day Ollie refused to join Jesse on his play stand and slept quietly in her own cage, door opened as always. Her condition deteriorated rapidly, as she grew weaker and more lethargic. Jesse remained by her side that day, leaving her only when necessary to eat or drink before returning to sit guard over his best friend. Ollie passed with Jesse at her side.  Quietly, knowing his loving presence to the end. It happened so rapidly no one was prepared for the loss.

    Jesse has taken his loss very deeply and hard. Sitting for hours on her empty cage quietly watching for her return. Even the removal of her cage has not helped him with the grief he feels. Life has taken his best friend, and although I am certain he knows it, he is unable to express fully his sorrow. No human words can aid him in the grief process. Only time will help him.  How can I explain to him that Ollie is gone from liver related complications. How can a human comfort him, when his life has been torn apart?

  Life can be wonderful, filled with endless joys and happiest, but it can also bring sadness that no human can relief when our Companion looses his or her best feathered friend. Only our love, patience and time will truly heal the broken heart.

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