I am normally not someone who takes the time to scan the advertisements online for birds needing rehomed. However on this morning something told me to stop what I was doing and look through the ads for Brampton, Ontario. Clicking on my computer, not fully understanding why at the time, I began to check through the countless ads posted. It did not take me very long to grasp the much deeper reasons why it was so important to do so on this particular morning.
There, posted among numerous Parrots and birds of every species was an ad that caught my eye and tore at my heart's-strings. Someone then unknown to me had posted that morning a one year old Blue Front Amazon for sale. As I read the details I had a sinking feeling I really did need to do something. The ad stated she was just one year old, and had recently fallen and broke her leg. The owners were unable to afford the expensive surgery required to correct the severely injured leg. She was now being offered for sale to anyone that would make sure she had the Veterinarian care she desperately needed. I am not one to reply to these ads but today was going to be very different. I sat quietly wondering what I would say to the owners. I was not in the position to purchase her, although I was willing to take over her care and make sure something was done to help her. I explained in detail that I was a Rescue three hours east of them, and was not offering to purchase their Parrot, but I was offering to open my heart and home to help her. I sent the message and left it in the owners hands and heart to decide what they would do.
Several hours passed before I heard from the advertiser. Thanking me for my reply, they stated they were determined to sale the Parrot and try to get back some of what they had invested. I refuse to judge any one's motives. I wished then success but warned them they must do something quickly for the bird, named Sweetie's sake. They agreed to keep looking for someone to buy her. I continued to watch the ad daily, hoping that I would see it removed, signifying they had found her a home. Two weeks went by and on a warm spring morning in May 2014 I received a frantic call from the lady who owned Sweetie. She was even more desperate to find someone to help her. She wanted to bring her to me right away and was ready to leave in a few minutes to make that three hour drive to Napanee, Ontario.
That afternoon I met Sweetie for the very first time. She arrived cradled in her former Mom's arms like a human baby, She looked very ill, and very weak. Her broken leg had been wrapped in Vet wrap from her hip to her toes leaving only one tiny nail exposed. We signed the necessary surrender papers and her family left her with the hope that she would be fine. I felt the pain her family was going through as they left her and went back to their home and her empty cage. I did not criticize their delaying, nor their desire to get back some of the money they had invested to get her in the first place as a gift for their teenage daughter. I understood their sudden urge to place her with someone. There are times as a Rescuer that we must look beyond any preconceived thoughts we have and see things from the owners eyes and heart. They loved Sweetie and wanted to do what they could to help her, but felt over-whelmed by the high cost of the proposed corrective surgery.
Sweetie saw my Veterinarian the following week after taking massive doses of anti-biotic to fight the infection that now had taken over her tiny body. The leg had died due to incorrect care and wrapping done by her family in a desire to help her. Sweetie lost her leg, but not her will to survive. She is a fighter, and made a speedy recovery. She took a long time to learn to climb and balance on one leg, but even that she over-came in time. Today Sweetie lives a happy, content life in perfect health.
Some may condemn her family for taking too long to do something. In fact at the time many did, but I never agreed with them. As a Rescuer my job is to offer help where it is needed, to look beyond the exterior and into the hearts of every Companion Parrot parent. When we keep our focus on what our primary mission is, we can help more Parrots, and the people who love and care for them.