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Old 02-09-2019, 04:33 PM
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Allee  Allee is offline
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U2-Poppy(Poppy lives with her new mommy, Misty now) CAG-Jack, YNA, Bingo, Budgie-Piper, Cockatiel-Sweet Pea Quakers-Harry, Sammy, Wilson ***Zeke (quaker) Twinkle (budgie) forever in our hearts
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Poppy’s Continuing Journey

Some of you may remember I stepped down as a moderator a few months ago and have only recently returned. 2018 was a long stressful year for my family. I’ve always heard the term heartbreak used in casual conversation, over the last few months I’ve felt my heart shatter more than once.

I’m sharing Poppy’s ongoing story for a couple of reasons, one because Poppy was a celebrity here on ParrotForums and the members of our amazing community made my time with Poppy a journey to celebrate. Thank you for all the advice, the support, the love and the joy. Here’s proof, we are a powerful group and we can improve the lives of parrots and their humans one bird at a time.

The second reason I’m sharing Poppy’s story is because of the number of times this ugly word comes up. Rehome is not a word we ever want to hear. Owners should plan better, you should never adopt a bird you can’t commit to forever, never make a promise you can’t keep, try everything before you make the decision to rehome. I did all those things. It wasn’t enough.

We adopted Poppy in September of 2013. She was traumatized, terrified and cagebound, very unhappy U2, bad diet, bad health, bad attitude and a few bad behaviors she had learned in a previous home. We addressed her issues one at a time, we got to know each other, her health improved, she loved her new cage, especially the balcony, the quakers loved her, my family and friends loved her, I absolutely adored her, I still do. Poppy and I worked so hard on her training. She learned to run out of her cage when the door was opened for her, she learned to perch on forearms instead of shoulders, she learned to play rather than scream, we all loved her indoor voice and cockatoo gibberish. I kept reading horror stories about cockatoos and thinking how fortunate we were to have such a sweet, well adjusted U2. I never thought it would end.

In July of 2017 we adopted a Congo African Grey named Jack and a beautiful Yellow Naped Amazon named Bingo. This was okay with Poppy until it wasn’t. She didn’t care for her new flock mates and voiced her opinions loudly, we moved Poppy into a room of her own and added more training sessions and one on one time, this helped and things improved enough to be manageable.

I met a wonderful woman, a hairdresser, I liked her immediately and got to know her a little better every time she did my hair. Before I mentioned living with a U2 she told me how much and for how long she had wanted one. I think even then I had a haunting premonition of what was to come.

I have two incredible human sons, our youngest served 14 years in the U.S.A.F. He served in the desserts of Afghanistan, lived in Las Vegas and Alaska and saw a lot of faraway places. After a devastating spinal injury and major surgery his military career ended with an honorable discharge. That was three years ago. I tried to connect with this adult I no longer knew, this beautiful child I had known better than I knew myself, this angry, disillusioned young man that is my son. As often happens, when a person is at the most vulnerable point in their life an opportunistic monster comes along to take advantage, for my son the monster was a woman he knew from high school. The relationship was a disaster from day one, they had a profound effect on other and nothing about it was positive in any way, shape or form. My husband and I tried our best to form a new relationship with our son, we went to the island of Oahu with our son and his fantasy girl for eight days, sometimes truth hurts, this woman was a train wreck, no room for denial. For some reason in my son’s confused brain I became the focus of his anger at the world, the military, the entire medical community and all its associates..... After the trip I distanced myself out of respect for my son, I knew there was no hope of a reconciliation with his girlfriend or with him as long as he was under her influence. My son and I who have always had a deep bond exchanged texts with each other, our only communication for a few months.

On the evening of 9/11 2018, I got a phone call from my son, he said he’d broke some glass then he promptly hung up. His father called me back, a conference call with my youngest and his older brother. The call came during a terrible storm, my son asked for help with his father and brother as witnesses. I drove for 45 minutes in a downpour and found my son standing in the storm wearing only a pair of shorts. I brought him home, of course I did, the next morning I drove back for his precious ESA dog Janey, he had forgotten her the night before.

PTSD is up close, personal and extremely scary and there’s no easy fix. Poppy had a dramatic and immediate reaction to my son, Stormy. Stress levels were through the roof and Poppy visibly felt it. She began screaming, it’s hard to explain, I don’t know if he reminded her of someone, it wasn’t like she was afraid of him, more like she could feel his emotions. I tried everything I could possibly try. The other birds and the dogs showed signs of stress but they were able to adjust to the changes and it helped that all of them either liked or were fascinated by Stormy. Not Poppy, she would visibly tremble and hide at the sight of him. She was a habitual screamer when she first came to us, I watched my gorgeous, well adjusted girl come completely unraveled. I knew I had to make the right decision for her. I called Misty, the hairdresser I had known for a year. She was delighted, she had waited a very long time for her dream bird.

After I made my decision, I spent two weeks telling my beautiful girl Goodby. We played her favorite games, I put her in her carrier and kept her beside me, we took long car rides that she loved. I cooked her favorite foods, made her a new swing for her new home, packed everything that belonged to her, her hat collection, her piano, all her favorite possessions. I could hear my heart breaking but the tears were for me, not Poppy. I just knew she was going on an incredible new adventure. I also knew I could trust Misty to give Poppy the life she deserves.

My husband and son went with me to deliver Poppy to her new home and her new Mommy. We set up her cage, I told Misty about Poppy’s diet and gave her a month’s worth of dry food and a fresh batch of birdie bread. I had already said Goodby to my sweet girl, it was time for Hellos and new beginnings, Poppy climbed out on the door of her cage and reached for Misty, she stepped onto Misty’s wrist and tucked her sweet face under Misty’s chin. I did not cry in front of these people that could never understand, I cried later, for hours, alone. This is the first and only time I will share this very personal story with you, the people who know what it’s like to live with and love parrots.

Poppy, you’ll always be my sunshine. Please forgive me. There was no other choice I could make, Baby Girl. Be happy, be loved, be you.

I made a slideshow of some of my favorite photos of Poppy.




This is a photo of Poppy with her beautiful mommy, Misty.

__________________

"She is not refined. She is not unrefined. She keeps a parrot." Mark Twain
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