Oliver's Story

SailBoat

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I have so been looking forward to this kind of Forum for the Stories of the Amazons who over the years have blessed our life. Their Stories are the foundation of my Thread in the Amazon Forum, Titled: I Love Amazons.

I must say that I am very concern that this first Story may not be the best choice for my first Story and/or an early Story for this specific Forum. To that point, I would like to recommend that If you have not read my Thread in the Amazon Forum. It would be a very good idea to read it first and also after reading this First Story, Please reread, I Love Amazons.

Oliver's Story is that of a Joyful Amazon. I recommend reading it with a Loved One close at hand!


Oliver’s Story!

Author: Steven, SailBoat October 29, 2016


Oliver, a 37 year old, male Yellow Nape Amazon (YNA) had a truly wonderful life. He entered this World parented, in addition to abundantly hand weaned and fledged by his Breeder.

His new family, first meet him when he was in the final month of fledging. He made it though puberty without loosing his family - apparently they had other mid to large Parrots before and knew of the events of the ‘Right of Passage’ from juvenile to adulthood. For a bit more than 25 years he lived well in his family. Sadly, his aging Humans (parronts) had come to a point that they could little care for themselves, let alone Oliver.

Oliver’s second family was a newly married, young couple that had been neighbors of his for about eight months. With near daily interactions they accepted the offer of becoming Oliver’s new family. Oliver, a well socialized Amazon, fit in well with the active life of this young couple. He took great joy in their travels visiting extended family and friends. As with most Amazons, he loved to ride in the car and greeted near everyone with a cross-section of both Human and Amazon speak. Oliver truly loved to meet People and entertaining was his Claim to Fame.

In his 37th year, his family was expecting a new member and Oliver’s life was about to go seriously wrong. The Doctor was pushing strongly that the Parrot would be dangerous to the baby and should be removed from their home. Both the husband and wife had been heart broken, but bent to the demands of the Physician. Oliver for only the second time in his life lost his family.

The Pet Shop was know for its general good care of the birds that pass through and being pressed for time, Oliver’s family made only one request; that he only go to a ‘good’ home.

Pet Shop life was difficult for Oliver, suffering the loss of this family; he disappeared to the back of the cage and would lunge and scream at anyone that would come too close. Those four months had been very hard on Oliver as the appearance of a self-neglected /detached Parrot lay heavily upon him.

The Pet Shop owner and I had know of each other from our contacts over the years and with his understanding of what types of Amazons we worked with, he contacted me. He expressed concern that this once joyful Amazon was suffering and would I take Oliver in for a while. I agreed to stop by his shop the following day and meet Oliver.

Having had like visits at our Avian Vet’s Office and rehomers’ around the area, I came ready to bring Oliver home. The shop owner and I talked for a while as he told me Oliver’s story. It just did not make sense to me that this once very social Amazon would pull away so completely as to avoid all Human contact.


Meeting Oliver:

True to the shop owner’s description, Oliver was in the bottom cage of a three-stacked cage and in the far back corner. As we both caught each other’s eyes, he lunged forward and then began to sway back and forth. The lunge did not concern me, but the swaying was to be understood, he was not open to anything closer. BUT, other than those two indicators, the balance of his body language was far more open. I elected to chance it and with my index finger touched his beak softly and moved back. Oliver stopped swaying. I elected to try it again and this time left my finger there. Oliver slowly moved his beak to the side of my finger to a point that his facial feathers made contact with my fingertip. Ever so slowly, he began to move his head up and down so as to rub his feathers. While he was rubbing his face on my finger, I asked: Oliver, do you want to Step-Up? Up came his right foot and I repositioned my finger for a lift. I stated Step-Up and he did. I slowly brought him out of the cage and slowly, with a little help of the shop owner stood-up. With my arm at a right angle I brought him close to my body. At this point Oliver began rubbing his head against my shirt. I asked him if he wanted a head rub and he leaned back away from me and lowered his head. I cupped my open hand and brought it to his head and began lightly rubbing his head. He quickly cuddled his head into my hand.

While still cuddled into my hand, the shop owner and I finished our discussions and agreed that Oliver would be better out of his shop. Oliver’s family had been paying for his care while at the Pet Shop. He stated that he would contact Oliver’s family and update them and we agreed to get back with each other in a week.


The Trip Home:

Oliver loaded into the carrier without a second request. Once in the car and sitting in the front passage seat, he stated ‘Out’, ‘Come Out’? With caution and a couple of second thoughts, I opened the carrier door. He waited and when I requested Step-Out’ -on to my finger he came. Once clear of the carrier, he started jabbering away. Over the next couple of minutes he opened-up with a cross-section of words, songs and Amazonisms, he clearly was enjoying just being in the car! After about ten minutes, it was clear that this was not a typical Amazon, but a well socialized and behaved individual. He sat in none of the neglected classification of Amazons that I have brought home to date and since! He quickly settled and I felt comfortable that the ride home would be safe with him out of the carrier.

The ride home was to say the least entertaining and heart-warming. Commonly, the first trip in the car is rushing to our Avian Vet with an Amazon that is barely hanging-on and entertaining would have been far from one’s mind. Once home, he step-back into the carrier and into the house we came. Once indoors, he stepped back out as if we had been doing this for years. I set him on top of the cage near the food and water dishes. He quickly made way to the food dish and buried his head into the chop.


First two days with Oliver:

We have had our far share of Amazons, but we found ourselves totally unprepared for the likes of Oliver. Joy was never so well packaged as it was in Oliver! With in hours, it was like he had been with us for decades. His first shower that late Saturday afternoon was a splash feast beyond measure. It took me longer to towel the shower and bathroom down than the extended shower itself. He played peek-a-boo with the towel, as he would peek out and hide back under. Then it was drag the towel around the bed and finally it was naptime. For this first nap he choose my dear wife’s shoulder as he hid himself under her hair for the next hour.

Oliver was as near to perfection that an Amazon, let alone a guy could get. The remainder of Saturday and all of Sunday was nothing less than a joy for everyone. He was as comfortable self-entertaining as he was entertaining us. When we had been out of the house, he would nap, play, and would be beside himself with happiness when we returned from the normal Human disappearing acts!
 
OP
SailBoat

SailBoat

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The Continuation of Oliver's Story


Darkness:

Why is it that near perfection is so very often haunted by the shadows of darkness?

Monday evening was a continuation of the weekend with Oliver exploring and enjoying himself and entertaining us. As the evening finished, he was more than comfortable napping under my dear wife’s hair solid against her neck. As bedtime came, he was not interested in leaving his napping spot and with great reluctance final gave in to a Step-Up. From the first night, he loved the night cage in our bedroom, with the back, top and two sides covered. On the first night, he had adjusted the cover to allow for the front cover to be open!

It was a bit after 3:00 am when I got the usual cold foot to my side indicating that I should turn over. However, this time I was told to listen closely to Oliver. From the short distance away, I could hear the distinct sound of air-sack clicking. With the light on, not only was the air-sack click present, but also Oliver was pumping his tail feathers with each breath. All of which was followed by a call to our Avian Vet’s clinic and the night staff assured us they would contact our Vet and we targeted an arrival time of approximately 4:30 am.

Not being our first early morning emergency run with a very sick Amazon, we arrived at the staff entry door and by the time we had exited the car, they had the door open and whisked us quickly into the examination room. While I was completing the paperwork, the Vet and my wife where working with Oliver. Oliver was being a true gentleman, which greatly aided in completing the examination, and then, blood and fecal testing. While waiting for the in-house tests to run and prepping to send off the additional blood samples, we spoke with our Avian Vet. She stated that Oliver appeared to be suffering from a serious build-up in the air-sacks and whatever he had contacted has hit him hard and quickly. Since it was early, and FedEx Same Day Delivery Service was still available, we agreed to have the blood sample sent to the Lab requesting that they rush the full testing package, plus targeting several of the more aggressive /pervasive Viral and Bacterial bad players.

After providing an injection of antibiotics, Oliver had disappeared back into his favorite napping place, but the air-sack clicking and tail pumping gave notice of his location. After about an hour, our Vet came back to review the findings of their in-house testing, Oliver had a serious bacterial infection, but historically, it would not have been as quick to present and that there is likely an underlining aliment that could be driving something that may have greatly weaken Oliver’s immune system.

After hugs and good wishes, we left for home. I was in town that week, so I called the office and told them I would be working from home today and once home Mrs., readied herself and was off to work. I provided the noon hour medication and Oliver spent most all the day napping on my shoulder with breaks for water, a little food, and relieving himself. It was clear that Oliver was not improving as the day progressed, as by the time Mrs. arrived home he was fully sitting-down on my shoulder.

At about 17:00 hours (5:00 pm) when our Avian Vet called with the very serious news that in addition to the Bacterial Infection, Oliver had full-blown (highly active), Herpes Virus “Pacheco’s Viral Disease.” Later that evening, Oliver passed. The rapid on set of the Bacterial Infection of his air-sacks unchecked by his greatly weaken immune system gave way to the collapse of his cardiovascular system. Many may disagree that having Oliver suffer his last hours at our home was cruel. However, we wanted Oliver’s last hours to be where he knew he was being Loved. Surrounded by those who cared for him, Loved him and would remember him and be forever changed by his Joy of Life! Oliver, you are truly missed!

The prior owner call us near the end of that week and wanted to know how her sweet Oliver had died. I elected to tell her how he had lived those final days of his life and that he knew he was Loved. With heavy tears from both of us, I elected too her that, in my humble opinion, her Oliver would have been a wonderful, Loving and caring Nanny. And, that her baby was going to miss-out on the true joy and protection of being unconditionally Loved by a very special Amazon! I recommended that she might pass that along to her Doctor as part of their next visit!

In this World there are few things more dangerous than an angered Tigress that had been miss-guided /miss-informed. Especially, when it involves the Loss of Her Loved One! Cruel on my part, yes, but I provided Oliver’s mother a channel to focus her pain and grief to the rightful source! And with that, some of my own!


What Oliver taught Us?

At the time Oliver came into our life, I had spent just over 25 years Loving and being Loved by Amazons. Understanding the Body Language and their sodalities is critical in determining when to interact and when to sit back, and allow time, and the Amazon room too guide. The Amazons that come to our home are commonly very ill and/or elderly. In those short hours, Oliver had made our lives a brighter, warmer place and he had quickly opened a place in our hearts. Where other Amazons have been with us longer, Oliver showed that we Love much quicker than we ever believed.

The biggest lesson learned: Visit your Avian Vet As Soon As Possible! Had I left the Pet Shop and gone directly to our Avian Vet, it likely would not have saved Oliver’s life. Late at night, when honesty is cold and frank, I am left to think that it could have. But, it may have prolonged it slightly. With loss, there is always the fear that had this or that been done earlier, just maybe, just maybe, …

Oliver exemplified the full expansiveness of an Amazon that was Parent Loved, Breeder Loved and Loved fully by his two families. All of their efforts brought forth an amazing Amazon that was full of Joy and free to express his Joy with a wide and full cross-section of Humans, which had openly interacted with him over his life. Oliver was a blessing and we feel very privileged to have been able to be part of his life!

Oliver, even after these many years know that you are Loved and Deeply Missed.


Recovering from the devastation of Herpes Virus “Pacheco’s Viral Disease:”

The process of cleaning and disinfection of our cars, home, cages, perches, and our selves took a full four months. That combined with every other week testing to verify that the screen testing found no trace of the Viral Disease remained. No physical contact with Parrot owners or Parrots during this entire period was one of the loneliest periods of our lives.


Herpes Virus “Pacheco’s Viral Disease:”

Herpes Virus, ‘Pacheco’s Viral Disease’ is a deadly disease that can sit dormant for years in a host /carrier. It is not uncommon for a host /carry of the disease to show little or not effect of its presents. New World Parrots are more susceptible to becoming infected. Close proximity and the stressful nature of shipping and compacted housing appear to contribute to the transmissions. Contact with contaminated food, water, or feces are also common methods of transmission.
 

GaleriaGila

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You know what, Sailboat? I love Amazons, too, now. I really do.

Thank you for this story. What a resilient little soul!
 

Terry57

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Steven, your story about Oliver truly touched my heart. What a blessing you were for each other. Thank you so much for sharing. I had to wipe tears before adding to this. I think Oliver was meant to be with you at the end, and bless you for being there for him. What a wonderful legacy he left behind.
 
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Allee

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Steven, this is such a touching story! Sometimes it isn't the length of time that a precious light shines, but how brightly and how many hearts it illuminates. I know Oliver realized he was home in those first moments with you and the last and those sweet moments between. Thank you for Oliver's story. Looking forward to more.
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
A terrific story, Steven. Oliver must be the brightest star in your constellation of Amazons.
 
OP
SailBoat

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Thanks to each of you for your warming comments. And yes, Oliver is truly one of the Brightest Stars in our families Constellation of Amazons!

Again, thanks to each of you who have taken the time out of your busy day to read about our Journeys as part of this Forum!!!
 

Kiwibird

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What a wonderful story about a wonderful bird. Oliver sounds like a true ambassador to amazons everywhere, even in death. Lucky you to be able to spend the time you did with him. What a terrible thing to loose him to, I'd never even heard of it before. Thanks for sharing Oliver's story.
 
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SailBoat

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While searching for another Parrot's story I re-found this story of our dear Oliver...

I'm so commonly asked what it means to be Owned by an Amazon, or that a Parrot can open room in one's heard for another, next to their's, and also, that a Parrot that is fully socializes are so worth the efforts, etc, etc, etc...

Since Oliver, several Amazon have owned our home and have filled our lives with Love.

Yes, being loved by a Parrot is worth every effort!!!!

Oliver, you are Loved...
 
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Littleredbeak

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Oliver’s story is touching and my Lovebird Luvy (short for Arthur Bennett ) had a similar situation. I know Luvy came from a place of love because of how social and loving he is! He has a ton of confidence for a such a little bean! He has no fear!
Luvy was given to a reptile and bird petstore with his mate by his family,to find a new family to take care of them. His beak grows quickly and his family could no longer maintain the up keep of his beak(this is what the store owner explained to me). His mate was rehomed to a breeder, so it was just him. The store owner and personnel called him shnuzle (Snoozle ?) because of his extremely long beak. The owner told me he eats 24/7 as she always sees him in the seed bowl. While I was there I also saw him in the seed bowl trying to eat the seeds - I never saw him crack any of the shells nor do I remember seeing cracked shells. I also wasn’t looking for seed hulls - I trusted the owner when she said he was eating. . They had him for at least 2 weeks. The owner had a lot of exotic animals who looked well cared for and 5 large parrots that were personally hers. I brought a travel cage with me and one of the employees got him out with a glove used for prey birds like hawks and he tried to eat the glove! I was honestly thinking ‘oh no’ what am I doing?!

I took Luvy home and all he wanted to do was put his beak between the bars and try to taste everything. My mom and sister were visiting when I brought him home and when my mom saw him she became insistent that there is no way this bird is eating! My mom demanded I ground food up for him and kind of spoon feed him immediately before doing anything else. I made tall piles of food and helped scoop food into his mouth as he tilted his head to eat. When I took him out with a small towel (wasn’t using my hands after I saw him go to town on the glove) I could feel every rib in his little body! Bee was so hungry I honestly believe he was trying to eat the glove - anything he could.

I brought him home Saturday night and found a place to trim his beak Sunday mid morning/ afternoon. If I hadn’t taken him home he would have starved to death unknowingly to everyone around him. I called the owner of the petstore to let her know he wasn’t actually able to eat. He came from a family who loved him and he almost died when they gave their birds someone else.

Luvy and I are very blessed to have found each other. Luvy’s story is a happy on and not even close to ending. I wished Oliver had the same. I do thank you for loving Oliver as much as you do and taking him that day.
 
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Littleredbeak

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Thank you again for sharing Oliver’s story!do you have any parrot behavior/body language books or literature you recommend?
 

Laurasea

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2 great stories of 2 great parrots loved by grest people with big hearts
 
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SailBoat

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One of my favorite authors is Sally Blanchard (sp). I believe that her books are out of print, but can be found from time to time on the Used Books sites on the internet. I hear that they are pricey, which supports they are sought after. I understand that she is selling digital copies on her Website.

Thank you for taking a special needs Parrot into your life. The love they return is beyond what you can ever believe.
 

wrench13

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Thank you. Steven, for that very moving story. I know exactly how you feel. Thank you for all you put into this forum.

On a lighter note, I have the Sally Blanchard book aka The Happy Bappy Fun Book, its even a signed edition by Sally. It was pristine when I got it, but it ain't no more!
 

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