Jacqui. A Rescue Story.

Jacqui is a galah, a beautiful dark pink and grey parrot. She is 17 now, but we met when she was 6. My first sight of her was a listless pile of feathers in the bottom of a small cage. We thought she was dead, it was a while before we realised she wasn't. She had no food, no water, no shelter. Who knows how long she had been there like that. The decision was made to euthanize her, to cut short her suffering. I held her - there was no weight, barely any substance. Then there was a small movement of her tongue, the faintest spark in her beady red eye. I crossed the line. I pleaded to be allowed to take her home, just one night. If no difference could be seen by morning she would be put to sleep then. I was scared. What if all I was doing was prolonging her suffering?

It was a very long night. I wrapped her in a cloth, and buttoned her inside my shirt. The alarm was set for every hour, when I would feed her honey water with a dropper. The first few feeds, the liquid just ran across her tongue and out the other side. But she was making swallowing motions, she was taking some of it in. Gradually she started to make an effort to drink it. I spoke to her, and gently caressed her little head all night. I dozed off sitting in the chair at around 5am, and awoke at 6. My first thought was Jacqui. I looked down, and her sweet, beady little eyes looked into mine and blinked. I got her out of my shirt and fed her some honey water, and she drank. She drank it all, the whole dropper full! I sat on the floor with her, and unwrapped the cloth I had snuggled her with. She stood up, she stretched one wing. She was still very weak, she almost fell over, but she was standing. She was drinking. She was going to be okay.

It took a while before she was fully fully fit, fully recovered. She had bonded with me that night, and there was never any suggestion of finding her a home. She had one now. It's been 11 years, and she is a precious companion. She doesn't talk, in her species the males are better at that. I have heard her screech  the word 'SCRATCH" twice. Once when a large unknown dog scared her, and the other time when a peroxide blonde got too close. It must have been the hair that scared her that time. She does purr like a cat constantly, and copies the noise I make clicking my tongue on the roof of my mouth. She loves kisses, she loves scratches, and she loves to climb down my shirt to sleep.  The life expectancy of a Galah in captivity is around 25 years, so we have a few more years to share yet.        

Soozles Soozles
46-50, F
7 Responses Jan 14, 2010

The bird would have got a good chuckle too. They have such a marvellous sense of humour, very wry. I had a Bugie that was a marvellous talker. He had a stutter, when I walked into the room he would say 'Hello dar..dar.. darlin. Wa..wanna..wanna..tick..tickle?' He mimicked my voice, I taught him to talk, and I don't stutter. Just his way of talking :) I used to love his wolf whistles when he would see me changing. He knew when the timing was right!

This is just another wonderful Soozle story. <br />
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Growing up we always had parrots. My mom was able to get them all to talk but, one in particular, learned how to say my father's name, George. My father at the time was putting an addition on our home and the bird would call his name out. He would come in the house and say to my mother, "what do you need"? He would get so frustrated to find out it was the bird (we got a good chuckle) lol! This would happen over and over. My father was such a patient man!

Hi Garvan. I'm glad you enjoyed Jacqui's story. She is a much treasured part of my life. Having dogs is not a problem, I have dogs and cats as well, they all live together happily. If you want a parrot that talks, make sure you get a male. While females can talk, males are always much more vocal. Also, if you want a bird you can handle, a young bird is a good idea. They form a very strong bond, and are wonderful, funny, charming companions. As with any animal, it is the time and love you give them that determines the happiness and attitude of the bird.

A wonderful contribution,thank you,this is a prime example of the kindness and compassion that so many people possess I am feeling a warmth inside after reading your experience.I have had it in mind for a long time now to have a parrot as a pet companion.If you do have time prehaps you may be able to advise me whether I am suited to look after a parrot as I have two dogs.

Parrots are amazing birds, Cabcraft. They are so intelligent, and form such a strong bond. The Lorikeet sounds gorgeous - but a parrot screaming your name constantly could certainly drive you to distraction! I would love for Jacqui to talk, but the females are usually more quiet. I don't love her any less because she doesn't, though. :)

Oh wow Soozles, what a wonderful story. I am a bird person. I rescued a blue ringneck and a Lorie who were just fed and watered but not stimulated or loved. They were very wild, and scared. The ringneck allowed me to take him in and out of his cage, but would stand rigidly on my shoulder, and didn't seem to like it. He needed the security of is cage to relax and play along. But he was a sweetheart. Unfortunately he screamed, and screamed, and screamed!!!<br />
The Lorie fell in love with me ad would screech blue-murder until I took him out of his cage. He attacked anyone who came near me. He would constantly be kissing, rubbing his head and body on me, and very disconcertingly, his nether regions too. He learnt to talk incredibly quickly and screamed my name constantly. Crazy bird. I eventually had to give them to a breeder friend, my family couldn't handle the noise><br />
I now have an African Grey who is also crazy about me, but it's platonic, thank goodness! Birds are amazing! X@

That's such a beautiful story! To bring something so close to death back again and make it a cherished pet........I wish all suffering animals could cross paths with you!