Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bela & Juji




We lost our Budgie (small parakeet), Bela (blue), Saturday. It was a shock: she had no signs of illness and was happy, chirping, playing the day before. I housed both of our Budgies in my office ever since we moved into this house, to protect them from our dogs and so they had plenty of time with me. They were free-flighted, trained, fun, little creatures who brought us so much joy.
Juji (green), the eldest passed in January of a cyst. I never thought I could love such a tiny creature so much, but I really gave her so much love & time. I spent four months training her via positive training daily so she would trust me and be able to fly wherever she wanted (pre-dogs). She was super smart and learned not to go on blinds, curtain rods, or anywhere else we didn’t want her. We bought her tons of toys & play gyms. She was so much fun, but truthfully she had a huge personality and was quite the diva. If she wasn’t happy, she let everyone know. She would scream, bite you where it hurt most – in between fingers or right under/next to your fingernail. Oh how I loved the little monster. When she was happy, she would snuggle me (she liked to cuddle under my chin), sing, play, explore. She was fearless. Some days she’d sit on my shoulders/chest for 6 hours. For her to take a bath she needed a lettuce leaf in some water and she would roll on it & splash around and make a huge mess. She made us laugh often. When she died she took a piece of my heart. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her, think of her, or wish she was still here.
After having her a year my husband picked out Bela, since at that time we traveled a lot and didn’t want Juji to be lonely when we were gone. Because she was his bird and Juji was so good, we didn’t spend as much time training and I didn’t get so attached to her. She followed Juji around and did whatever she did, but was also always a bit afraid, hesitant, and very needy.
After Juji died we weren’t sure what to do. Bela was so needy we thought she’d be lonely, so we found someone who works with my husband who is knowledgeable about and has birds and promised if we gave Bela to her she would get Bela a partner. We decided to wait and see. Then we thought Bela might be more comfortable at home with us since that was what she knew, we didn't want to stress her out. She no longer wanted to be out of cage other than her daily flight around my office. She no longer wanted to sit on me or play on a gym since Juji wasn’t there for her to follow. She still played a lot with the many toys in her cage, even more so with Juji gone – Juji was a bit of a bully and wouldn’t let Bela play with everything. I’d play music for her and she’d sing along and play. If I didn’t go in my office early enough for her she’d chirp until I did. She always greeted me when I came in and when I left for the day she’d cry.
We’re so sad that she is no longer with us. To be sitting here in my office is so depressingly quiet. I hope they are together again, flying free and playing peacefully.
I cry as I sit here taking apart their cage and going through their things; deciding what to toss, what to keep, what to donate, what to sell. We have 4 or 5 bins of toys in our pantry, a stand of toys, food, and play gyms, and more cages, toys, and play gyms in the basement. The other day I noticed a local humane society has Budgies that need homes and I thought maybe we could adopt a pair since we have everything they’d need, but I just don’t know if I can. I loved our two so much.
I’m quite angry that they died. Budgies can live many years (20+) and I read everything I could on taking proper care of them, feeding them veggies & fruits along with herbs, greens, healthy pellets and (few) seeds, we bought them a sun lamp, they had a large flight cage and were free-flighted, we spent a lot of time with them, they seemed happy and healthy. I thought we’d have a minimum of 10 years with them. 5/6 years is just NOT enough! Today I found a frog toy in the cage and the eyes were chewed off. I wonder if that is why Bela died – did she ingest them? I guess we’ll never know.
Having birds as pets was a great experience. Birds are very sensitive creatures with delicate respiratory systems and cannot tolerate many things that a person with SPD can’t – like smells, chemicals, smoke, toxins, etc. You cannot use Teflon around them, markers, paint, glue, candles, perfume, hairspray, air freshener, Febreeze, etc., they need a comfy temp – not too hot or too cold. They require quiet at times, didn’t like a lot of people around, and required a lot of sleep in the dark. We treated our birds as well as we possibly could and I hope they were happy and felt loved. We will forever miss them.
September is a crappy month for me as is; both my good friend of 25 years died on the 23rd and my dad died on the 28th, so to have another loved one die this month just sucks.

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