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Mike_S

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About Mike_S

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  1. Good eve! Well, an update... Have been away from Saturday afternoon, until yesterday eve. (Bro-in-law has been looking after everything here whilst we were away). Anyway, Bonnie is a lot more chatty today than Saturday, and is climbing around the cage more. Her leg is starting to go back to being the normal colour again. As I sit here typing, Lucy is chuntering away to herself. I don't think it will be long before she is talking. As for 'Blue's story, I kinda regret that missed a few things out that my Wife reminded me about. Just stupid amusing things, that I am sure would have made some of you laugh! Goodnight for now, Mike.
  2. Well guys and gals, Bonnie and Lucy went to the vet today, to see Neil Forbes. Bonnie, as usual, was very chatty and polite in the waiting room, to everyones amusement! Bonnie really seems to like Neil too, and he says she is 'Such a sweetie'. He said that we had done a wonderful job, raising such a nice tempered bird. Of course, I had to explain that it simply is a fluke that over the years, Bonnie has turned from a bird that would nail anyone but me, to being a bird that is happy with anyone. He reckoned that it was because I managed to stop Bonnie considering herself as my 'mate', to me becoming 'superior', and hence Bonnie considering herself as the 'child'. Pet psychology, huh!? Anyway, bottom line is... Bonnie likes going to the vets! Neil is very pleased with Bonnie's leg, which is a great relief to me!!!!! As for Lucy, Neil reckoned she seemed a fine bird, which such lovely long legs! (Bonnie's are short and bent, poor little baby!). Am just waiting for her blood results now, which will hopefully be fine. Well, that's it for now... off to bed! Mike.
  3. Hi Sharon, MadMud, and anyone else watching, Had a bit of a scare! Came down this morning, to find blood in the sawdust in the bottom of Bonnie's cage this morn. The blood was very much in one spot, and would be directly underneath where she was perched. Checked her leg/foot, and couldn't find anything wrong. She is in good spirits, and surprises me with what she enduring. Somehow, if I go to her cage, she will climb it with one foot and beak to come to see me. Just looks so painful! I keep checking her leg/ankle and talon temperatures using my lip, and all seems ok, although her talons are colder than the ones on the good leg/foot. She is booked in with Neil Forbes on Friday for a checkup. I am very nervous about her, so hope all will be ok. As for the new BFA, 'Lucy'. She seems to be settling ok. She is almost saying 'Hello' now. She is incredibly placid and trusting. She doesn't blink, whatever you do. Seems very playful too. She is also going to see Neil Forbes on Friday, for Microchipping, and a full set of blood tests. Hopefully, all will be well. Mike.
  4. Well, thanks for the congrats. I have to say though, that I can't believe that last week, I was asking Neil Forbes if it would be a good idea to have Bonnie's other leg straightened, when in reality, I am now on tender hooks over whether Bonnie will fully recover from this one! Looks promising though. Neil said that Bonnie's other leg wasn't anywhere near as bad though, so hopefully she will be happy with one good leg. Thanks again, Mike.
  5. Sorry, am guilty of checking the threads far more often than posting replies! Bonnie seems to be doing pretty well. Her leg is very badly bruised. I have been concerned over blood flow to her foot, as one is colder than the other. Have been warm/cold bathing her leg quite regularly, and she seems to be doing fine. Somehow, she managed to hold a monkey nut in her foot on Friday despite the obvious pain she is in! She still manages to climb the cage, but tries very hard not to use the bad leg/foot. Collected an 11 month old female BFA on Saturday, a real sweetie. I wanted one that didn't look too much like Blue. Klopatra (posts on here) has two that I saw. One was to much like Blue in too many ways. The other was a sweet little thing! I favoured the one I bought though, as the colours just looked a little different to all the others I have seen, and she is real cute (bought from 'Jan105', who posts here). Bonnie seems really happy knowing that she will soon be allowed to play with the new one, and seems incredibly chatty now, despite her pain. The new one is trying to talk back! The new one is going to see Neil Forbes this week for blood tests, so that I can hopefully 'fast-track' the quarantine process. Jan called this new baby 'Lucy' which we will probably stick with. I have to say, that having the new bird feels very strange, as I look at her, and think of Blue. I am sure though, that this will pass in time, as we all 'bond' as a family! I sure hope so!!! Mike.
  6. I'm no expert... far from it! But, when we first got Bonnie, she didn't want anyone touching her, and was very timid despite being hand reared, and two years old. When she first stepped up for me, I was ecstatic, and promoted her to 'shoulder' status. This was great, she was sweet as can be, and would sleep there, on my shoulder with here head buried against my neck, and leaning against the sofa. I thought this was great... it was! Then she would be so happy, she would regurgitate food for me, which I thought was great.. Wrong! This behavoir was followed by getting extremely stroppy when my Wife came close, and led to her waving her beak around all over the place, which I thought was funny. This made Bonnie a one person bird. Somehow, I slowly managed to ignore the signs of love and happiness that Bonnie displayed, and see them as a problem. Over the last few years, Bonnie has become an angel. If anyone comes around and ask if the parrot bites, I tell them that she won't. I get her out, and tell them that so long as they are confident, and don't back off, Bonnie will be fine. If the person isn't brave enough, I discourage even attempting to touch her. It may seem funny seeing a bird duck down, and up again, shouting, "Whoa!", but it soon becomes a problem. So, my advice, is for all the time you spend one on one with the bird, try to make sure that anyone you live with, spends the same time with the bird, preferably, passing the bird around a little. I made some big mistakes, and somehow, managed to overcome them. This was pure luck, I am sure, not experience. I am sure that others haven't been so lucky. Enjoy your new bird! Mike.
  7. Well, today went ok ish. Gave Bonnie anti-biotics and pain killer this morn. Checked the temperature of her feet using my highly accurate method... lip to foot, and found that her left foot was cold compared to the right foot. When I got to the shop, I phones Great Western. At lunchtime, Neil Forbes called me back. He explained that when he did the op, he has to cut some tissue away from the leg, prior to breaking it. He said that unfortunately, this damaged the main artery to the leg, and said that it usually won't be a problem, as collateral veins would be able to start supplying instead. But, he advised dipping her foot into warm, and then cold water to stimulate the flow a little. Checked temp this eve, and her heel is warm, so I guess that blood is flowing there, if a little slow. I have to admit, that when I collected her from the vets yesterday, and paid the £350 leg op fee, and blood test fees, I asked Neil if it would be worth doing the other leg. He said to wait and see how she was once recovered from this one, and also said that the other leg was nowhere near as bad, and probably wouldn't need doing. Well, given how anxious and worried I am about all of this, if Bonnie recovers well from it, I think I will count our lucky stars and leave the other leg alone. I don't know... we'll. You have to bear in mind, that she is hardly an old bird, so you have to think about how much her quality of life will be, and how long that quality of life can extend. Fingers crossed. As for courage for posting Blue's story... Courage, is someone posting on a forum somewhere a couple of days ago admitting that she was in complete despair with her bird, and had even had if by the throat wearing a leather glove because it bit her so hard. Wow! Talk about lining yourself up for a right good 'flaming'! Forums are fantastic things sometimes, particularly when it comes to raising parrots!!! How did people ever manage before the days of the internet!!! I now from my own experience back in the days of 'Up At Six' forum, that the internet is absolutely invaluable when it comes to saving yourself from big mistakes! I have been looking at this websites 'For Sale' pages periodically for at least two years now (only out of curiosity, not the need for another bird) before I realised just a week or so ago that there were also forum pages!!! I initially found the for sale pages when doing a Google search, when we were trying to rehome Bobo (MSC2). Been browsing the forums here a lot the last few days... full of great advice, and very knowledgeable members! Mike.
  8. Blue, AKA ‘Bluebsy’, or ‘Blueberry’. Blue was born on 7th May 1999. He was one of three babies, whom had the most attractive Father imaginable. Back in 1997, we obtained our first parrot, ‘Bonnie’, a two year old female Yellow Crowned Amazon. We bought her from a dealer who had previously sold to a man who purchased her for his Grandmother, whom had Alzheimer’s. Allegedly, the old lady went into a home, so could no longer keep Bonnie, so she found herself back at the dealer’s place, for sale again. We had no previous experience prior to obtaining Bonnie. The dealer said that she was hand reared, and would easily go back to being ‘cuddly tame’. She crashed and thrashed around the cage when he went to get her out, and chased her around the room before she got tired out. He then figured that a ‘spray bath’ would put right her stressed state after he caught her! She didn’t seem to enjoy that either! I asked him what about the bowed legs (left one in particular)?... he said, “Oh, that was where she must have got hung up in the cage when younger, and must have broken it”. BTW… DNA testing of Bonnie actually revealed her to be ‘him’. Something I have never come to terms with! When we bought her, we were told that she was small because she was a ‘she’. More on this later… So, we £350 later, we took her home, feeling very happy. After about a week, Bonnie actually came to the side of the cage, and allowed me to scratch her head, which I can tell you, was a moment not to be forgotten! Somehow, we bumbled through the early days of parrot ownership, and despite a few ‘mistakes’ Bonnie taught us a great deal! One saviour at the time, was the ‘Up at Six’ American parrot forum, which saved me from some very emotionally stressful situations, both with Bonnie, and subsequently, with Blue. In the early days, we fell into the trap of Bonnie bonding with me, and trying to eat anyone else that went to touch her. Somehow, after having Blue for a few years, we managed to wind up with a situation where both birds would be fine with anyone. Back to Blue… When Blue was about 6 weeks old, we went to see Blue for the first time. He wasn’t the prettiest bird, but of the three, I just had a feeling that his personality and looks would be perhaps the beats all-round package of the three. We went back to pick Blue up a little earlier than we should have, as the breeder called me up one day to say that he was eating plenty of seed, and that we could finish off the weaning if we so wished. I jumped at the chance! (Not really a wise decision though). Anyway, from very early on, Blue seemed quite a character, to say the least. He also seemed to live for the joy of food! Yep, he would eat anything, and begged for any human food that we were ourselves eating. Failure to give him any, always resulted in the same outcome… a big green bundle of feathers crashing heavily onto the plate, usually into baked beans if present! Blue was also a very messy bird. Bonnie was refined, and talked ‘posh’, using very much the Queens’s English. Blue… well, Blue was Blue! He spent half his time in the bottom of his cage, seeing what extra food he could salvage from the sawdust, and dunked anything you ever gave him, into his water bowl before eating it, including newspaper! Needless to say, his water bowl was like a cess pit when being cleaned out each day! Blue and Bonnie became good friends. They would preen each other a lot, and play a lot. But, after prolonged periods of play, Blue would usually have his beak around Bonnie’s neck, and Bonnie would have hers around his ankle, with the inevitable outcome being Bonnie either falling off the playstand, or going back to her cage. Bonnie used to like getting up on the curtain poles, and unhook the curtains. Blue kept this well under control in time. He would start with, “geddown”, then, “Get down”, then, “GET DOWN!!!” at the top of his voice. Bonnie would then make a funny ‘worried’ tone, and fly back to her cage. When she got back, Blue would shout, “Naughty!”, more often than not followed by, “F****** h***!”. Just for the record, We never swore in front of the birds. But, for a few years we had ‘Bobo’, a Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, whom was given to us by his previous owner, who could cope with him no longer. He was a fantastic animal, whom loved to go out in the garden, usually to destroy our maple trees, and chew render off the corner of the house. Unfortunately, he was very unpredictable, and would often turn from a sweet cuddly thing, into a possessed monster, despite the help of Greg Glendell, and others. He is happily rehomed as of the last couple of years. Anyway, one evening, I came back from a business trip to Japan. On the following morning, I was struggling to try to sleep in. Elisa had gone downstairs, and let Bobo. He took it upon himself to go into the dining room, and onto the table, as he thought my new digital camera looked rather interesting! (Elisa was upstairs again when this happened). So, thirty minutes later, Elisa went downstairs, and returned upstairs with my freshly dismantled camera, saying, “Bobo’s got a confession”. Well, I swore!... several times in fact! I was jetlagged, grumpy, tired, and p****d off! A few days after Bobo’s interest in cameras had been demonstrated (he was interested in anything that could be dismantled, including his new cage, and the Sky Digibox, which he trashed when ‘on the rampage’ one day), I was going to a stag night with a work colleague. Whilst getting ready, I could hear Blue chattering away to himself, practising new words under his breath. I didn’t give this much thought at the time. But, two days later, he was practising his first swear words, over, and over again, each time getting louder, and clearer! It amazed me, that he could pick something up so incredibly quickly. He was also practising other words that he must have learnt at the same time, but we won’t go into that. It seems that if something was said in anger, Blue would pick this up instantly! If ever Elisa shouted at me for anything (even without swearing), Blue would start shouting and swearing, as if to add his own ‘two pennies’ worth. Bonnie however, never learnt any bad words… only words of sweetness, as she only spoke the Queen’s English! I am grateful for this, honestly. Blue was an incredibly intelligent animal. (Bonnie was sweet, but Blue was the brains in the household). Anything I would ever do, he would watch incredibly intently. Every day, I would take Bonnie out to the kitchen on my shoulder, and change her food and water. In Blue’s case, I would plonk him down on the worktop, change his food and water, and make myself a coffee. One day, as I put the teaspoon down on the worktop after making my coffee, Blue walked over, picked up the spoon in his beak, and dropped it in the cup. I chuckled! He then proceeded to pull it back out (with coffee in it), hold it with his foot, and drink out of it! I was gobsmacked! I never taught him this! A couple of days later, I caught this on video camera, and am extremely grateful that I did, as this turned out to be a wonderful memory of him (covered later). Sure, we had our moments when Blue was younger, but all in all, he turned out to be fantastic, and would go to anyone without biting, as will Bonnie. God knows how, but somehow we had two very ‘well adjusted’ birds (I thought so, anyway). Blue was such a character. Having his food and water changed was one of the highlights of his day. He would get so excited, and shout all sorts of nice things whilst on the kitchen worktop in the mornings. On many occasions, I would shout back, which would make him even louder, and even more amusing. I did this one day, and lowered to face to his level, and said, “Give me a kiss!!!”… he did just that, but a Glaswegian one!.. he lunged and bit me really hard on the bottom lip! The top of his beak was inside my mouth, and the bottom of his beak was buried deep into my face! I knew I shouldn’t take chances like this, but I had always been able to handle him before, no matter how hyped up he was. This was one of two occasions that he nailed me. It was my fault both times, I knew that. Blue could sing too. Bonnie could sing… loves to sweetly opera sing along to any background music. Blue, well, his singing was more like showing off! His was more of a wailing noise, always out of tune, and always to make sure he was drowning Bonnie out! Blue was kinda like the ugly duckling. Sure, his Daddy thought he was good looking when he was young, but so do all parents, right? Can you blame me? As it happens though, he changed dramatically as he grew up, and became incredibly handsome. On Sunday the 7th of May 2007, Blue was his usual self, or at least, in the morning he was, but I was out for the rest of the day. On Monday the 8th, however, I went downstairs to find himself in the bottom of his cage, just sitting there, very quiet. I put my hand in, and he climbed up without complaint. But, he just wasn’t right. He didn’t say a single word, was breathing short breaths, and didn’t want any food. Needless to say, I was worried. I phoned my local vet, but Richard Best had retired, and I didn’t know if they had anyone else there who was good with birds. They recommended Great Western Referrals, and Langford Vet College. I couldn’t get an appointment that same day with Great Western, so tried Langford, with success. So, I put Blue into our plastic cat carrier, and put him on the passenger seat of the car, and drove to Langford. During the entire 30 minute or so journey to Langford, Blue just sat there silent, looking me straight in the eye through the slit in the basket. It was kinda like he knew I was going to get him all fixed up again, like he was relying on me. We got to the vets, and took Blue out of the basket for the vet to look at him. Blue didn’t grumble once. He also never took his eye off me, we just maintained eye contact the whole time. The vet talked of various possibilities, saying that he obviously had fluid in his airsacks. I left his there for them to run some tests. Of these tests, one of them showed that his kidneys weren’t functioning to well. On the evening, they treated him for Chlamidea. It later turned out, that he tested positive for this, and this was also causing his blood reading to not be quite right. The vet called me on the evening to say that Blue was coming around from anaesthetic. About thirty minutes later, I received another call, saying that when they went back in to check him, he had died. I was absolutely devastated! I’m 38 years old, and never ever had a pet like him! He was the nearest thing I have had, to a son (Bonnie is ‘Daughter’ status, despite actually being DNA’d male). Since Blue left us, there has not been a single day that I haven’t thought of him… not one!, I have lost a lot of family members over the years, including parents, yet can only say this of Blue. On a cruise holiday a couple of weeks ago, Elisa told me (as she already had, several times), that we should get another parrot. One day during the cruise, we stopped at Barcelona, and visited a street market. There was so much going on there! Many stands were selling birds. Upon leaving one stall, Elisa tried to steer me away from the next. I insisted on looking, and there was a handsome Blue Front! Elisa tried to stop me from going to see it, as she said it would only upset me. But, I did go and take a look, and yes, it did upset me! Yep, a semi-grown man cried, again! (and now, whilst typing, too). When we bought Bonnie, I wanted a parrot. When we came to buy Blue, I wanted a Blue Front! I did a lot of homework, and decided that I liked the look of them, and that their temperament profile was ideal for us, and Bonnie. I wanted smart, but without too much spice! I feel so strongly that he was just the perfect balance of bird for us (Bonnie’s perfect too!), that I have decided that I don’t want o take a chance with anything else, in case I fail as a parent! Blue is now in an area of the garden which is to be turned into a Japanese garden, and has the biggest and most attractive natural headstone. He deserves nothing less! Blue’s Story, brought to an untimely end.
  9. Sorry Jenny, our posts crossed, so I didn't see yours until after I hit the submit button. Thanks for the compliments, and goodnight for now... Mike.
  10. Bonnie has just woken up after being asleep on my lap for an hour. She seemed a bit restless, so I figured she wanted to go to the loo. Put her back in her cage, and she has now eaten some food and had a drink, which is a good sign. Deffo last post tonight! Goodnight for now... Mike.
  11. Well, as I type, Bonnie is lying on her back on my lap asleep. Her leg looks pretty grim with metal rods poking out everywhere, and blood all over it. Surprisingly, she will climb around the cage on it, and at the vets, she walked across the table to come and see me. But, you can see that it is painful for her. She was so restless trying to sleep in her cage with it, that I figured that I would get her out and see if she would sleep on her back on my lap... within 20 seconds her eyes were closed. Poor thing must be completely worn out. I have this eve signed up for a 'Photo Bucket' account, so you can see pics there. I am working in one of our gift shops tomorrow as the manager has the day off. I will most certainly have time there to write about what happened to Blue. I am most likely going to take Bonnie there with me so I can keep an eye on her. Goodnight for now... and thank you all so much for your kind and encouraging thoughts and input on this thread. Mike.
  12. Hi Guys, Well, Neil Forbes phoned an hour ago to say that Bonnie's op was done, and that all went well. He said that she actually has three bends in the leg, of which they managed to fix two. But, they also found that her leg was twisted through 90 degrees ('toe-in', in car terminology), which she had been compensating for all these years. Neil said that they have fixed that too, which is good news. As for Blue, I will write his story as soon as I can (within the next couple of days) and post it here, with some pics, so you can see just how amazing he was! Thanks, Mike.
  13. Well, it has been an interesting day! I have just got home from the vets, and Bonnie has stayed there! In short, we got to the vets at 11.30am (motorway was closed between Bristol and Bath), and went into the room with Neil Forbes. He didn't use the 'hand in and grab' approach of our previous vet. Instead, he opened up the carrier, spoke to Bonnie, who was all happy and chirpy and spoke back. She (really male) jumped on his hand like he was a long lost friend! To cut a long story short, after taking blood samples, Neil called me back in because there was a 'problem' with Bonnie that I ought to know about. He pointed out her bowed legs, (left one is bad), and I told him that I asked the dealer about it when we bought her, and that the dealer said that she was 'hung up' (trapped) in the cage when young, and broke her leg. Neil said that this wasn't the case, and that when rearing Bonnie as a chick (we got her at 2 years old) she had obviously had 'Metabolic Bone Disease'. He also said that this was why Bonnie is so small for a Yellow Crown. Anyway, Neil said that the leg needed straightening or else the ligaments would be a problem later, which would result in her needing to be euthanised. So, she is now at the vets, awaiting the leg operation tomorrow morning. Neil did a whole load of blood tests on Bonnie, and said that everything was spot on, which is a sigh of relief! I am pleased that we are planning on getting a new addition to the family, as a family brought an African Grey in, and Bonnie's face lit up, and she got all excited trying to get it to reply to her "Hello"s, and "How are you?"s. Same thing happened a while later when someone else brought an Eclectus in. Needless to say, neither of these strangers would talk back to Bonnie! Choosing a new parrot is an absolute nightmare... I have been so torn between looks of various BFA's, and their personalities/spiritedness. Looks like I have fallen prey of pretty colours this time though! Mike.
  14. Hi Choccyb, and Madmud, Thanks for your replies. Trouble is, I want to make sure that I make the right decision here. I have found a 10 week old BFA called Lucy. Am taking Bonnie to see Neil Forbes tomorrow for Chlamidea test. Hope all goes well her. Trouble is, I didn't want another BFA, as I felt that it could never live up to Blue, and I felt it was wrong to buy a 'replacement'. But, I did a lot of homework before we got Blue, and decided that he was the right kind of breed for us. He turned out to be perfect in his balance of personality. I just hope that we can raise the female one to be equally as well adjusted. At present, the female is unbelievably steady, to the point where it doesn't even blink whatever you do to her. You can lift her wings without her even paying any attention to what you are doing. I would kinda prefer one a little 'spirited' in a way, but am sure that the 'testy times' will come sooner or later! Thanks again. I will tell Blue's story later. It's a sad one. Mike.
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