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Sara, adopted on 10/09/05, † 12/16/10
On 10/03/2005 the animal activist Anette who lived close to my hometown these days was looking for help in an internet forum. She has visited a pet shop in the Netherlands - Anette lives close to the Dutch border - because she wanted to by some toys for her Parrots there. Therefore on 09/30/2005 she has been in that shop and she has seen a budgie who was sitting on the bottom of the cage looking ill. That was too much for Anette, so she told the staff about the sick bird. She was told that the bird was suffering from an illness that's called the French Molt. This disease makes budgies become flightless when they are still very young. Anette couldn't see herself whether the poor budgie was missing its wing feathers or not because there ware at least 20 other budgies inside the cage. It was hard to see anything, and therefore she decided to buy the sick budgie and try to find someone who knows more about the illnesses of this bird species. And that's why she posted in the above mentioned forum.
At home she had a closer look at the bird and she found out that the budgie was suffering from heavy bowlegs due to rachitis (see photo on the right). The bird's cloaca was covered with droppings that stuck to the skin and the feathers. Also the budgie was infected with mites. Anette thought it would be a good idea to take the budgie to an avian vet. The doctor said that the bird will most probably will never be able to use its legs in a normal way but in a home for handicapped birds it could lead a happy life. After talking to the expert Anette decided to find such a home for the bird and we got in touch. On 10/09/2005 two bird lovers from Cologne drove to Anette's place to bring the budgie to my home. I'm so thankful for their help because I don't have a car and I wouldn't have been able to get the bird without them. When Sara arrived at my place, she was about nine months old.
After I took her out of the transportation cage she moved into a sick budgie's cage which contained cork platforms and no normal twigs. Due to her heavy bowlegs Sara was not able to stand on perches and twigs, she needed platforms to rest on and she immediately liked the ones made of cork oak bark. The bottom of the cage was cushioned to prevent injuries in case Sara would fall off her platforms. What Sara liked most was the sunlight coming into her cage through the large window. When the sun was shining Sara perched in the light and immediately began to sing.
A few days after she arrived at my place the vet found out that lovely Sara didn't carry any infectious disease in her body. Therefore she was allowed to move into my bird room after the quarantine. It was clear that Sara would be able to lead a good life even though she was disabled due to her bowlegs. In my bird room she immediately felt at home and she trained her wings. Flying worked pretty well, only landing caused her some trouble in case she didn't find an even place. Her feet were twisted too much to stand on a twig or typical budgie perch. Sara prefered to land on the floor or on the window sill for example.
In November 2005 Sara who was quite timid flirted with a friendly guy named Orpheus. The birds fell in love with each other and soon became a couple until he regrettably died in Summer 2006. He was unable to fly due to a broken wing. So Sara always returned to him when he was awaiting her sitting somewhere on the ground. With all the other birds Sara also got along well, she was a friendly and calm bird. Most female budgies are a bit touchy but she has never been like that. Every time one of the other birds started to quarrel she flew away to a safer place. Maybe she knew that she was not that strong due to her handicap. And obviously she didn't like to fight at all.
What impressed me most was that the charming blue spangle - that's the name of her colour mutation - was so intelligent. Thanks to her powers of comprehension I was able to teach her something helpful: Sara had to drink some medicine each day to prevent a worsening of her bowlegs. I put this medicine in a spoon and she learned to drink it whenever I served it to her. It only took her two days to learn drinking from the spoon and therefore I didn't have to grab her with my hand each time I had to give her the medicine.
For all her live she gave so much joy to me because she was so curious, friendly, vivid and she was always in the mood for doing something very funny and making me laugh. In November 2010 she regrettably became ill. Some bacteria and yeasts in her digestive tract caused problems and my avian vet prescribed some medicine. At first, the treatment worked well and soon Sara felt much better. In the beginning of December 2010, she started to chirp and sing again what made very happy. this happiness lasted only for a few days since Sara's disease returned. Once again the avian vet found yeasts in her crop and he told me to treat her with other drugs. Unfortunately these medicines didn't help her at all. Poor Sara died on 12/16/2010. This loss filled me with deep sadness because Sara was always a very special bird to me. I miss my feathered little friend, her strange "dialect", her special gait and the noises it caused and of cause I miss her cheerfulness. Thank you for everything, dear Sara.
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