Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Life-saving grass deliveries

As previously posted, we have been struggling here because Bezukhov has gone off his food.  Though it is the end of the season, follower rosebudgie & her sharing sausages, have managed to find more wild, seeded grass & more importantly, sent it on to us.  The deliveries were beyond welcome… life-saving really, because this was food that Bezukhov was enthusiastic about eating.

Dalai also tucked in heartily – possibly too heartily as he was eating far more than Bezukhov.  I was worried this limited supply would disappear before Bezukhov came out of his not-eating phase, so I held some back to sneakily give to Bezukhov whilst Dalai was not looking.  (Sorry Dalai – I would do the same for you if positions were reversed).

 

 

Thank you, rosebudgie & the Sharing Sausages!!!

 

 

Sensitive and Complicated

It was one week ago, with a sense of jà vu, that I noticed Bezukhov’s poops did not look right.  They were sludgy & dark green.

Bezukhov on the window perch

Bezukhov on the window perch

Bezukhov on top of the manor

Bezukhov on top of the manor

Bezukhov eating pellets

Bezukhov eating pellets

Instinct told me this was Bezukhov’s reaction to losing Phineas because the poops reminded me of just over a year ago, when we lost Cagney, & Bezukhov stopped eating (click here for post).

I knew Bezukhov was upset by the change in routine, actually, the change in everything, as evidenced by not going into the Villa (Phinny’s domain).  He would go in briefly for water or to chew on the iodine block, but not sit in there.  Also, overnight sleeping has switched, at Bezukhov’s insistence, from the Villa to the Manor.

In the days leading up to the discovery, I had noticed Bezukhov was eating more pellets (in dishes on top of the Villa) but it was not until I saw the dodgy poops that I realised he was barely eating his normal seed mix.  Behaviour-wise, Bezukhov became very loud.  He was constantly shouting & often looking out of the window.  Normally he would shout at things outside but each time I looked I could not see anything; he was just shouting for shouting’s sake.  Sometimes he would go to one of the five seed pots but would only eat one seed before looking distracted & moving on.

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Autumn Banner 2016

We have won the banner competition on the budgerigars forum.  It is a bittersweet victory; we are very pleased & proud to have won, yet sad that we lost Phineas in the time between submitting the banner & winning the competition.

There is a competition each season to select a new banner, with the winner voted for by the members.  The theme was Autumn.  In the northern hemisphere, Autumn usually means back to school, so I used this idea & came up with the following:

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The budgie stars are (L to R): Bezukhov, Cagney, Phineas & Feathered Fiends’ Monty.

It can be seen in situ here: http://budgerigarsforum.proboards.com/ for the next few months.  Do take a look & have a browse around the friendly & informative forum. 🙂

 

 

Remembering Cagney: One year on

One year ago today, our beautiful Cagney made his way to rainbow bridge.

Cagney

Cagney

Still in our thoughts.

Love you my dear boy.

xxx

rainbow-Cagney-image

 

 

The last weeks and days in the life of Phineas (3 of 3)

So Phineas was due to have surgery in the afternoon of the 6th September.  I had left him at the hospital at around 14:30.  At half past five, I still had not heard anything, so I rang the vets.  I was told he had not had the surgery yet.  It was possible it would not be done until the following day.

In a later phone call they suggested that he stay overnight at the hospital (free of charge) to minimise stress & he would be seen in the morning.  I asked if I could visit him that evening but they said all their visiting rooms were booked.  Because I could not see him, I rang several times to check he was okay.  Each time, I was told he was settled & that he was ‘absolutely fine’.  I cannot say that *I* was feeling ‘absolutely fine’.  I was in bits.

Last photo of Phineas

Last photo of Phineas

The next morning, I was told he was ‘bright & happy’.  I cannot say that even this comforted me as it did not sound like Phineas.  I appreciate that strangers will not know him as I do, but *I* would have felt ‘bright & happy’ had they told me he was ‘grumpy & sulky’ – a far more normal description, particularly under the circumstances.  They also told me that he would be seen at 1pm the earliest.  So, another long wait…

I will not log the details of what happened next as they are still too upsetting for me to share.  In short, during the surgery, Phineas went into cardiac arrest & they could not revive him.

It was several days before I could even discuss the surgery with the vet.  It turned out to be very complicated.  She was confident that Phineas had an aggressive cancerous growth that in turn had caused a hernia.  It was not a relatively simple case of ‘removal of mass’ (as expected), because his abdominal contents had spilled out & were entwined in the growth.  How my poor boy even functioned was a mystery.  It is likely that had he survived the surgery, he would not have had long afterwards.

Right now, I find no comfort in anything.  All I know is that he was in good spirits when I left him.  I wish *I* had not left him.  And I dearly wish he was still here.  I know from experience that time will gradually heal these feelings…. but in the meantime, I am desperately sad & missing my wonderful little friend.

 

 

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The last weeks and days in the life of Phineas (2 of 3)

After Phinny’s visit to the vet, he was a bit subdued.  He welcomed having his cheek feathers ruffled.  At one point, he was on the Manor landing platform, leaning over as I ruffled his feathers & this went on for about 20 minutes – in fact, he almost fell asleep.

The following morning (Saturday), Phineas initially appeared fine as he came to the front perch to greet me, but as the morning wore on, he got more & more listless & barely ate anything.  I was offering food to him.  Sometimes he ate a few seeds.  A couple of times he chomped on some carrot.

Despite being out of sorts, at around 15:30 he managed to have a jiggy-jiggy.  It was not as long drawn out as usual but I took it as a positive sign, though he did have to rest afterwards.  In the evening, he appeared to rally & ate some bedtime seed & instigated a chat with Dalai.

The next day, on the Sunday, he was much better though still a little quiet.  He was eating by himself but not as much as usual, so I offered food as well.  I took the time that day to rearrange Dalai’s quarantine cage (that had not yet been removed, even though I cannot remember the last time he went in there) into a recovery cage for Phineas after his surgery.  I padded the bottom, put rope perches in & also put in his favourite ttmss swing.

 

The day of his surgery (6th September) came quickly.  That morning, Phineas was in good spirits.  He had been preening my finger, regurgitating & more importantly, fitted in a jiggy-jiggy.  As the time approached, I managed to lock Bezukhov & Dalai in the Villa & Phineas in the manor, where I could catch him to put him in the travel cage.   You can see from the (last) video I took of him in the travel cage (below) that he was lively & alert.

At the vet hospital, we were seen by a nurse who explained what would happen.  I signed the papers authorising the surgery.  Phinny was stressed by the journey & was panting.  I attached his water bottle that had Guardian Angel in it (a tonic). We said our good byes.  I cried leaving him.  There is always a risk with surgery but this seemed the only option.

We returned home to wait.  They would ring when he was in recovery.  If I had not heard in about 3 hours, I was to ring them.

 

To be continued…

 

 

The last weeks and days in the life of Phineas (1 of 3)

Phineas is no longer with us.  It is a great shock to us all.  There were signs that things were not right, but this still in no way prepared us for his eventual loss.

Phineas

Phineas

It was quite a few weeks ago that I noticed he seemed to be getting fatter in his ‘undercarriage’ area.  When he did the hand jive, I could feel a soft pad.  Because it felt soft, I guessed it was fat & perhaps we needed to do something about his weight.  For several weeks, I religiously picked every groat out of their seed mix as I understood these can be fatty.  They must be quite tasty too as they are usually the seeds that are picked out & eaten first.

After removing the groats & monitoring his eating habits (he did not noticeably eat more than the others) there was no change.  He still had poop bombs but these appeared to be getting caught on the fatty lump, rather than his feathers.  His flying was more clumsy – like his centre of gravity had shifted.  Apart from these changes, his behaviour was exactly the same; he still had his daily jiggy-jiggy, he was still lively, he was still winding Bezukhov & Dalai up.

Because of my concerns, I took Phineas to see Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV) on Friday 2nd September.  The first thing she observed was that he looked well.  However, when she examined him, she said she could feel a distinct lump behind a fat pad.  She believed it was a tumour.

Phineas in the travel cage

Phineas in the travel cage

It was decided that surgery was the best option.  To help give an indication on what type of tumour it was, she took a sample via a fine needle to be sent for analysis.  Results were due back on the Monday, so we booked Phineas in for surgery on Tuesday 6th September.

When we got home, I was relieved to see that Bezukhov had retired to the Villa – he had refused to be locked in anywhere (Dalai was locked in the Manor).  I opened the door to the travel cage, but though Phineas wanted to get out, he was having trouble with the small door.  Bezukhov & Dalai by this time were flying over his cage to the window perch & eventually, on one of their flights back to the Manor, Phineas managed to negotiate the open door & fly out.  He was not quite prepared & it looked like he was not going to make the turn in order to get to the Manor, so I stretched out &, amazingly, gently caught him, mid-flight & returned him, to the manor to be reunited with his friends.

 

To be continued…

 

 

Remembering Atilla: Four years on

Four years ago today, our beautiful Atilla made her way to rainbow bridge.

Atilla

Atilla

Still in our thoughts.

Love you my dear girl.

xxx

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Remembering Phineas: Finding solace in photos

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Farewell, my friend Phineas

It is with a very heavy heart that I announce the passing of my wonderful friend, Phineas.

Phineas

Phineas

~

Phineas, you came, you saw, you jiggied, you shouted, you sulked, you shadowed, you regurgitated, you stole our hearts, & now you have gone.

For a little grey man, you brought incredible colour into our lives.  We thank you for that.  And we love you.

~