My Beloved Tia

by Dean
(Renton, WA USA)

Just last Wednesday I had to have my wonderful gold-cap conure "Tia" put to sleep after a two month illness.
I can't begin to tell you how as each day passes, it only gets harder.
Tia died of advanced liver disease. She should have lived 25-30 years but died 1 month short of her 13th birthday.
Her diet as I thought was overall very good, but as I loved her so deeply, I spoiled her with some fatty foods and that added up over time. When my wife and I ate, she would eat with us. She loved to come upstairs to our bedroom and lay under the covers with us. When we were both not home, she would listen to jazz on the big screen
I had Tia from 3 months old up until that awful night. We did everything together. Tia experienced the agony of my divorce and a few bad relationships after that as well as dealing with life's negative events together. She could tell when I was upset and would sit on my shoulder and nuzzle into my neck mostly to say "I love you daddy and I'm here for you." I couldn't wait to get home every day from work to see her; as she heard me open the garage door and drive in, I could hear her chirping and ringing of her bells to greet me. When I would come down the stairs every morning she knew it was breakfast time and would acknowledge with a ringing of her bell or a chirp.
You get so used to all the specific traits that make up your pet, and expect they will always be around to make you happy. Our house is empty, with no sound at all. Now when I leave the house, I don't go through my daily rituals that I became so used to having with her.
On her last day she was in her birdy house mostly and didn't eat. At 4pm when it was time for us to eat, I took her out of her cage (she spent more time out than in) and immediately felt her body and behavior was different; it was deteriorating. I took her close to my chest and put her under my neck to keep her warm and just knew she was dying. We got her to ER about 5pm and they started pure oxygen and medication. When we left there I was told they would call me if something changed.
About 10pm I was called and told to get down there as her condition had worsened. My wife and jumped into the car and arrived about 10:45pm. They brought her in a towel to the waiting room we were in and she was so weak but here's the thing - she knew mommy and daddy were there to comfort her in her final minutes. I could see paralysis was starting to set into her legs so after 10 minutes alone with her, the doctor came and took her to a place to administer her shot.
It was over quickly and we were told she was gone. No more suffering, no more pain. The past two months were so busy trying to help her recover with all kinds of medicines, late hours - but the crazy thing is when birds like my baby are so attached to you they mask their pain. When we were told two months earlier that Tia's liver count was off the charts it was already too late. But because of her absolute love for me and my wife, she wanted those extra couple of months to say her goodbyes.
I looked at my little girl Tia as the most important thing in my life. I was as dependent on her as she was on me. My wife was with her about five years but felt so close to her. Tia loved both of us equally which is unusual as they usually bond to only one.
I can't begin to imagine life without her. It's way too soon to begin to think ahead. I take each day one step at a time. I want to adopt a rescued parrot but know its way to early to think clearly about that.
All bird lovers know what I'm talking about. I don't really listen to those that don't understand the bond a man and a bird can have.
As a number of my close friends have said - don't look at her shortened life as your fault but rather cherish in the thought she had almost thirteen years of pure joy being spoiled and treated like a queen.

Comments for My Beloved Tia

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May 23, 2015
My Beloved Tia
by: Doreen UK

Dean I am so sorry for your loss of Tia. A pet is for life and it is a very different type of life from being with people. Pets have a SPECIAL Love that melts your heart in a different way. My sister just had her Westie put to sleep as he had cancer. She called me and her echoes of pain was the same as when my husband died of cancer 3yrs. ago and no one could imagine that pain. But her pain had the same language of loss and sorrow so deep the pain was overflowing and unbearable. She also kept birds and lost many, one was called miracle. She survived so many challenges and she was a miracle. but time came for her to give them to a rescue place as she could not keep them anymore. But how her heart broke.
Then there is my Son who has an African Grey called Jack and a mate for him called Rosie and just the darling two. Then comes a Cockatoo in Pink and also an angel.
I had a cage full of birds and adored every cockatiel. They had different personalities and it was such a fantastic experience. I have shed many a tear when I lost some. One flew out of the cage at my daughter's carelessness. I broke my heart then. The second was a baby. One of four who flew out of the cage on the coldest day in a U.K. Winter and he wouldn't have survived. My heart broke again. The first one my daughter had was Blondie and he was a darling. I was hysterical when I walked into the room and saw his lifeless body in the cage. At that time my husband was a carpenter and he made boxes for each bird that died. They were special. Then we had two lovebirds and Ben climbed the cage with great difficulty as he went blind. I put my hand in the cage and cupped him in my hands and he died. And I cried my heart out for days, as I told him how much I loved him.
As the pain became more and more and my husband was dying of cancer I nursed him and gave the birds to a Rescue mission. IT HURT. But I had to think of their best welfare and not my Pleasure and happiness. I still have those precious memories no one can take away from me. But I still feel the pain and sadness of not having them with me. Instead I have a garden full of birds that come down each day to the birdbath to drink, and splash away in the pond. When I see a bird I melt and my heart feels such happiness I can't put it into words. I know how you feel. Don't ever give up your love of keeping a bird. You need them and they need you. A special Love that will keep you going on throughout your years of life. In time you will be able to do this when you are healed from your loss. My birds went to an Aviary so they could have the area and freedom of a larger space to enjoy their lives. This is why I gave them up. For their best living conditions. You will heal and you will go on to live again. I thought I never would. It just takes time. ONE DAY AT A TIME.

May 11, 2015
Every animal pet becomes our "child"
by: Carla

I am so sorry to read of your loss. It doesn't matter what kind of pet we have, they become our "children". I am still in mourning for my Murphy dog who left me in 2007. Sometimes, I start crying when I remember specific things.
Just know that it's o.k. That you are in mourning. I have read several books about this & they all say not to let anyone make you feel odd because you're mourning. After awhile it'll get easier.
I hope this helped, I'm crying now.

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