Monday, May 28, 2012

Baby Lenny's Back in Town

Babies Lenny and Squiggy last August
Our family grew a little more yesterday...We got to go pick up our sweet baby Lenny and bring him back home. Lenny is a beautiful lutino pearl cockatiel that I hand-raised with our little Squiggy last summer, thanks to our friend Jenny, who graciously 'loaned' me Lenny to make learning how to hand-feed baby birds just a little easier for me. I'd never hand-fed any babies and Squiggy was so very tiny. It's rather awkward at first, trying to hold baby up with one hand, fill a syringe with birdie formula and pop open baby's beak (whose eyes are still shut at this point and they have no idea what you're trying to do so they're not very cooperative at first until they realize, oh food!!) That's them at the cute were they?? Lenny was all hunger and greed, Squiggy just wanted to snuggle and keep warm. Me? I was in birdie heaven with watching these two little ones growing so fast! Then, before I knew it, Lenny was weaned and eating on his own. Jen offered to let us keep him but we had Brodie at the time--another male cockatiel I had been completely attached to. Whenever he was out of his cage, he sat on my shoulder--period. Our parakeets, Blinkie and Skye, are only interested in each other. Crash and Burn, Squiggy's parents, were almost connected at the hip--Crash has a bad foot and it's hard for her to perch sometimes, so Burn would always sit next to her, propping her up. Sweet as they were, they still had no interest in buddying up with me...I was afraid Lenny and Brodie would all buddy up and leave me in the cold--of course, I had Squiggy...but still, we decided to send Lenny back to Jenny, sad as it was to watch him go.

Tragedy struck just over a month ago, when Brodie all of a sudden became sick and passed away in my arms one night. I was devastated and couldn't believe he was actually gone--we'd only had him a few short years. Bug and I buried him that night under the Japanese Maple on the side of our house, safely on the other side of the fence away from curious digging Tucker, said our goodbyes through tears as we laid a stone marker on his grave.

I'd also made arrangements for Jenny to take Crash and Burn. They wanted to have more babies and, with moving looming over our heads, I really couldn't make that wish come true for them. I thought they'd be happier with Jenny, having more bitty parrotlet babies, so off they went. Our birdie family quickly dwindled in half to three...

A couple weeks after that we brought Loki home from the bird show in Pittsburgh and I thought our family was complete. It took Loki a good couple weeks to settle in and stop biting, but now he's as sweet as the others and sillier than any other bird I've ever known. He's our little clown who bops and dances, and lays on his back with his jingle ball in his beak, kicking at it with his feet. In the mornings you can just see his white eye ring peeking out under his blanket as he scoots back and forth in his cage waiting for his morning kisses...I'm in love!!

Then the other morning, I received a message from Jenny asking if I was interested in taking Lenny back. My heart jumped out of my chest!! Yes!! I had cried that day at the bird show, looking at all the cockatiels that reminded me of our Brodie...I missed my sweet baby so much and now I had a chance to have our Lenny home again...It was almost too good to be true! I quickly cleaned and rearranged cages, filling Lenny's with a new swing and a couple toys. Yesterday morning we brought him home. He's grown up nicely, strong and solid, and still as sweet as that greedy little hungry baby I raised last summer...Welcome home, Lenny--welcome home!!

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