Friday, October 17, 2008
Requiem of Jolee
By Jessica Pineda, Assistant Editor of BIRD TALK and BirdChannel.com
Follow in the adventures of Jessica Pineda's experiences in bird ownership in The Parrot Life.
Having worked in pet stores for almost three years, I am no stranger to death. I’ve seen animals grow sick and die. I’ve had a bird die in my hand. I always found it hard to cry after these things happened, even when my beloved lovebird, Jolee, died from kidney disease. She had suffered for so long, that even after only being 4 months old, her passing seemed like a blessing. I miss her terribly, and I don’t think I will ever find another bird like her.
I will always remember how I met her, too. It was a Sunday and we were winding down another day at the bird store. In walked one of our local breeders carrying a few birds, and in one carrier, was Jolee — a little baby lovebird with the black still on her beak, gray and white feathers, bright black eyes … I caught sight of her as the breeder was carrying her to the back and I dropped everything I was doing to go see her.
As much as BIRD TALK discourages impulse buys, I bought her right then. I knew we were meant to be together. It would have broken my heart to see her go home with anyone else.
I already had Tori at the time. Tori had been abandoned at the same bird store, and when I found her that cold March morning, I knew she was mine. But that feeling was much different than what I felt for Jolee. Tori needed a home and an understanding, compassionate owner. She’s super territorial, after all! That’s a lot to put up with!
But for Jolee … I don’t think she needed me as an owner, or a parent or a friend. And she wasn’t a pet for me, either.
Near the end of her life, when Jolee could barely walk because of gout and had to be kept warm, the vet told me not to handle her because it would cause further stress. I went against this advice because all Jolee wanted to do was be by my side. She would run right up to my arm or hand, fluff up her feathers and tuck her head away and sleep. It was when she seemed most content.
Jolee died in May 2007, a few days before my graduation from college. A little piece of my heart was gone forever, in the form of the tiniest of lovebirds. I have never met another bird like her. And as I mature as a bird owner and bird lover, I know I will meet many new birds. Maybe one day I will meet another bird like Jolee, but until then, I will always hold onto my memories of her.
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Requiem of Jolee