Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Introducing our newest family member


Rosie - 4 months

The photo attached to the email stole my heart. I had to show D. This was the one! Well I would work on D. I called the owners to find out some more info and to see if they could send me some more recent photos...

This is the more recent photo they sent me of Rosie. Now 10 months. I was still smitten. She'd grown into her ears and looked like a good strong dog. I called the owners again to ask some more questions like why she was looking for a new home. Turns out that she loves to chase the sheep in the next farm among other things. D was smitten too with these more recent photos so I had him call to speak with her owners and he arranged to have a "trial" over the weekend. Fortunately they were visiting Sydney and could bring her with them.

Sunday at the park

I was totally surprised by how small she was. Almost a third of Milo's size. She arrived at our house with D and B late that Friday night. I couldn't believe how exuberent she was. Running around like a mad dog, playing tug and tiggy with a stick in her mouth and coming up for cuddles and checking everything out. She didn't display fear for anything and was incredibly sociable. What a godsend!

Channelling the hyena from the Lion King!

We were totally hooked to this affectionate, smart, quick puppy. What a charmer! We spent the weekend asking each other if we liked her enough to keep her, secretly hoping and knowing the other would agree. How could we not? With her personality we were all in love. She also displayed an equal love for each of us. D was cuddling her on the floor and after a while she got up and came over to me on the couch. Sharing the love around. How cool is that! D had to come and join us too so as not to feel left out. Sweet.

I discovered that she has a natural affinity to learn quickly, she picked up "fetch" in about two minutes and although she didn't know "sit" she is getting the idea. Needless to say she didn't go back with her owners and they were very happy that she had found a new family to be with. We are over the moon in love with Rosie and I'm sure I will have many more tales to tell.

super cheeky birdie and new pooch

She did it again!

I took Poppy to the vet on Saturday and had them re-bandage her wing. This time they didn't charge me which was really nice so I was happy about going all the way there and back home again. Anyway later that evening before putting her to bed for the night the bandage came off. It didn't even go the whole week, not even 24 hours!

She does seem to have improved use of her wing though. She is able to extend it now so I think she is almost recovered. I can't imagine having to return to the vet everyday to have the bandage replaced.

She's going for another check up on Saturday so I shall see what the vet has to say then.

More exciting news to come!
Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

cheeky birdie

I had to take Poppy to the vet again on Monday. She had managed to work the bandage off her wing.

Last Friday I spent the afternoon with Poppy at D's workshop so that he could go out and do a job. I decided to take Poppy with me so that she could have a change of scenery. I think she really enjoyed this as I hung her mobile play gym up and let her munch on her seed stick to her hearts content. At first she was a bit freaked with all the different noises and if a bird flew past she'd stick her crest up in alarm and get all skinny. I call this her turkey pose, nothing like a turkey I'm sure but cute nonetheless.

That afternoon I started on a very ambitious project, two aprons for an engagement present due the next day. No pattern, just a head full of ideas.

The next day I had to go back to the workshop to wait for a customer while D and his brother were out on another job. So I packed up Poppy and her playthings, grabbed the sewing machine, iron, ironing board and all the other seweing bits and pieces. B had to have her ensemble of all things doll related and together we headed down. I'm so glad I went prepared with the ironing board etc, as I spent all morning there sewing away, ironing and creating. I had pretty much finished both aprons by the time it was time to leave. I just had to hem one last edge and all done.

I packed everything back into the car and headed home. Poppy sat on B's shoulder until she decided she wanted to perch on the headrest. I took her off that and put her on my shoulder where she sat for the last five minutes. While she was on my shoulder she was making some really interesting noises, like she was really having a good preen, it sounded like when a dog has a really good deep scratch, where they moan with pleasure. I was pretty sure she was itching a good itch from the sound of it but I couldn't see as she was on my shoulder while I was driving.

Anyway when I parked the car at home I noticed something down by B's leg. It was white and looked like a tissue. I knew what it was though, it was Poppy's bandage. She had managed to work it off, hence her scramble for the headrest and those ecstasy noises were her having a jolly good itch and preen of those elusive feathers, hidden from her for the past 10 days.

Cheeky birdie!

The aprons were a hit and I was really pleased with them. Of course in the rush I didn't take detailed photos, but I did manage to get the happy couple to pose in them so I shall post those pics soon. I hope!

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Patient

Here's a pic of our very active patient, Poppy, displaying her bandaged wing.

She seems to think she doesn't have a multiple fracture to her right wing and insists on trying to get lift off when she feels like it. I must say it's one way to get my attention. It seems as though she's saying, "I want off of this perch, if you don't come and get me I'm gonna jump, ok you asked for it...one...two...ready...steady...see you were listening after all. Thanks!"

Unfortunately I must apologise for the poor quality of the image, compression sucks. In its 2mb form it is sharp and clear, but emailing and uploading require smaller file sizes so I must compress. Does any one have any tricky tips for retaining quality when reducing the file size to email or upload?

Not a lot else going on. Dreaming up wonderful Christmas inspired projects to procrastinate about.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A big relief

Very happy bird mummma today,

I took Poppy to the avian vet in Carlingford, very good idea if I say so myself. They were perfect in everyway. They assessed her, I explained what I knew and then they took an x-ray of her poor wee wing.
We waited patiently and I consoled her best I could. She was super snuggly and I relished every moment.
When the x-ray had developed around 10 minutes later it took me a few seconds to realise that the jumble of bones I was digesting were infact human hands and a teeny wee bird skeleton. The fracture was an explosive break. In what would be our forearm consisting of two bones, the radius and ulna, hers were both broken. One of them was broken into three pieces. How that poor wee bird didn't die from the pain and trauma I don't know, what a trooper.
Next they told me that they would strap her with a figure of 8 bandage and I made sure that they weren't to wrap her like a feathered sausage roll. The vet assured me that when I saw it I would better understand. He also said that she may need to be anaesthetised with gas if she is stressing too much.
But true to her trooping form she came out and with a waggle of her white bandaged "elbow" she stood there poised as if to say "look at me, no gas!". I couldn't help but be so proud of her, no anaesthetic, not too much fussing and struggling. Still able to balance and move both wings without falling over. She would also still be able to groom most of herself. I was so pleased and relieved. She may fly but not perfectly. I don't mind as she's a pet and if she doesn't need her wings clipping then all the better for her.
The vet also gave me some vitamins to aid the healing process and in two weeks they'll check the wing and maybe remove the bandage.

I didn't mention this but on the way to the vet which is around a half an hour trip, she didn't want to be in the box I had to transport her in. She was squawking and carrying on and trying to climb to the top. As I didn't want her stressing too much before getting to the vet I relented and took her out of the box and set her on my shoulder. There she stayed while driving to the vet. She was quite interested in what was going on and was very quiet aside from the one or two peeps. She settled there on my shoulder really well and ended up giving herself a preen at one point. I was concious of her presence there and held my hand up for every corner, brake and accelertion I did.
She also rode home like that too. Cute as can be.

I mixed up the vitamins in her seed for her when I got home and put her in her cage. She had some seed, some water and then settled in for a nice rest. I thought she may want to come out again but no, she was quite contented after such a big day.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Too long...between posts for me.

Here is an animal dominated post for you.

Our cockatiel Poppy has a fractured wing. I really aren't having much luck with our pets at the moment. This is of course making me doubt my role as a parent and being able to raise children.

Poppy's injury wasn't a result of my own direct actions, thankfully, D can account for this one.
I took her to the vet yesterday and they strapped the wing to her body which is what I thought they would do. When they brought her back to me looking like a bandaged feathered sausage roll, I was concerned that it looked too cumbersome for her. The strapping looked heavy. She looked unbalanced. Sure enough when she was put down she promptly fell over and couldn't get to her feet again without assistance. The vet held her in her hand and supported her until she was standing on her own and then when the hand was gone from her vicinity she moved and fell from the hand around 5 feet to the ground. I was as distressed at this as any normal mother would be if not more, I was sure she was a gonner. I hope the vet felt bad about this. Remarkably Poppy was ok, at least she didn't seem to be any more hurt than she already was. I decided that maybe this strapping was not going to work. I asked if we removed the strapping would the wing heal on its own. Yes was the answer albeit with a permanent droop and perhaps she may not fly as well as she might. I rather would take those chances than have her flopping and falling all over and potentially damaging herself further. So we trotted back home and she is as happy as she can be with a broken wing. I hope it all turns out for the best. I'm considering taking her to a proper avian vet but I think D will balk at the cost of this. Will keep you posted on our decision.

About two weeks ago Poppy decided to have a butter bath though, this time it was a result of my actions.
I was preparing a bbq for dinner and D came along a deposited Poppy on my shoulder. As I was taking some melted butter out of the microwave Poppy took interest in this. She remained on my shoulder as I pottered around intermittently stirring the butter as it cooled down. It had cooled enough and I was stirring it before I was about to add the garlic when Poppy decided she wanted a closer look. She made her way onto my chest and then before I knew it she was on my forearm. I moved my arm away from the bowl just as she took a fluttering leap for it. She landed on the rim of the bowl and when I went to grab her from there two-handed she jumped forward landing in the butter. I snatched her right out of there as soon as humanly possible but too late. Like an oil slick victim she was coated with a greasy slick of butter. I put her under the tap but she didn't like all the fuss that I was making, calling for D to come and help. I thought perhaps I should try a bath weak with detergent and wash/wipe her clean but she repeatedly struggled to get free from D's grasp. Quite amazing how she wormed her way out every time. I called the vet after hours and he assured me that I was doing the right thing and there wasn't much else I could do. Well we tried to clean her but I din't want her too stressed out so we relented and confined her to her cage for the rest of the evening to dry out and rest. The next day she had preened most of the buttery feathers and was looking a bit less bedraggled. The day after she was further improving in appearance but I gave her another mild detergent bath, this time in a deeper bathroom sink prepared with the kitchen sink as a rinse. Dunk and wash under the wings, rinse and in the cage. She wasn't too impressed with this. But I think it may have helped in a minor way. The trouble is that it is still all through her feathers, every time she preens she further distributes the butter. She smells like butter instead of the typical lovely cockatiel smell which depresses me a bit as I don't like the smell of two-week-old butter on her. Perhaps I should rename her butterball or popcorn instead.

I did make Poppy a play area for her to play on when she is out of her cage though. I was quite impressed with my creation. I used a plastic hanging laundry with attached pegs, $4.50, some baby connecting rings, $9.95, connected into a chain which was attached to the pegs from each end and a piece of dowel for the perch threaded through the loop of "chain". I attached the bell/mirror and some other small toys hanging from the pegs above and put Poppy on it. She LOVED it! That made me the happiest mum ever! So cute seeing her explore it and investigate all the bits and pieces. The best part is that I can hang it almost anywhere there is somewhere to hang it from! Downfall being the mess underneath it, but this is fine by me, nothing a vaccuum can't fix.

D's daughter B has two mice, Ginger and Tiger. Ginger has been scoffing too much mouse mix and is like a quivering mass of mouse fur with a whiskery nose at one end and a tail at the other denoting that she is in fact still a mouse. I said that she should be put on a diet and B agreed so we separated the mice into two cages and Ginger is doing it tough on rations. I think she has lost a bit of weight. I really should have weighed her before so i could monitor it a bit better. Never mind. Mouse-hood obesity is being rectified.

Still missing Milo, I don't think I will ever forget him. I miss my personal trainer. I miss my confidant. I miss my shadow.