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Monday, April 21, 2014

Pet Loss

No matter If you lose your pet due to death, having to put them down or placing the pet in a new home. The pain of loss can be great for both the human and the animal. Here is my story.
 I had to place Tangy my Molluccan Cockatoo in the care of someone other than me. I was attached to Tangy and expected her to be my upper elderly years bird. Tangy likes most everyone and would be happy sitting with her human receiving loves most of the day. I would have been able to have others help me with Tangy, unlike my other birds that need an experienced bird handler.
 I was Tangy's third owner.  Tangy's original owners had moved to Arizona from Washington state due to a job transfer, and decided it was best to leave Tangy in Washington. When the couple moved they didn't know where or when they would have a permanent spot to live.  I just by chance found out who the original owner was when I went to a bird club meeting in Tri-Cities. The people at the bird club recognized her.  I contacted Tangy's original owners in Arizona to let them know, I now had Tangy and would take good care of her. Tangy's original owners in were surprised that I had her. The second owner who gave me Tangy  was suppose to contact the original owner in Arizona, if things didn't work out. We did take good care of Tangy and had good times.
What comes with a Moluccan Cockatoo is a big personality and a big voice. It was the big voice my husband and daughters could no longer handle. I was told  Tangy had to go and she had to go now. It was November so I didn't think driving from Arizona up north to Washington was going to be an option. There were a few  bird club people I had met that I contacted about taking Tangy for a while, however they were not able to take her at the time. The second owner who gave Tangy to me was not able to take her due to health issues.
 The result of this re-homing experience. I sold her for two hundred dollars with cage, to a couple here in town who had been wanting a bird for the husband. The gal stated she had grown up with parrots. I could have given  the bird to them but I didn't. I gave the bird & cage to them cheap.  One year later the couple here in town decided Tangy was not a fit for them. Tangy started chasing the gals feet and biting her when they sat on the bed together.  How did I find out Tangy was not going to work out for them?  At times I'm a Craig's List surfer. I saw a Moluccan listed and the phone number matched the one we had on record, from selling Tangy to them. I called the couple up and asked to buy her back. I paid more to get her back, then what I had sold her for.  You may be wondering why we bought her back if she was too loud in the first place. Number one reason, we did not want her to get in the wrong hands. Number two reason to get her back. I felt a lot of guilt for not going the extra mile to get Tangy to Arizona with her original owners. I had taken a great deal of "heat" from the bird club members and the original owner of Tangy in Arizona, regarding selling her. I quit attending bird club as I was no longer comfortable going. I felt my hands were tied. My husband had said "Tangy has to go now".

After we bought Tangy back,  Tangy's original owner of 19 years stated, "we would like you to return Tangy to us if the time comes again, that you can no longer keep her".  I kept in contact with the couple in Arizona through e-mail, sent pictures of Tangy with our other  birds and gave a report of how Tangy was doing. After another two years the time came again (and I knew it would) that my husband said "it's time for Tangy to go to Arizona. We don't want to deal with the loudness any longer". I made the phone call the following day to Tangy's original owners. Carlton drove the two and a half days from Arizona to Washington to pick up Tangy. Carlton is retired now and a full time volunteer at the Oasis Parrot Sanctuary. I sobbed off and on for several days before Tangy was picked up by Carlton. The day she left we visited for a while and I kept my composure. Tangy did not remember Carlton and could tell something was up. I took Tangy to the car and put her in the travel cage.

A few weeks have passed and the tears still flow as I finish writing this. It's risky to share publicly on such a controversial  topic as re- homing pets.  Some people are extremely judgmental , however I'm taking the risk. Someone may be enlightened as I was  from my experience. In a way I was selfish to my family for keeping her. Even though Steve and Amber loved Tangy, they did not want to live with that amount of volume. The loudness was not constant but it was there. I know in my heart I did the right thing the second time I let her go. I gave her back to a family who loved her for 19 years and wanted that job back. Life evolves, circumstances change. Nothing is guaranteed to be forever, except death.

Our home is much quieter now. The two Macaws call back and forth at times but the volume is not as grand as the Moluccan Cockatoo. I'm glad I had the experience of living with Tangy the Moluccan, one of the loudest of the parrot groups for four years. I just remind myself, Tangy is one of the adaptable parrots who went back to a home with people to love & care for her. 

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