The Story of Aggie
In 1989 I purchased from a pet store a gray cockatiel which I named Joey. Good
thing I chose such an androgynous name, because I later found out Joey was
actually a girl.
For more than 11 years Joey was a faithful companion. I loved her as much as anyone could love a pet. I'd like to think I was a decent owner to her.
In late December 2000, Joey developed problems with her respiratory system. After visiting two vet clinics, it was decided that Joey had a lower respiratory infection, and for about six weeks she'd get two shots of antibiotics, every Friday.
For the last four weeks of this six week period, Joey dropped from 85 grams (healthy, if a little light for a bird) to 68 grams (a 20% loss of body weight). They kept her overnight on the day of what was supposed to be her last shot (even though she had shown little improvement in her respiratory illness -- March 16, 2001).
Saturday morning, X-Rays showed irregularly shaped lungs with fluid inside, and oversized air sacs. In a procedure to relieve pressure in the air sacs, Joey went into respiratory arrest and passed.
I was, to say the least, very saddened. Prepared to some extent, since she didn't seem to be doing all that well, it still hurt to loose my faithful, long time companion.
That day I sent out emails to a lot of people who either had birds, knew my bird, or knew that she was dealing with an ongoing illness. My sister called me immediately when she heard; having two birds herself, and a former cockatiel owner, she knew how much it could hurt ... and knew how much I loved Joey. My sister called again Sunday, and we discussed my getting another bird ...
Me: Yeah, maybe in three or four months I'll call the vet, see if they know any breeders, and get a little lovebird.
Monday MorningEvery day at work there's a group of us who go on a morning break in search of caffeine. One of my friends in this group greets me Monday morning with, "Sorry to hear about your bird. I have a lovebird you can have if you want."
I had met my friend's bird. Not knowing my friend to be especially cruel in his joking, though somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I responded, "Don't play with me, I know your bird and she's really cool. There's no way you'd want to get rid of her."
My friend proceeds to explain that even though he loves Aggie a lot, his son is allergic to the bird (and the cat, and the dog).
After me thinking about it, and my friend discussing it with his wife, I was willing to take Aggie in, and they were happy they could give her a good home.
Aggie's InfoAggie is a Dutch Blue Lovebird. Near as I can calculate, her hatch date was somewhere around November 24, 1999. She's been "pocket" trained, meaning that she will ride in a shirt pocket with little or no fuss. She is quite small ... even on monitors set for high resolutions, chances are that the pics above are larger than life size. According to my friend, who has a degree in Anthropology and just has a knack for genus and species stuff, the origin of her name is from:
The genus name for lovebirds is "Agapornis." Because she's a hybrid, she doesn't have a species assignation.
It's Tuesday (March 20, 2001) now, and Aggie still isn't sure what to make of the changes in environment she's going through. Nor is she 100% sure of what to make of me. But hopefully we'll get to know one another and she'll come to like me.
I already like her quite a bit.
UPDATE: Dec. 2005 - I just read this page and noticed that I hadn't updated it - it turns out Aggie's a "he".
UPDATE: Aggie died in my hands Tuesday, February 17, 2015. A random page on the Internet puts him at 15 years, 2 months, and 19 days. He will be missed.
More Aggie PicturesI wanted to get a picture or two of Aggie acting silly (she's very acrobatic), or at her bird bath, or any kind of neat "This is her personality" type picture. Though somewhat photogenic (I think), Aggie hasn't quite grasped the concept of posing for the camera.
By Eric Stewart - The Dive Log - Blog - Twitter
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