Saturday, January 23, 2010

Baby Says Good-Bye...and Gets Adopted by Marian!

Today the third and youngest child of Pure & Innocent finally flew the coop.

Gentle Junior, their first son, passed away after only a month of life. He was born with a severe mobility handicap, and--while wheelchair technology is available today for dogs--it is sadly not yet available for birds. His passing was a great loss for his parents and me.

A month later, Meek and Mild were hatched, a delightful brother and sister who were an adorable, cuddly pair!

As soon as he was able to eat seeds on his own, Mild was adopted by my friend Shawn (who named him Peepers). Happily, this son of Pure & Innocent will visit periodically, as he did when he stayed here for Christmas (while Shawn was up in Vermont visiting his parents). It is always delightful to have the family reunited again!

His sister Meek remained here with her parents and me, simply because I fell in love with her adorable personality. I called her my "Baby" so often that her nickname became that which stuck. She spent 7 lovely months with me, and laid her first pair of eggs earlier this month.

But today, Baby got in her travel cage and went with me to Marian's beautiful apartment. It was hard to see her go. Her parents were beside themselves (quite literally, on a rung) and even Macy felt sorry to see her go. But we all knew this was best for Baby.

When we arrived, Marian was delighted to see us. We had lunch, talked about matters of the heart, and played with this wonderfully precious dove.

So why did I let her go?

Living with her parents (Pure & Innocent) had just gotten a lot more difficult. She just laid her first pair of eggs, you see, and this caused her to be protective of them and more vulnerable to others.

Instead of flying away when her father would chase her, now Baby would attempt to protect her eggs -- and this would cause her to endure his pecks and feather plucks. Ouch.

If I could not rescue her quickly enough from him, she would fly away in fear -- and the surprise of it all would diminish her judgement and cause her to tragically and painfully crash into the walls. It tore at my heart every time it happened.

I thought about having my two hens (mother and daughter) sit together in a cage separate from Dad. But even gentle Pure expressed that there was not enough room for two women in the bird house. She attacked Baby, too. This broke my heart into a million pieces.

In addition, Baby's beautiful blue hanging bird cage is no longer suitable for her. Since neither the top nor the bottom of the cage comes off, the only way for her to exit is to voluntarily hop out of the little door on her own.

This she did quite satisfactorily since the day I placed her in the cage. Now that she is an egg-layer, she spends most of her time sitting pretty at the base of the cage -- but the confines of the tiny door make getting her out and cleaning the cage a difficult procedure.

I'm glad that Baby has matured, but I'm sad that the circumstance of her nearby parents and the design of her cage are now proving to be a challenge.

Earlier this week, Baby inadvertently cracked the egg that she attempted to sit on. This is so adorable because her mother made the same mistake when she first started to learn the careful art of sitting on a fragile egg! It must be par for the course of a female bird's learning curve. Poor Baby was covered in bright orange yolk, and I had to give her a warm bath to get her clean!

Baby now has that beautiful, motherly glow, just like her mother does. If you've ever owned an egg-laying bird before, you'll know what I mean!

And I want Baby to enjoy laying eggs and feel peaceful about it! That is why I knew that Marian would be the perfect adoptive parent for her.

Baby took to Marian instantly, and this I knew would happen since Baby's parents loved Marian already!

Congratulations, Baby, on your new happy home. Marian will take great care of you, I will visit you, and your parents and brother will see you at the holidays when Marian travels! :)