College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline


Only A Pound Of Feathers and Down?
You were only a pound of feather and down?but to me you were more than a pound of personality, fun and love!

Your chattering, talking, whistling, singing, and laughing made you a constant presence in my life, even when you were (rarely) NOT demanding my attention. It was impossible to be sad, unhappy or lonely for very long with you around.

You were my little green comedienne with the most impeccable timing! I never knew what you would say appropriate to a situation, and you belonged on comedy central. You made me and lots of other people laugh, and entertained many people.

I loved and admired your intelligence, and your empathetic nature. You soaked up all the love you got, squeezed it right back out and, then soaked it all back up again. You were my little “love sponge”, my sweet-smelling, soft, cuddly little feather-ball, with a head just right for scritching and rubbing. I will miss the way you always returned the favor of a head rub by combing my hair or eyebrows with your bill, and how very gentle you were. I will miss the soft cooing, purring, and sighs that came with your kind ministrations and the way you physically “cared” for me in your special ways.

I’m sorry for the times I made you upset or lonely by going away, though you always managed to punish me sufficiently for my misdeeds with a good hard nip! You never nipped me without (to you) a very good reason, and I appreciated that. Thank you for being understanding while we learned to appreciate each others points of view, and for forgiving me when I fell short as a pet human.
Everyone who met you enjoyed your company and found you fascinating and charming. Every day now I realize the number of lives that you “touched”. You were a tiny feathered member of a rather large social circle of special humans, who loved you, and delighted in your company.
I will miss you very much, little friend Tinkerbelle, and will hold happy memories of our too-short time together dear in my heart, always.
Your pet human and Mom,


Tink, my treasured Blue front Amazon hen, came to me as a 12 week old hand feeding chick- and she was just about the best thing that ever happened to me!

I got her as a birthday present to myself. Actually she picked me. I had always wanted a parrot, but when she grabbed me as I walked by her nest bin, and then snuggled inside my sweater, it was “love at first bite”. It took me two weeks and hours of research time in the library to decide that it was the right thing for us that I buy her.

Having her in my life was mostly a joy, right from the start. She loved guzzling her baby formula, although weaning her was a very trying and scary. She had trouble learning how to eat, and it took weeks before she was eating on her own. She would beg and beg for her formula, and yet, when I tried to “top her off” by giving her a bedtime hand feeding so she’d sleep fully fed and comfortable, she’d scream and struggle. It was as if she was saying “FEED ME! I’M STARVING! NO DON’T TOUCH ME!!!”. It was terrifying and disheartening to see her get thinner, but I now know that this is normal... baby birds at their maximum nestling weights are much too heavy to fly! She finally began to eat well on her own, though, and from then on, Tink ate everything that didn’t eat her first. Her favorites were mashed potatoes and butternut squash, fresh sugar-snap peas, corn on the cob, and chicken leg bones (all of these came after her very favorite food in the world, CHEESE PIZZA!)

We lived a very happy life together sharing showers, meals, nighttime television, Saturday afternoon radio Met Opera Broadcasts, and naps, and spring and summer barbecues in the back yard with friends, where she had a lovely big second cage under the grape arbor. She was mostly healthy, although she had a crop infection, an episode of hypocalcemia, and sent me scurrying to the emergency vet very late-one night after she ate some matches that she found on the entertainment center (boy did I feel terrible- especially when I had to pay THAT vet bill!)

She helped me through a lot. I have a number of chronic illnesses including servere crippling arthritis, insulin requiring diabetes, and a genetic disease called Turner Syndrome. She was with me through joint replacement surgeries (she was so upset that she quit eating, and we had to hand feed her to get her to eat at all, although she kept trying to feed me constantly!). One night when I had a very bad hypoglycemic episode, she screamed frantically and nipped at my chin until I woke up enough to realize something was wrong, and was able to make my way to the kitchen for juice. Then she refused to go into her cage to sleep that night. She ended up sleeping on the footboard of my bed, where she could keep an eye on me to make sure I was OK. She was always there to care for me in her special way. As you can imagine, dealing with chronic health problems can be very depressing at times, even with good family and friends for support. She was the best possible medicine. It was impossible to be depressed or upset for very long with her around. She was a first class companion (although a bit messy as a housemate, and never did get the hang of housekeeping!)

Tink had the sweetest disposition of any bird I’ve ever met. Everyone said so, including her vet. She would “step up” for anyone, even small children, and never bit anyone except me or the veterinarian (and always with a good reason, at least to her). She would talk and talk, and laugh and dance (we would laugh and call it the “Cockatoo-step”). She always knew what to say appropriate to a situation. Everyone without exception found her to be charming. She loved to play games, like peekaboo (which she only played with a few special people) and “I will drop it and you’ll pick it up” which she played with many unwitting humans! She called herself “Birl” (for “Bird-Girl”) and “Pooper”. One of her favorite things to say was “I good BIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!” which was usually followed by “Is it good to eat? Give some to the parrot!”. She had a very high opinion of herself, and it was well-deserved.

I don’t want to talk much about how she died, but she died after a terribly anxious three week illness. She was back and forth to the vets many times during those last 3 weeks, and was admitted for a period. We thought she was recovering, and she came home and spent a wonderful last week with me. I was so glad to have her home and she was especially cuddly, and wanted nothing more than to be held, although she still couldn’t eat enought to gain much weight back. Her death, while not really surprising, was still not expected. The one good thing I can say about her death is that she died with me holding her, and I was able to tell her that she was a fine, brave bird, and that I would always love her. It was tough on me, but much better for her I suspect. She was only 11 years old, which is very young for an amazon parrot. I had her for much to short a time, and can wish she was with me longer, but I feel most blessed to have had her for the 11 years that I did. Right now I’m trying to focus on how happy a life she had, and how much she was loved, by many people.

Posted June 14, 2004 |     Printer Friendly Version