Taken in one of our favourite stretches of Melbourne….
Big Bird has been growing his beak at an extraordinary rate.
He went to the vet last month to have the end trimmed…
This morning I took him back as I was still worried about his beak development. The vet agreed and I held him in my hands as she looked at him. He was uncomfortable, so I stretched my hand out and he moved towards perching on my fingers and the vet said “back to mum you go” and started telling me about his diagnosis. She told me that he was at the point in his life where I needed to make him as happy and comfortable as possible as it would come to that point where I would need to euthanase him.
I teared up.
She went on to say that until he got to that point, we would be able to manage his condition for years, likely.
So she went to get the tools.
I looked him in his eye and told him that he’d just received news of his impending death, but it was ok, ’cause I would spoil him rotten. He chirped at me, the special chirp that he only did for me – matching my tone and inflection.
The vet asked if I wanted a nurse to hold him, I refused as I thought he’d be more comfortable with me.
She trimmed his beak, carefully, oh so carefully. And then I felt it. He went limp in my hands.
I looked at her and asked what I’d done.
She started massaging his heart. I told him to come back.
I looked away.
I knew, already.
She picked him up and took him into the other room to intubate him.
The minutes ticked by in the small blue room. Strangely, it was the room where I’d had to put my 13 year old dog to sleep 9 and a half years before. I willed her spirit to keep him company and be with him.
I dried my tears and smiled. He’s strong.
I knew he was gone. I felt selfish for wanting him to stay. I wanted to stick my head into the other room and just tell them to stop and let him go. I gave him permission to leave, told him that I would be ok.
Another minute. And another.
The vet came in. He was limp in her hand. A small, broken, dead bird. She said sorry, it was obvious how bonded we were.
She’d intubated, he’d had his shot of adrenaline, she had done all she could.
He was gone.
He is gone.