Two weeks ago my father-in-law came to visit us. Coming from Alaska, this was his first trip to Australia, his first time meeting his 2 little grandkids. He spent a couple of weeks with us when we lived in Oregon in 2009 and it didn't go well so we were expecting a lot of drama.. He and my husband are complete polar opposites, FIL is a chain smoking, womanizing, alcoholic who didn't have much to do with his kids after he divorced their mom. He's a difficult person to deal with but we wanted to try and make his trip as pleasant as possible. He wanted to spend a week at the beach so my husband rented a house and I had no choice but to go along with it.
I arranged for my mom to come and take care of our pets except for Ark our Currawong, I asked my brother in law (Trev) to care for him because he was hand raised by Trev's good friend. Ark knows him, is nervous around strangers and Trev has always been good with him. My mom suggested that Trev (the brother in law) watch all the animals since he had to come out daily to feed Ark anyway.
I agreed to that because he really didn't have to do much and every time his family goes on vacation (several times a year) we take care of their pets which is no small feat: cats, dogs, turtles, snakes, lizards, spiders, scorpions, fish, frogs, rats - the list goes on. We pick up their mail, put out their bins for collection, anything they need. In fact next week they're going on a cruise over Christmas and New years and half of their pets will be staying at our house..
My sister helped me write out a detailed description of what to do. Ark needed to be fed meat, berries and meal worms everyday. Trash goes out on Sunday. Dogs, cats, conures, budgies and bunny only needed water levels checked because they had plenty of dry food. I put seed bells up for the parrots and water in fountain style holders to prevent them from getting dirty. Easy right? Apparently not.
I came back to find Ark with an inch of filthy water left, the budgie's water was mostly dried up and had never been checked, the Conures had knocked down 2 of their fountains but still had one left and it was pretty clean thanks to ACV. He had only fed Ark 3 times and didn't put out the trash.. The only water he changed was the dogs water ONCE and that's only because HIS dog was staying at OUR house. UGGGH.
The first thing I did was role call on the budgies, all were accounted for and looked fine. I cleaned out the aviary thoroughly and gave them fresh water with ACV in some and probiotics in the others.
The following day my daughter came to tell me that Quiche had a pasted vent. I went out to check on him and he was fluffed up and had a large amount of poo stuck around his bottom. He's always been a sweetie but I was concerned when he didn't object to me clearing his vent..
After I isolated him in the hospital cage he started to vomit. Because it was late Saturday I had to do a phone consult with our emergency vet who's office wouldn't be open until Monday. She said he probably had a bacterial infection from the dirty water and we arranged for some antibiotics to be picked up. A day later, meds and ACV wasn't working, he continued to vomit and by Sunday night he was gone..
As if losing Quiche wasn't bad enough, my FIL kept going out to take his smoke breaks by walking through the aviary out into the backyard, which he didn't need to do. I asked him politely to please go out through the front door or back door NOT through the aviary and my husband did the same but he continued to do as he pleased, especially when we weren't looking, going in and out all day long. I ended up putting a padlock on the door but the damage was done. After dropping off the FIL at the airport I found Whirl covered in blood from an injury I assume was caused by getting his foot stuck in the aviary door and today during feeding time I noticed that Bower is gone. He probably even noticed that he let him out and didn't bother to say anything. I'm so freakin upset right now. I didn't like the guy to begin with but now I don't ever want him coming back here. I keep sitting outside trying to see if I can find Bower but I know it's pointless. Tomorrow I'll try putting up fliers and contacting animal shelters but it's not likely we'll get him back.
I miss them both terribly and I feel like I should have been able to prevent all this from happening, I wish I hadn't gone with them but I know I didn't get a say in it.
We got home Friday afternoon, it's Monday night now and no more Budgies have shown any sign of illness so I'm hoping that Quiche was an isolated incident. Whirl is doing well which is surprising because he lost a LOT of blood.
Sigh.. this is why I prefer the company of animals to humans. People almost always let you down.
Rest in peace my beautiful fluffy Quiche and fingers crossed for someone to find my lovely little Bower bird.