Ollie joined us on Dec 6th 2009, he was 5 months old at the time. He wasn't tame, and after being relentlessly pursued by the pet shop assistants hand around the cage there, he was needless to say, nervous and shaken at first.
He soon adjusted to our fairly busy household (my daughters were 8 and 4 at the time) and we found he would do almost anything for a nibble of grape. In time he became hand tame and would land on each of us for a few seconds in turn, which was funny.
I developed a real bond with him, and him with me in return, we became inseparable for the rest of his too short life, and if I was at home he was on my head or hand chattering his newly learned phrases. I went to work on a few occasions with his 'calling card' smudged on me somewhere I hadn't spotted, until someone would ask "is that
bird poo on you?"
A few months on his vocabulary grew massively, as well as his personality. He could barely hide his joy when we were at the mirror together whistling our song. He would dance in perfect time, only pausing his singing to throw his head back and utter quiet squawking noises of approval as his happiness peaked.
He would sit on my head wherever I was and go through his repertoire, only stopping if a camera started recording him, we did still manage to get a lot of video's of him thankfully.
We moved house when he was a couple of years old, this was a strange experience to him, and it took a while before he wanted to venture out of sight of his cage, eventually he found his favourite haunts though, particularly the bathroom, where he would ambush unsuspecting visitors who went in there. To have a budgie plonk himself on their head as they are halfway through the 'performance' was met with a whole range of responses. We had a 'Beware of the Budgie' sign on the door in the end, as not all people are like us; comfortable with being flapped around.
Ollie was learning various objects around the house by name. I'd ask where something was and he would land on it, I was teaching him "go home" to land on his cage, when during November 2013 he fell ill with a stomach infection after a heavy moult. This was a worrying time, he lost a lot of weight, but after going to a few different vets one found the cause and we got him better.
It took a lot out of him though, and he always seemed 'older' afterwards. It took a few months before he was back to normal, and then he really started to surprise us. Occasionally he appeared to speak in context, landing on me when I got home from work, telling me he'd missed me and asking how I was, or I'd say "Hello Ollie" he'd reply in his deep little voice "Mister Budgieeeee".
Words he'd learned from me, but he was seeming to know when to use them.
He was still learning at a good rate, right up until November 2014 when I noticed his breathing was more laboured after flight, other than that he was still a chatterbox and full of happiness. He flew less though, preferring to sit and have a nap on me. Then we had a couple of good weeks until he went downhill just after Christmas, so it was back to the vet, who prescribed antibiotics for a respiratory infection. They didn't help, and the ordeal of getting them into him left him drained and confused that we would handle him in that way.
After a week with no real improvement we stopped the course and boosted his vitamin intake, turned up the heating and hoped for the best. But he still got worse so it was back to the vets again to be given some very strong antibiotics.
Ollie never uttered a sound after this, and 2 days into the new antibiotics he landed on my wife (she was near him) but couldn't get his breath.
My poor boy died in my hands on 28th January 2015, he was 5 1/2 years old.
Ollie was a member of the family (or us his flock), he'd eat at the table with us from his own meal (he loved boiled rice or pasta), and he interacted in our lives as fully as he could.
Losing him was like being hit by a truck. It still is. I'm a grown man but have been experiencing full on grief since he went, I knew I'd miss him when that day came, but letting go has proved harder than I could of imagined.
Thanks for reading this far, I hope I didn't go on too much, I just needed to share a small part of Ollie's life, as he deserved to be remembered, I'll never forget you Ollie, that's for sure. R.I.P Mister Budgie x
A couple of video clips here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRmZgKdk4Lw