My little Gus girl died today. Both my budgies are gone.
She'd been unwell for a few weeks, but she went way downhill overnight. Last night she was eating and up on her perch. This morning she was so weak. My normally spunky, independent bird didn't even try to get away when I picked her up. And when she tried to fly she just fell to the ground.
We've been to the vet several times recently and she even spent the weekend at the vet because I had to go out of town. When she first got sick we started her on meds and she improved, but then the meds started making her throw up. When I took her in again, I actually saw a vet tech, not the vet, who said to stop giving her the oral meds. I agreed because they were clearly upsetting her tummy, but also asked multiple times if we could give her an injectable antibiotic, a suggestion she brushed aside. I'm so mad at myself - it seemed like she thought I was being some sort of overbearing bird mom and that nothing was wrong with Gus except that I was giving her unnecessary meds. I knew in my gut there was more to it. When I picked her up from boarding a few days ago I even asked again and she told me, "leave her alone - she's eating." Why did I doubt myself? I should have demanded to talk to the actual vet, but the vet, who I actually like and think is a good doctor, was the one who said to see the tech. Clearly I am trying to make sense of everything, but I can't blame them. I don't doubt the tech thought she was doing what was best, and maybe it wouldn't have helped anyway. At the same time, I really don't think it should have gone this way.
When I saw how Gus looked this morning, my heart just sank. I didn't immediately take her in because it seemed hopeless and I didn't want to put her through the stress of a vet visit if I was going to lose her anyway, even though I also didn't want to give up on her. I thought about going to my other bird vet, who is farther away, but they just had a crazy hot water pipe disaster and their facility is not open. So I got her to drink some water, went to work, and she was gone when I got home. I talked to the vet when I was at work and she thought it sounded like she was beyond help, but thought I should bring her in to put her to sleep. I'm really glad she died at home. She was warm and had parakeet sounds playing in the background.
I had Gus for almost 8 years. I thought she was a boy at first, but the name stuck because she was a little bit grumpy and Gus was a perfect name for a grouchy girl. She wasn't hand tamed, but I was attached to her just the same. And I do think she liked me a little bit. She didn't want to sit on me, but she'd run over to me for rescue if she got stuck under the bed or on the floor. And especially since Paisley died, she seemed excited and animated when I was in the room with her. She'd start preening and playing with her toys. I think she knew I was her friend. Over the years, a few times when I was sitting on my bed using my laptop, she flew over and sat on the top of the screen. It was such an honor, I'd practically stop breathing. She wasn't a cuddly bird, she didn't talk or do tricks, but she was a perfect Gus. I loved how excited she got about carrot tops and her pretty scalloped back and how she was the world's tiniest, cutest paper shredder. Here she is:
I'm so sad. I miss them both so much.