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#43020 - 03/22/04 08:42 PM A Hard Lesson Learned  

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Well this is a very hard post for me, but I feel that I must make it. Hopefully it will help someone in the future and make them think twice about being the caretaker of a cockatoo. As most of you know, I had a 10 year old male Goffin named Bongo. He was the light of my life. He has always had a screaming problem, and and I have tried numerous behaviour modifications, diet changes, vet checks, etc. Each time he was healthy and the behaviour modification would work for a very short while. than I got visited by Animal Control three times in one week and knew that I had to do something. He than started screaming day and night and also attacked my 13 year old daughter. Again, to the vet. He noted that Bongo had a very phobic personality and suggested he would do better in an aviary and with somone who was home with him more. Well at this time in my life, that is just not possible. I had to make the very difficult decision to re-home Bongo. I have a good friend who is self-employed, has a large aviary and other too's. She is in love with Bongo and agreed to take him on a trial basis. Thankfully, he is doing beautifully and is screaming considerably less. Even if he does scream, it won't matter, she is in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors to complain. This has been a very hard lesson for me and I feel very very ashamed that I was not able to provide the proper home for Bongo. I know that some will critisize me and say that I did not work hard or long enough on the screaming. And maybe you are right. I know in my heart that these beautiful creatures are meant to be free and not caged. I hope my lesson will be learned by others. I was very naive when I got Bongo and did not realize that I was not the proper home or atmosphere for him. If you work long hours, if you have children, if you cannot give them the freedom to be themselves, please think twice before you bring them home. Because of me, Bongo has now been rehomed for the 5th time. The only consolation that I have, is that he is being well taken care of and will be at his new home forever. I take my hats off to all of you who have been able to provide good homes for these beautiful creatures and I wish you well in the future.

#43021 - 03/22/04 08:53 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  

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Oh Beverly! I'm so sorry to hear. Your stories of Bongo always made me laugh. It's very hard having a screaming/phobic bird. And when animal control is showing up on a regular basis, well, that's a major problem. This has happened to me as well. I have neighbors behind me that I'm always worrying about as they have called the cops on us. Thankfully, the cops have been pretty understanding.

I'm sure you have placed him into a good home. I hope you can get frequent updates on how the little guy is doing.

#43022 - 03/22/04 09:21 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly, I'm sorry, I really am. Thank you for posting your story, maybe someone will read it and listen. Your heart must be broken, I know you loved him. One time I had to get rid of a dog for the same reason. It barked and barked, even inside. I got several tickets and was a single mom. I carry this in my heart and will never forgive myself. I have never gotten rid of an animal before or after that because I was taught that you take that responsibility for the animals life. No one understands unless they have been there. I hope you keep in touch, you have experience and can tell a great story and I have missed reading your posts.

#43023 - 03/22/04 09:23 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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I am so sorry to hear that you have had to go through this.

One thing you may want to consider is if you hadn't had Bongo all of this time he would have never had a chance to get a good home with your friend and an aviary that he can happily live in and thrive.

Sometimes the best that you can do is to give them love, unconditional support and great care until they find the best place to be. I think that it is kinder, and more loving of you to always be seeking what is best for Bongo and the courage that you showed in letting him go into a better situation is truly selfless and must have taken a great amount of self control.

I don't think you will get anyone looking down on you for this, and if you do, just remember that sometimes doing the right thing isn't the happiest thing for you... God bless you for sharing, for your adressing the challanges that have been a part of this decision, and I hope you are proud of the courage you have shown here. I am sorry to hear that things didn't work out better for you, but I admire your honesty and integrity.

take care of you,..
~grace

#43024 - 03/22/04 09:56 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  

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Although I haven't heard any stories of Bongo, I can still imagine how you must feel like right now. I'm very sorry to hear this.

But keep in mind that you should still be grateful because you can still visit your 'too. Something worse could also have happened, you know what i'm talking about.

But the thing that puzzles me is how did your neighbors hear the screaming from inside your house?

#43025 - 03/22/04 10:07 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverley, I am so sorry for you, You will be OK!
Can you visit Bongo from time to time?
I sure hope so, I would now be totally lost without Sam. frown He has come so far in the few short months we have had him and I would hate to give him up......
I never realized Goffin's could be so loud. confused Oh well thats why I visit this site on a regular basis. is because you learn somethin new every day!!!! :p
Take Care OK?
Sandy, (mysammy)....

#43026 - 03/22/04 10:16 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  

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Iron Too:

Bongo had both indoor and outdoor cages as I live in Southern California. His indoor cage was in the back bedroom and that bedroom was right next to my neighbors fence line. Bongo was very very loud and even with the window closed, he could be heard quite well. And during warm weather, we put him in the outside cage and on his playpens on the patio as much as possible. During the last three weeks, nothing would calm his screaming. The only time he would stop screaming is if I held him non-stop. Unfortunately he was very very bonded with me and I am sure that I was part of the problem. I took Bongo home with me without really understanding how to raise a cockatoo. He became my little "snuggle bunny" and unfortunately that was part of the problem. He needs to be a bird and not a "snuggle bunny". I created a good portion of the problem, by not understanding enough about cockatoo's. I hope that everyone hear who is considering getting a too, please read this and realize what you are getting into and do not do it unless you are prepared to offer them the proper home and care and allow them to be what they are. A wild animal and not a "snuggle bunny". I should have known better and because I didn't I created one more move for Bongo. I pray he stays happy and healthy and that he can forgive me. Lori, I too was raised to never give up and this just about killed me and my husband. We both were crying when we gave up our little man. Our guilt will be with us forever. I just hope that someone here will read this and think twice before making our mistake. It takes a very very special person and home to care for these birds and the committment should never be taken lightly. Before anyone takes in a too, please, please, make sure that your home, your lifestyle, your personality, your finances, etc etc can provide for them.

#43027 - 03/22/04 10:22 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly: I've been wondering where you were! I'm so sorry to hear about Bongo. I know how much you love him. And, I know from talking to you, just how much work you put into his "screaming". Please don't feel guilty. You did everything you could and, in the long run, this new home may be just what he needs. Visit him often. He'll remember you. And NEVER leave us! We'll miss you!

You have my numbers if you need a shoulder!
Melanie


"The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind"
- Carly Simon
#43028 - 03/22/04 10:26 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly, I think everyone else said what I would want to say to you, already. It took a lot of guts to come on here and tell us about this. You could have never said a word and no one would have known. Maybe you will help someone else who might be thinking about adopting or buying a cockatoo by telling your story. These birds are not easy to take care of and require a lot of things most of us are not able to provide, if we are completely honest with ourselves. You found out the hard way, maybe you'll save someone else the heartache you are going through now. My heart goes out to you.

#43029 - 03/23/04 12:02 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly,

You have my deepest sympathies duing this difficult time. Two years ago, I had to rehome my U2 who had similar issues as your Bongo and I know how much you are hurting right now.
Consider yourself blessed for the time you had with Bongo and for having the wonderful people of mytoos here to support you in your decision.

Sincerely,
Mikki

#43030 - 03/23/04 12:08 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly, I am so very very sorry. I don't think ANYONE has the right to look down on you. You made a mistake, at least you guys were brave enough to own up to it and find a better life for Bongo. It takes a very special person to put an animal's need before their own and a very "big" person to realize that they are not the right home. Thank you for caring enough to make sure that Bongo found a good home. I know how loud the small guys can be and if we had close neighbors I would have to worry about complaints too. Once again I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you get to see Bongo (atleast every now and then) and keep in touch with us.

#43031 - 03/23/04 12:38 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))

I admire you in a selfless choice

I have promised Conrad and our vet that he has a year with me here ......if a better home came up would I be able to let him go? I hope so......tho I'm not sure how I'd know to let him go

I know your heart must be breaking- we are all thinking of you

hang in there

brody

#43032 - 03/23/04 12:56 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Bev, I can only say that I respect and admire your courage. It takes a remarkable person to take in one of these birds and work with them as much and as hard as we know you have with Bongo. We have all shared your joys and frustrations during the time that Bongo has been with you and can only guess at the pain you are feeling now.

But it takes an even more remarkable person to face such a difficult dilema and take the action that is in the bird's best interest. You have demonstrated true love for Bongo.

Thank you for sharing and reminding us how fragile our situations are on a day-to-day basis. It is all too easy to forget that things may be ok today but tomorrow the tide can turn and any of us could find ourselves in a similar predicament.

Please come by often. Keep us updated on Bongo's progress and we would love to hear about the rest of your flock as well. You will always be part of the Mytoos family.

#43033 - 03/23/04 01:22 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  

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I want to thank each and every one of you for the understanding and support that you have shown me. I have never in my life had such a great group of supportive friends that I have never even met in person. It truly is amazing how the love of animals can bring people together. I certainly will still be here. I love this board and have always visisted it several times a day to read all the posts since I joined. I am most definately keeping in touch with Bongo. I cannot bring myself to visit. Maybe in the future. I also feel it is best if he gets adjusted to my friend. Mona, I am so humbled by my experience and I am extra vigilant when I hear someone talking about too's and how they want one. I can only hope that by telling them about Bongo, that maybe they will think twice before making an impulsive decision. And for those that take the leap and provide loving caring homes, you are extraordinary individuals and should never take your gift for granted.

#43034 - 03/23/04 02:23 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly,
You did many a great thing for Bongo. First, you love him; you care about his happiness, sadness, etc. That alone is a rare and precious trait among pet owners/caretakers. You worked with him, for him; you bared the brunt of neighbors for him. And you found him another good home. (I emphasize another because I'm sure your home for him was very good indeed.) You haven't shoved him out of your life when he left you home. You still care for him and will do the best thing for him even though it is hard for you. You let him be a cockatoo. You gave him your understanding, your money, and your time. And still give him the gift of love and caring.

#43035 - 03/23/04 02:37 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  

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(((Beverly)))

What a brave thing to do. I think it takes true love of these animals to be able to recognize that sometimes they need someone else than us. I am so sorry you are going through this. Bongo is probably a happier bird in a flock of his own kind. He'll receive constant attention from his fellow aviary residents. Keep your chin up and know you did a good thing.

Karen.

#43036 - 03/23/04 03:23 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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It's happened to the best of us for all sorts of reasons. We have to do what's best for our birds.

#43037 - 03/23/04 09:52 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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"It takes a very very special person and home to care for these birds and the committment should never be taken lightly."

Beverly - you just defined yourself! The main problem is living in Southern Calif. where most homes now only have a foot or two between neighboring houses. And sometimes our jobs demand more than is healthy for us and our families. Please don't beat up on yourself! You are still providing homes for other birds, that are apparently happy.

I mourn your loss, too, and hope that in a couple of weeks you can think about a visit and bringing Bongo a treat to reassure him you didn't abandon him. Take care!!

#43038 - 03/23/04 12:03 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Dear Bev,

I was so sorry to read your post. No-one can judge you in your decision, you loved that little guy so much that in the end you had to do what was best for him to ensure that he has a happy life ahead. I feel for you so much, these birds get into our hearts in such a way, I can't even imagine how you are coping at the moment. Please do not feel that you have failed, you so obviously cared so much that in the end you have placed Bongo's needs above your own. Please keep us informed as to how he is progressing.

Best, Janice.

#43039 - 03/23/04 02:22 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  

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Beverly I am so very sorry. Both you and Bongo will be in our thoughts and prayers. Janet

#43040 - 03/23/04 03:06 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly,

Bongo came to you and you were the right person and it was the right time for both of you. You were indeed blessed to have been able to share your home with him. Please don't feel bad about rehoming him. Maybe he has something he needs to share with someone (or some bird) right now. As caretakers and guardians of these birds, it's our responsibility to see that they get what they need.

I'm sure you gave him a wonderful home. You sound like a loving, caring and concerned person. Bongo is richer for having spent this time with you and I'm sure he will never forget you, as you will never forget him.

Thank you for sharing your story and your grief. Sharing it allows many shoulders to help carry the burden rather than just your own. And I think you will find you are not alone in rehoming a bird. I had to rehome two birds when my family and I moved out of country for three years. My heart was broken, but now almost a dozen years later, I'm happy to say they're still doing very well with the family that adopted them.

Do visit Bongo and bring him a treat. That way it'll reassure him to know he's loved by everyone that's around him.

#43041 - 03/24/04 12:31 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly,

Our Lily came from a family that loved her dearly and had handfed her from day 1. However, they had to rehome her and it was heartbreaking. My hubby and I felt like we were stealing someone's child. It took some time but Lily has adjusted to a healthier life with friends. She is beginning to realize she is a bird and not a human baby. She has lots of new feathers and is not mutilating herself anymore. She has even gained weight.

We have not allowed them to see Lily seen she has come to live with us, but we do keep in touch by phone. The reason we don't allow them to see Lily is I don't want her to become confused and feel abandoned. Maybe later this summer after Lily has been here a year, we could arrange a meeting on neutral ground, but for Lily's sake, not yet.

Take comfort in knowing that you made a very difficult decision based on what was in the best interest of Bongo. Being allowed to be a bird with others birds is a wonderful gift you gave him. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Lei

#43042 - 04/04/04 04:48 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Dear Beverly,

take heart that what you did for Bongo was out of love. You found him a wonderful new home that sounds just right. Having to give up a beloved bird is just as bad as having one die...the sense of loss is deep. I hope you can go and see him. Take care and God bless. Linda.

#43043 - 04/15/04 10:42 AM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly,

I have been absent taking care of Kay and getting our new world in order so I just read this tonight. Everyone has allready said what I was thinking. I am so sorry that you had to make that very difficult decision. But you did the right thing for Bongo and that is what counts. I cherished your posts and your replies. I am glad that you will still be a part of our family here. Take care.

Paul H

#43044 - 04/15/04 03:55 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  

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Paul,

Thanks so much for your kind words. How are you and Kay doing? We have all been thinking about you here and hope that things are going well. Please keep us updated. You are in my thoughts.

#43045 - 04/15/04 04:07 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  

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Oh, Beverly! i am SO sorry! like Paul, i've been gone for awhile. everyone has said it all, already, and i didn't hear the first bit of criticism.
i know how much you loved your little Bongo, and how hard you tried. someone said something that sticks in my mind, and that is that

were it not for you, Bev, Bongo would not be where he is today. you were meant to come into his life, to help him on his way to his forever home.

i have tears in my eyes right now, thinking how your heart is broken. i've never had to give up a bird, so far, but if i ever do, i will think of you, and hope i can be half as unselfish.

please stay in touch, i loved all your stories.

may time heal some of the hurt......linda2

#43046 - 04/15/04 04:58 PM Re: A Hard Lesson Learned  
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Beverly,
Although I am new to the too world I do applaud you for knowing that your too just was not happy and seems to have needed a different enviornment. I had to rehome a timneh about 6 years ago that still tears out my heart. However, I did it due to my Mom awaiting a lung transplant. I had to rehome 2 animals and it still weighs heavy on my heart although I know they both got great homes. Kudo's for you for doing what is right for your bird and not yourself. I know you will hear you should have done this, you should have done that, but the fact being you did what is right for you both in the end.

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