Every once in a while, there is a success story worth sharing . . .
1 May 2016
Rocky in his collar, shortly after his surgery.
This is Rocky, a young rose-breasted cockatoo. Rocky came to me in 2013, as part of a large rescue SNPERRS performed; he had so many issues, he could have started a newsstand. The rehoming committee even debated having him euthanized, but decided he deserved at least one last chance. Somehow, I forgot to duck and ended up fostering Rocky, until I adopted him, knowing that in all likelihood no one else would. Not the least of his issues were night frights even in broad daylight, fear of everything, outlandish distrust, and a severe and often blood-splattering wing mutilation problem. Though I knew nothing of his history, I became quite convinced that it probably included exposure to toxic chemicals, as a friend of mine had a number of years earlier rescued a bird having suffered such exposure that behaved similarly in many ways.
A couple of months ago, after Rocky had gotten over about 75% of his issues, in consultation with the vet it was decided that Rocky would do well to have a partial wing amputation, which was performed by Dr. Kenton at Flamingo Pet Clinic. Dr. K did a great job--he's very good with wings, legs and feet--and the wound healed beautifully. Rocky has worn a collar since July 2013, but I am happy to report that he is now doing without his collar during the day, also now steps up (so long as he doesn't have to look at his feet in the process); he allows me to pet him, he blows kisses and he dances, sings and plays with a toy--which granted, took several weeks to introduce.
While his cage may look too small for Rocky, he was also agoraphobic, so it has been right-sized for him. It has been a "long and winding road," but ultimately, I hope to be able to put Rocky in a bit larger cage (space still makes him nervous at times), and he may actually have a shot at a quasi-normal life.
For sure, you've come a long, long way, Rocky . . . YOU ROCK! Except you still hate cameras . . .
People ask if I'm proud of the work I did with Rocky; I'm quite sure I am, but mostly I'm proud of Rocky for all he has overcome. I am also grateful to the many people (you know who you are!) who encouraged me to continue during those darkest days.
Rocky is still a "work in progress," but I hope his story will remind everyone that, although our rehoming birds may not be perfect, WE'RE IN IT TO WIN IT!