…and then there was one

When I met husband Joe 5½ years ago I was introduced to his ‘flock’ which consisted of himself, Jackie – an Orange Wing Tipped Amazon Parrot, and Killian – a Blue Front Amazon Parrot. They all had moved up here to Washington from Florida. Quite the drive for two parrots!

Killian, Joe, Jackie

Killian, Joe, Jackie

Joe has had Jackie all his life. We don’t know the age of Jackie, as the his family took over ownership of him from a local mom & pop shop. Who knows how old he was then. We guess he was about 55+ years old (human years).

young Joe and Jackie

young Joe and Jackie

I’ve heard many stories from Joe’s family of Jackie taking baby-Joe under his wing. Jackie was a ‘grumpy old man’ and would bite anyone who got near him. Imaging the horror of the the parents turning around to find baby-Joe crawling inside Jackie’s cage – only to find Jackie snuggling with the toddler instead of attacking him! Since then Joe was Jackie’s charge. If Jackie was out of his cage while baby-Joe was getting a diaper change, Jackie would attack Joe’s mom. If Jackie had flown up in a tree and wouldn’t come down, they would pretend they were attacking Joe and he would say “Help! Jackie! Help!” – Jackie would swoop down to rescue his young friend.

When I entered Joe’s life his family told me I’d have to be very careful around Jackie as he would bite me, and hate me forever! After a year of me getting to know Jackie and picking him up with a stick I was finally able to pick him up with my hand. A proud day for me as I had achieved the approval of Jackie: The Guardian of Joe.

These last were the twilight years for Jackie. This is one reason Joe bought Killian as a baby in Florida. Jackie had gotten sick but a visit to the vet and medicine brought him back healthy if a bit frailer. He has been through three more bouts of sickness, each recovery he was a little bit less of his former self.

We are now at the end with Jackie. Joe took him into the vet as he seemed to be having breathing problems. To sum it up – he was slowly dying and in pain. Joe opted for euthanasia, and he held Jackie as he fell asleep for the last time.

Jackie dancing on perch

Jackie dancing on perch

Although I did not have Jackie in my life for 32 years as Joe did, I will miss him dearly. I am glad that he approved of me for Joe. Killian is quieter now; I think he’s a bit confused as to where his friend went.

R.I.P. Jackie. You will be missed.

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