Thanks for the finch info. I find them fascinating.
Leigh, please make sure you have help and relief so you can keep your sanity while caregiving. I took care of my Mom for a duration and she was a very easy person to take care of and I really burned out. It took the nudging of a hospice nurse before I realized just how bad I was. You have Annie and that will help but make sure you are able to have "you" time.
Morganzola, you are right, the unconditional love they offer us is why their little paws become tattooed onto our hearts. That kind of acceptance is just not found among humans. I hope those people who don't get it do find that kind of love some time before they die so they can learn compassion from a truly unselfish perspective. Ted taught me so much in his 4 short years. I see every animal in a different light since losing him. Each and every one has something to offer and if our hearts are open we can experience all that joy we would otherwise miss.