I had to put down my best friend yesterday. It was the hardest decision that I have ever made, and I never imagined that I could feel this broken because of her passing. Seems like alot of people find it odd when we animal lovers grieve for the loss of our animal companions so profoundly, but I feel like people are more understanding if it is a dog or cat that was lost. Hopefully, you guys will be understanding regardless, and I think you will.

My best friend was a little lovebird. I got her in fourth grade, and I am a PhD student now. She had been in my life longer than anyone but my mother, father and brother, and really, she was with me more than them. When I moved away from home for college, she was there. All my time working at home on my research, she was there. She got me through some really difficult times in my life, and now, even though I know she is gone, my subconscious keeps thinking that she is there.

When I first got her, little Beedea (BEE-dee) was not hand tamed, and as many lovebird enthusiasts know, this meant that she was very aggressive. I also knew nothing about birds, although I have always loved animals. When I got Beedea, however, I fell in love with birds, and I started reading all kinds of bird books and magazines in order to learn how to care for her better and maybe try to show her that I was a friend.

Using treats and as much patience as an elementary school kid has, I did manage to tame her a little bit. She would happily perch on my hand as long as it was covered by a little towel, and being unable to take her biting, I was happy with this. Even though I couldn't cuddle or hold Beedea the way people with more tamed lovebirds could, I let her out to play on her cage, in safe places of my room, and she especially loved when I would run the sink for her to take a bath in.

She was a brave little bird. She had no fear of me or anyone else, and she never let any human cow her into doing anything she didn't want to. Sometimes this was frustrating, because I always wanted to hold and cuddle her, but I always respected her for her independence and courage. Surely, it is hard to be a little bird in a human's world.

After more than a decade and a half of loving her even as she kept me at beak's length, one day Beedea discovered for herself why her pesky human was always insisting on trying to be close. She had burrowed herself into my blanket, and I saw a chance to give her head a safe little scratch. She was incensed at first, but then she started cuddling me, all on her own. I was actually so surprised by this total change in her personality, that I took her straight to the vet to see what was wrong. She was quite old at this point, so they sent me home with some antibiotics, but overall she looked good.

I spent the final year of Beedea's life cuddling her every chance I got. I would wake up or come home, and ask her if she wanted to hang out. Smart little girl that she was, she always let me know what she wanted. We always hung out on her terms, but in this past year, she wanted to be with me as much as I wanted to be with her. We spent countless hours together, snuggling up and watching TV, playing video games, or working on my grad research. We were together every chance that we got.

Unfortunately, over the past month, Beedea's health quickly deteriorated. I brought her to the vet again, but there wasn't much they could do. For a while, I clung to the vet's statement that Beedea wasn't ready to be put down yet, things hadn't got that bad. I kept telling myself that things weren't that bad, I would know when it was time... Then on Saturday, I woke up and went to give her her medicine, and somehow I just knew. I have been crying on and off ever since then.

She was euthanized yesterday morning. I felt like I was betraying her as I let her nestle up in the box of towels that I brought her to the vet's office in, and when I cuddled her for the last time, before handing her off. I wish I could have explaining things to her, and gotten some confirmation from her that this was what she would have wanted- to end the suffering. Of course, as we all know, that isn't possible. I just hope that I did the right thing, as I know that I would have preferred to keep her longer, pretending that she was ok- she was still eating, still excited to come out and be with me, afterall.

My family buried her in the backyard, and my dad made her a little gravestone. The image of it fills me with so much sadness. My little friend shouldn't just be a name on a rock, and a few scattered feathers in my living room. She should be here with me, snuggled up under my chin or letting me rub her tiny, feathered cheeks. The memories of her are so vivid, and it makes them more painful. I just don't feel whole without her.

I want to believe that she is in heaven, and that I will see her again, but people arguing about whether animals have souls and all that BS have seeded doubts in my head. When I'm not destroyed by grief, I know animals have souls. Beedea and all the pets I have ever had, even down to my little zebra finches, have souls. And if there is any human in the world that deserves to see heaven through their beliefs, than every animal deserves to be there. But I want to believe that I will be with her again so strongly, that I'm also afraid that that won't be the case. I hope she is somewhere where she is happy and free, and loved. I hate to think that her suffering ended in nothingness. She deserves better than that.

I know that someday I will heal, and be able to enjoy my memories of all the love and companionship that she gave me, but for now, thinking about her and remembering her just makes me feel like the emptiness is crushing me. I feel so sad that I can't imagine being totally fine and happy without her.

Now I am looking for any help that you guys might be able to give. At any rate, thanks to all of you for listening/reading. Writing about all this in a place full of understanding people is very nice.
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I am so sorry for your loss of lovely Beedea. She sounds like a gorgeous little thing. I know how deep the love goes, and when they are gone it's so hard to cope without their friendship and constant presence around.

It doesn't matter what shape they had here....bird, or dog, or sheep, or cat...they are all Souls, who come to Earth to live here for a little while, then go back to Spirit, as we all shall do.

Not only that but the intelligence of a bird is equal to a dog's or cat's generally.

Love is the constant connection. They love us and we love them. That is the thing that brings us together, in this world and the next. Love doesn't care what species or what race or colour we are. And it doesn't care what dimension we happen to be in at the time. Love cuts across all those imagined boundaries.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer

Misty's life after death:
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I have a few bird lovers in my circle of friends and from their stories I have learned that birds and humans can share an amazing bond.  Its very nice to hear such a story that goes SO MANY YEARS. I love seeing people dedicate long term to a family pet.  

I felt horrible when I put my dog to sleep as well.  The guilt was beyond painful and I felt so cruel.  I finally realized that my dog and I shared a bond on a completely different level.  I spent years showing her how much she meant to me...not once was I able to tell her I always had to show her.  I know in her final moments she knew I loved her and I know she passed peacefully.  Have comfort in knowing you spent years showing your friend how much she meant to you and I am sure she felt how strong of a friendship you shared.  Letting go is never easy and it definitely takes time to heal.  I let my dog go September of 2014.  I never expected to still have sad days after a few months but I do.  

Try and focus on the great memories you created.  Its painful but in order have amazing friendships and love we have to accept that some day a time will come to say goodbye. Your beautiful friend was lucky to have such a dedicated pet parent.
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@ Mistymama I really like your take on love. It is very comforting. I know that Beedea was a smart little creature, and I was always proud that she eventually chose me on her own to be a friend. She had so much personality, and such a beautiful spirit. :) It's nice to think about the love continuing even though she is gone from this world.

@patent123 I definitely agree, and I will try to take your words to heart even though it is difficult to even face the good memories. I was just looking through pictures of her, and they made me feel like I made the right decision for sure. She just didn't have the strength and energy that she had a year or so ago. I think her body was giving out on her, and she just needed that final rest. Poor girl. It is so hard to let them go.
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I am truly sorry for your loss of Beedea. It is my belief that it doesn't matter what type of pet you have. If you have a bond with that pet, your grief is just as deep and strong and valid as anyone else's. If you ever do come across someone that doesn't understand your grief for a bird, then I feel certain they have never had a bond with any kind of animal and that is a sad thing for them. I can guarantee, you will not find that kind of person on this forum.

I just loved your story of Beedea. As I was reading, I had to chuckle when you spoke of Beedea's aggression and your persistence in trying to break through to her. It reminded me of my little dog, Boo, who I lost two years ago. He was aggressive and I never could figure out why. I was so frustrated and saddened that I never could calm his fears. As with Beedea, everything was on his terms. I am glad that she finally figured out how nice it was to cuddle with you. Those special memories will last forever!

I too want to believe our beloved pets go to heaven, but at times there is that tiny twinge of doubt. I spoke of it in my tribute to my golden retriever, who I had to set free a year ago this past Friday, June 5th.

The road ahead is painful and even though each person's path is different, I do understand what you are going through. You need to grieve in your own personal way and allow yourself as much time as you need.

My thoughts are with you and sweet little Beedea. I know she is watching over you.

Take care,


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Thank you so much, Terri. And I am glad that my story reminded you of one of your own animal friends. :) Sometimes it really pays off to never give up on them, and all of my time being with her was so special. I keep missing her little cuddles and preens now though. It is certainly hard, but talking about my experience with a community of kind people who understand has been very helpful!

I know that my own family has close bonds with their pets, but no one had as close a bond as I had with Beedea. So, I feel a little out of place crying and grieving around them all. This community is so amazing and kind though. It is nice to see that other people grieve just as much, and that we can maybe use these feelings to comfort eachother.

Now I just need to figure out what things I need to do to work on healing. I haven't touched her cage since yesterday, except to move it out of its normal spot because I couldn't bare to look at it sitting empty. I am thinking about getting a little tattoo of one of her feathers, and trying to see about getting a new little friend- not to replace her, because nothing ever could, but would love to put the energy I used to share with her to some good use.
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your darling little Beedea. Lovebirds are so beautiful. The way you patiently worked with her until she realized how enjoyable it is to be touched and caressed is inspiring. Unless one has a bird in their life, it's impossible to realize what amazing creatures they are and how they become such an important and integral part of our lives. I love your statement, "Surely, it is hard to be a little bird in a human's world." How very true. There's so much for captive birds to adapt to, understand and (hopefully) eventually accept as comforting and genuine expressions of love from their humans. Raising and caring for birds can often be a challenge (not to mention rather messy), but is certainly well worth it.

I have a nearly 23-year-old very talkative Congo African Grey parrot named Grady. She belonged to my former brother-in-law and his wife. Grady was ALWAYS her momma's girl with little regard for my brother-in-law other than apparently delight in harassing him. She would frequently bite him, then laugh heartily and say "don't bite Howard!!" My sister-in-law passed away unexpectedly in 2008 and Grady was absolutely bereft for months, as was Howard. My ex-husband and I moved to Florida to live with Howard for a year in 2009 to help with his grief. After almost constantly talking to and approaching Grady as she sat perched in her cages, over the course of a few months she began to come closer and closer and would put her beak between the bars as if asking me to touch her. I started putting my index finger between the bars, she put her beak around it, held onto my finger and then nuzzled it with her head. Within a very short time she began to "step up" on my arm, sit on my shoulder and in my lap, letting me pet her and really enjoying it. When I moved out of Howard's house a year later, he let me take Grady with me as it was obvious I had become her new momma. She's been with me ever since and wants to be wherever I am until she's asleep. My entire life I feared things flying around me, but have never felt that way about Grady. She has cages in different rooms so she can be near all the time, and I let her out to fly around and from cage to cage when my young dog is at daycare or asleep in his "den." Being able to pet, caress her beautiful feathers and feel that incredibly soft down underneath them is an amazing experience and she loves it. Unfortunately she's not yet a cuddler like darling Beedea, but perhaps someday that will come as well.

African Greys have a very long lifespan if they remain healthy, and more than likely I'll be gone well before Grady, but I'll always cherish every moment of our time together. I can't imagine life without her. You and I are both blessed to have experienced the beauty of life with a bird, the companionship they bring, their incredible ability to sense our emotions and their desire to just want to be near us.

No matter whether our little lover is a bird, cat, dog, horse or any other animal, it's important to remember that we are all energy. It's what animates us, what looks out from our eyes to observe the world, etc. The physical body is simply a vessel for that energy/spirit/soul, and when the physical vessel has completed its time on earth, that energy doesn't die. Energy can't be destroyed; it simply changes form. That's a law of physics. There's no doubt we'll meet them again some day when our physical bodies have completed their journey. Our energy will be drawn to theirs and we'll be reunited again. In what form I don't know; whether it's the Rainbow Bridge, entry into Heaven, or on another plane that our physical bodies can't see. In my opinion, those who say animals don't have souls have no understanding of the law of physics and the transformation of the energy/spirit/soul. It's one of those areas where science and faith do collide and become one. I know when my time on earth is done my energy will reunite with the love of my life, Murphy my Golden Retriever, who passed a year ago this coming June 18. And when Grady's time is done, her energy will find Murphy's and mine. So it will be with you and your beloved Beedea.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss.

Murphy's Mom (Kathryn)
"Sometimes there is a dog who is so special, he is able to wrap himself so completely around your heart it is impossible to tell where you begin and he ends."  For My Beloved Murphy, 08/31/2004 - 06/18/2014
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