Charlie and Parents
Charlie is the first Galah that Tamara has owned and the first bird Liam has had. So having him was a new experience to them both.
They listened to everyone’s advice about what was best to feed him and what would make him sick. They learned about fatty tumours and all sorts of things. Charlie was a shy bird in the pet shop. According to the manager he never went near anyone- until Tamara walked passed his little stand out on the floor.
Charlie made the tiniest little chirp, that Tamara and Liam now know as a contact call, and caught their attention. He wasn’t very fond of Liam, but immediately climbed up Tamara’s arm to her shoulder. Now they didn’t really have the money for him- but Liam knew that Tamara had fallen in love with this bundle of pink and grey feathers and he made it happen.
They went home with everything they needed to get started and lived very happily for almost a year. Then something terrible happened.
Tamara was walking around collecting grass for Charlie’s cage with Charlie on her shoulder, when a wild male Galah flew overhead and spooked him, he flew off and left Tamara standing in the yard alone. She screamed for him and chased him from tree to tree- but he was chased off.
She spent that night crying and fretting- as did Liam- and they talked about what to do to get him back. The next day both Charlie’s parents went to work. When Tamara come home in the afternoon, she looked around in the trees- hoping beyond hope- that her precious pink chicken would be there waiting. But she couldn’t see him. As she walked towards the house, she heard a little kissing noise, now by then Charlie had a younger brother called Batty- a Scaly breasted Lorikeet- and she thought maybe it was him.
But Batty started whistling and screeching like crazy! She knew that it wasn’t Batty blowing kisses and she ran down the driveway and stopped.
There, in a tree just outside her driveway, dishevelled and alone- was Charlie. Tamara danced and clapped and cried, their baby had come home! After only one day!
She stood in the driveway for two whole hours with a bowl of his special, sometimes only, sunflower seeds and rattled them and called him. She could hear Batty calling to Charlie as well. Together they coaxed the scared little Galah down to a metal pole and then onto the bowl. She then very slowly carried him back into his cage, locked it up tight and hugged it. She stared at him in shock and whispered. ‘You’re grounded.’
Tamara didn’t tell Liam that she had got Charlie back, so when he came home from work and saw Charlie in his cage- he was very shocked. They slept well that night, noting that Charlie ate and drank a lot and looked very tired.
After a trip to the vet for treatment for mites and lice and to get his beak shaved because it grows too fast, Charlie came back home and all was well.
Until December 2012…
Charlie has not let Tamara touch him for several months and favours Liam over all. She didn’t mind this so much and figured maybe he was just being temperamental. But one night when she was changing his food, she noticed that his beak looked funny.
She put it up that she was upset Charlie had to get his beak shaved again and that she felt like a bad mummy for not noticing sooner. That is when Lyn John of Helping Wings contacted her and asked if he had been tested for PBFD (Beak and feather disease).
Tamara knew nothing of this disease and then got upset because they couldn’t afford to get Charlie’s beak treated AND get the blood tests done. Lyn said that they didn’t have to worry, that Helping Wings would aid them financially.
The test results have come back positive, Charlie has PBFD.
Tamara and Liam understand what hardships they will have to go through with Charlie. Both have expressed that they will do everything they can to make sure that Charlie lives out his life, healthy, happy, full and with a roof over his head.
Tamara, Liam, Charlie, Batty and Princess would like to thank Helping Wings from the bottoms of their hearts, for their generous help in their time of need. Tamara would like to thank Lyn John and Danielle Bamforth- who with out their help, would never have known to get Charlie tested. They provided Tamara with information and emotional help. Thank you both so much.