Recently the MSPCA at Nevins Farm took in a group of cockatiels from another shelter, in hopes that we could help them to find homes more quickly. Among these birds was a very quiet pearl cockatiel, who seemed to be quite elderly. We’re not sure about her background, or how this sweet little lady ended up without a home, but Gretchen (FKA Helga) appeared to be one of the oldest cockatiels we’ve had at Nevins Farm.
Gretchen was stressed living at the shelter and had been losing weight rapidly. No matter what kind of tasty food or treats we offered her, she turned them down, preferring to stay on a perch near the back of her cage. Sheila, one of our Exotic Bird Advocates, was able to get Gretchen to come out of her cage and perch on her shoulder now and then. Once Gretchen began to trust Sheila, she showed that she knew how to step up, and that she enjoyed perching on her cage while Sheila was doing some cleaning in the bird room.
On Sunday evening, Paula, one of the dog training volunteers, met Gretchen for the first time. Paula has an 18 year old cockatiel at home, and was very sad to see that Gretchen had somehow ended up surrendered to a shelter as an elderly bird. Although the birds at the MSPCA get lots of loving care and enrichment, shelter life can be very stressful for some birds. It didn’t take Paula and her husband Gene long before they decided that they wanted to adopt sweet Gretchen and give her a forever home.
On Tuesday afternoon, Paula came to the shelter to adopt Gretchen and take her to her new home. She also brought her friend Suzanne, a Reiki practitioner, to help ease the transition with a pre-trip Reiki treatment. Gretchen seemed to enjoy the Reiki energy and perked up quite a bit during her ride home! (See photo above)
When she reached Paula and Gene’s house, she spent a little while hanging out in the kitchen with the ladies. She looked around to take in the new environment, then to their surprise, Gretchen began to eat her seed stick treat! It felt like a miracle to see her eating!
After letting her adjust and snack for a while, Paula brought Gretchen to her temporary home in the guest bedroom. It will be a nice, quiet place for her to adjust to being in her new home for a week or so. Paula and Gene can spend time with her there, and also give her the space she needs in order to feel comfortable and safe. Soon she will be able to move into the bird room with 18 year old Griffin (pictured below), her new cockatiel “brother.”
So far, Gretchen is loving her new home! She’s eating well, enjoying pellets, seed treats and millet (below)! She cheeps and chirps when her new family come in and spend time with her, and she seems much more active than we’d ever expected! Seeing this transformation taking place is so exciting! She is a girl who needed a safe, loving home, and we are so grateful to Paula and Gene for opening their hearts to her. We know Gretchen is grateful, too! Don’t you just love happy endings?