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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7621
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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Geriatric Bird Boarding

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I think only August should answer this, because she knows the history of my bird. I can wait till tomorrow if that works. - Thank you,Becky

Hi August - You've been so helpful to me in the past. I am in need of some discussion with you about what to do with Woodrow my cockatiel while I am out of town. I'll be gone a week, and I am starting to have serious concern about Woodrow's happiness and safety while I'm gone. At first I thought my boyfriend would be here to watch him, but he is going to be focused on a project that may keep him away for 3 or 4 days at a time while I'm gone. I have a great vet who helped me through a crisis (we almost lost him in early April, not sure what the culprit was) and they do board at his facility. It looks like I'll need help for a full 7 days, and even tho the vet is great, I'm not sure how great it will be for Woodrow to be in a cage the whole time in a strange place. He's used to walking around and climbing his ladder to the lamp perch. I'm just so nervous about leaving and am convinced that my stimulation is what makes him live. (What an ego I have!) I can't imagine him hanging in there until I get back. I can't think of anyone who can look in on him if I leave him at home, which is where he would be most comfortable. I even considered taking him with me! But I think an airplane ride to the northeast from Texas would be too much stress. Besides, I've never flown with him - I think we are both (!) too old for that option. Do you have any ideas? And, can you comfort me in any way that he will be ok without me for a week? Thanks so much - Becky

Hi Becky, once again your kind words are deeply appreciated and of course I'll be happy to stand by you and Woodrow through this.

Since an in-home caregiver isn't possible, opting for the vet is really your only choice. For a week he'll be fine. I'd chat up the office workers while dropping him off or even before you go. Bring him in to 'visit' if you can - so he'll be familiar and reassured that this is a place he never has to stay in.

Even after a week, he will get to go home

Introduce him to the staff and ask them to personally check in on him and talk with him, whistle to him, etc.. I'll bet you find out that nearly everyone in that office has once had, now has or knows someone who has a 'tiel. Tell them some of his favorite things and leave a small bag of 'treats' they can give him

Most people will enjoy spending a little extra time when it's a bird.

As for stress, yes, initially it will be scary for him, BUT the good news is that these are remarkably resilient animals - which is why they're one of the oldest residents of this planet; with a billion years of history whereas we mammals only have 'thousands'

Once he's sure he's safe and being fed he'll relax and go with the flow. Just like all of us should, right?

Feel free to call every day to make sure he's doing well and give yourself peace of mind.

You always strike me as a remarkable owner and Woodrow is SO lucky that it's heart warming

Be sure to let me know how you both make out ok?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX has been a touchy year for Woodie, so I am particularly paranoid about his health while I'm gone. I'm sure you remember he is 18 (actually 19 this summer). He was stepped on in January, recovered from an eye allergy in March, and in early April he became ill and spent 2 days at the bottom of the cage. My avian vet, Dr. Campbell, gave me antibiotics and compassion. We really didn't think he'd make it. He pulled himself through it, but it took a good 3 weeks to get back to 100%. He tried hard to get well. He would give me tiny peeps to let me know he was ok, then sleep the rest of the day. It was a long recovery.

So that's why I'm concerned - his overall constitution is iffy.

OK, thank you for commiserating with me! Makes me feel much better!


To say a 'tiel is all heart is an understatement isn't it?

They are born with such courage and fight that it's hard to not learn life's lessons from them. I've seen 'tiels that seem to be half way over to the other side and still come back for another year or more

There's not much of an alternative choice for you so you just have to trust him to hang in there for you.

Talk to him. Explain what's going on and what will be happening. He WILL understand

August Abbott, CAS and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Becky,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Woodrow. How is everything going?

S. August Abbott, CAS
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi August - Sorry for the delay responding - decompressing from my trip. As it turns out, Woodrow stayed only 1 night at the vet/boarding. Boyfriend was around more than he thought he would be - I think he was just as hesitant about boarding W as I was.

I was so worried, and it all worked out fine.

I did explain to him that he would be visiting Dr. Campbell's office for several days, etc., so he must have been confused when that didn't happen! He was happy and very vocal when I got home.

I really appreciate you lending an ear and commiserating with me! It helps tremendously.

Thank you,

Becky :)

Becky I'm THRILLED to hear all of this and appreciate more than you'll ever know, the follow up. So often I'm 'out of sight, out of mind' and yet I really do think about the bird and how they're doing. Their human too, of course.

I just love how much you cherish Woodrow and I respect you highly, so you will always be welcome to ask me anything about your companion and I'll always give you my full attention

Now just enjoy your little heart with feathers! Pure joy and unconditional love