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Losing a Friend


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  1. Rosanne Anderson

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. 28 years of a wonderful life with you was so special for her. The freedom, love, and adventure were probably so appreciated after enduring her former life.

    God Bless.


    1. Susan

      So sorry, Susan, I understand how hard it is to loose a pet. Prayers for you. Bless you for all you do for animals.

  2. Sandy Short

    There really are no words I say other than I’m sooo sooo sorry. To loose a member of your household is more than agonizing. Thank you for sharing this with us. Sandy

  3. Holly

    Very sorry, Susan. A good friend just lost her 15 yo dog. It hurts like hell.

  4. Leilani Clark

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Take care.

    PS Scientifically it’s a necropsy.

      1. Tom Bosway

        The title of which is: Necropsy or Autopsy? It’s All About Communication!

  5. Nan MacArthur

    So very sorry for your loss Susan. It is so heart breaking to lose a beloved pet.

  6. Ella

    I am so sorry for your loss but I congratulate you for being selfless and agreeing to donate part of her to research. You are truly a kind and generous spirit.

  7. Dianne & pets

    I didn’t know that you also had a bird. I am so sorry to hear that yours has passed on. I have had may budgies over the last 14 years or so. Nursed many through chronic health issues, made late night trips to vets. I have always been grateful to have a good avian vet and access to a vet school and a few other avian vets as alternates. I have never regretted having a necropsy done, there is great comfort in knowing that there really was nothing further that could have been done. I am relieved for you that it was quick. My condolences, take the time to grieve, all this other work you do can wait a bit.

  8. james gearhart

    So very sorry Susan- the only negative aspect about pet ownership is that their lives are so much shorter than ours-at least in my mind. God speed

    1. Pat P.

      African Grey Parrots, on the average, live for 50-70 years–not so much shorter than ours. Your comment is accurate, though, for many other pets.

  9. Maria de la Rosa-Young

    My heart goes out to you Susan. You’re so right about animal companions teaching us so many valuable lessons.

  10. I’ve never had a bird and I can’t even imagine losing a pet after 28 years. It sounds as if Arco has left you with a lot of good memories to help you through the grieving process.

  11. Kelly

    So terribly sorry for your loss, what a sad thing to experience. Thinking of you!

  12. Jackie Bessette

    So sorry for your loss, it is never easy. you gave her a good life

  13. Sharon Oh

    “I’ll lend you, for a little while, a bird of mine, He said. For you to love while he lives, and mourn when he is dead. It may be six or seven years, or maybe twenty-three, But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me? He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief, You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, as all from earth return, But there are lessons taught down there I want this bird to learn.
    I’ve looked the whole world over in my search for teachers true, And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, I have selected you. Now will you give him all your love – not think this labor vain, Nor hate me when I come to call, to take him back again. I fancied that I heard them say, ‘Dear Lord, thy will be done.’ For all the joy this bird shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run. We’ll shower him with tenderness and love him while we may, And for the happiness we’ve known, forever grateful stay.
    And should the angels call for him much sooner than we planned, We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.”
    Author unknown

    in memory of Curley Bird Curley – one Curley wasn’t enough for him, he had to add the second 🙂 a little Cockatiel that flew into our lives 7/26/2008 ( he never trusted a hand either) and he suddenly left us 12/11/2013 – a very sad day when his chatter and singing left our home. Condolences shared for Arco ~

    1. Juno's mom

      Very well said.

    2. P Ramsay

      So lovely – I’ve seen the same as applies to dogs also.

  14. Brenda

    My sincerest condolences on your loss of Arco. The longer we are with feathered or furry friends, the more it hurts to lose one of them. Bless you for allowing the necropsy and the taking of tissue samples. May they help lead the researcher to a cure.

    Best wishes,

  15. Cheri Fellinger

    So, so sorry for your loss. There is nothing I can say to make it better for you. I know and your friends/followers all know what you are going through as pet lovers lose many pets throughout their lifetimes. Your attitude sounds good. We learn something from every being we let into our circle of family & pets. Fondly remembering those lessons is their parting gift to us. Bless you and your bird friend Arco. You will see her again one day all healthy and happy. I’m sure of that.

  16. Shellie

    So very sorry for the loss of your baby. It is difficult to do the right thing, but you and your baby will save other lives.

  17. Tom Bosway


  18. Heidi

    So very sorry for the loss of your friend. There is so little research into bird diseases that you did a great service to all birds and bird lovers by allowing any new knowledge to be gleaned. I know you will miss him, but his long life is a testament to the love and care he had.
    Bless you.

  19. Jane Anderson

    So sorry for your loss. You did the right thing by allowing the vets to try to find out about her condition. Some years ago I took my dog Spot to a veterinary teaching hospital, she had pancreatitis. They called me during the operation and asked what I wanted to do and I made the difficult decision to let her go. Then I said I wanted an autopsy and they were greatful that it could help other dogs. I have never regretted this, and made the long trip down there and back for her body. I buried her beneath the tree so it could watch over her.

  20. Kathryn Smith

    Blessings and Bright Lights to Guide and Comfort each of you during this Time of Transition

  21. Rhea Elliott

    I am so sorry for your loss. Yes it is hard not to have a body to bury, but in the long run she will be doing a great service to other birds (such as what you do for our other pets). She will always be with you in spirit and will still push you and teach you things.

  22. Nina

    What a wonderful life you gave Arco and she did the same for you. You were with her until the very end, and as she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, she knew that she was loved and not alone. Our hearts are with you at this sad time

  23. Linda Kelly

    Susan you have such a kind heart and your “sweet” girl parrot knew that your heart was to be trusted by her.
    It is so sad to lose a family member whether they have feathers or tails it makes little difference when it comes to love.
    LM Kelly

  24. Karen Lucas

    Hugs and condolences Susan

  25. Gloria Todd

    Susan, I am so sorry about the loss of your little feathered friend. I know how much she meant to you. I lost a parakeet several years ago to what probably was a gastric tumor, and the day she died, I stayed home and wept all day, even longer. She was a brilliant little bird (and a talker) even for a parakeet, so I can understand the bond you had with Arco. It was wonderful that you allowed her to be a part of research that could possibly save someone else’s bird in the future. God bless and comfort you in your loss.

  26. caninecare

    my heart is breaking for you. we know what a loss like this feels like. But what a blessed little creature to have had so much love for so many years.

  27. Susanna Askins

    The creatures who grace us with their companionship are also here to mentor us. I truly understand how painful your loss is. You gave Arco a lovely life and your little friend will always be there for you. Sending you peace.

  28. Nancy

    Oh, I have been in your situation many times with many different species. After every passing there was a sign, a dream, a wispy feather in an unexpected place, a birdsnest made out of their hair. Watch and listen, Arco will let you know.

  29. Sandra

    Sorry for your loss. Take extra good care of yourself while you grieve. You gave her a good life and respected her personality, that was a fine gift.

  30. Connie

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray peace and comfort for you, and hope the study the vets will do will help save more in the future.

  31. InkedMarie

    I am so sorry for the loss of your little Timneh. They are such wonderful birds.

  32. Linda Saslow

    so sorry for your loss. you were both blessed.

  33. Susan

    So very sorry to learn of your baby passing. I know you are heartbroken. She was lucky to have you and know that she was loved. Sadly, we only get to keep these gifts for a short while and then they are gone. She will always be in your heart.

  34. june m lay

    I read your post and I can feel your pain. Each little companion friend we bring home is unique and changes us. The only thing I told myself when I said goodbye to my first two best friends, was this is life. I hold on to the memories as you will. Loss is so hard, and I’m so sorry for yours.

  35. Dee

    So sorry – she’ll always be with you.

  36. B Jackson

    Condolences on this loss, so small in stature yet great of heart and impact on your life. I’m sure with time that your heart wrenching yet generous decision to allow some of her remains to be used for study will feel more comfortable but you/her contribution will someday help the life of others.
    Peace and loving memories

  37. Mollie Morrissette

    I am so sorry for your loss, Susan. Thank you for being a great Mommy to Arco and for teaching her that all humans aren’t bad and you taught her that with consistent caring, compassion and love she was able to learn to trust humans again. I’m sure she’s waiting for you across the Rainbow Bridge and until you meet again you will both have an ache in your heart. Thanks for being so brave in letting her be a tool for veterinarians to learn from, I can only imagine how hard that must have been for you and your family not to bring her home with you. We love you, Susan. Our hearts are with you. <3

  38. P Ramsay

    So so sorry for your loss – it is always so devastating and yet we carry on with our love for our animals. I hope that the good memories will help you through the grieving.

  39. roberta goto/ ralph goto

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your bird buddy……our little cockatiel, Motiel, passed at about 25 years of age……was a sad day… I am sorry that Arco left……he is probably soaring high above the African plains, drifting about……take care……and thank you for all that you do to help keep our animals safe.

  40. Susan Mullen

    Susan, I am so sorry. You have so many happy memories of Arco. You loved her and gave her a home for 28 years — that says so much about both of you.

  41. Pat P.


    African Grey parrots are extremely charming and highly intelligent, as well as, funny and gregarious. I would think, that despite her fears, Arco provided you with a wonderful friendship and years of an entertaining relationship. Birds are fascinating creatures, with so many human qualities, aside from quirks of their own.
    Losing a pet is difficult, and depending on the strength of the bond can be an agonizing loss. I know. What you did was admirable and courageous. Knowing what killed her had to give you some comfort. Helping other birds should do the same. At least, you will be able to retain her body to bury or cremate, as you wish, and keeping her near, if possible.
    She was a very special friend that taught you some wonderful life lessons. Not many people can say that about a human, let alone an African Grey
    Parrot. Although I am very sorry for your loss and know you will grieve for however long, I believe that this little bird gave you so much that you will always be grateful for.

  42. Kenneth Kalligher

    Goodbye Arco, you take Susan’s love and part of her heart with you. Twenty eight years, seems so long, but I know you view it as too short. Suddenly! Your life changes! Devastated! As a lifelong pet owner I know the pain and the shock of the sudden death of a beloved pet. It is never easy and all of them have a place in your memory that allows them to live in you as long as you breathe. So sorry for your loss Susan, maybe some small comfort in knowing she will contribute to a broader and noble cause and maybe the species will benefit

  43. Pam Knapp

    I am so sorry for your loss. She was surely an amazing and strong little girl, and I am sure that she had a wonderful life because of you and your family. She’s flying free over the Rainbow Bridge now and you’ll see her again some day.
    Thank you so much for all the hard work you do. I know that we all appreciate it.

  44. liz

    Oh no! I am so sorry for your loss of your little friend! Bless you and your kind heart.

  45. Sharon

    Oh Susan, I’m so sorry for your loss of Arco. How brave of you and your hubby to support the work of your trusted bet, but stand firm in your wishes. Praying for the peace and comfort of Jesus over you and your family.

  46. Kent Petersime

    Sharon above said it all Susan, I know that everytime we loose a pet we loose a part of ourselves. Please only remember the good times you had so that it puts a smile back on your face. All animals go to Heaven and Arco is looking down at you right now telling you she will be waiting on you when it’s your turn. I’ll pray for both your pet and you and your family tonight.
    God Bless You Susan.

  47. Beth Marousek

    I love this outpouring of support for you, Susan. A great many people care for you. Peace and Blessings.

  48. Susan McFadden

    Lovely tribute, my friend. Maybe your story about Arco will inspire others to go the extra step when they have a pet die from a disease that needs more research to do the same thing you did with Arco. BTW, you know, I’ll never forget her. 😉

  49. Valerie

    Susan…I’m so utterly sorry about your grey…thinking of you, it’s so hard losing one of these special little souls. Fly free, Arco

  50. Batzion

    Sweet Arco, you accomplished a lot during your time here on earth. You were Susan’s teacher, buddy, consolation and so much more. I agree with what Mollie Morrissette wrote – I think you’ll be waiting for Susan at the Rainbow Bridge. Can you imagine what a wonderful reunion that will be?

    Meanwhile, we are closing ranks around Susan and share her grief. Yes, your departure grieves us, too. We may not have met you, but we love you just the same. Rest in peace, little one, and know you will be together again.

    Susan, my heart breaks for you. You honored Arco in the best way possible by allowing the doctors to use her to help other birds. You are, truly, a woman of courage. We are your “family,” and we are here for you.

  51. Michelle Zeeman

    So very sorry to read of your loss. What a lucky little soul to live in your home and be cared for and loved. Losing our companions is so heartbreaking. I wish you peace.

  52. Donna Chicone

    I am so sorry for your loss. The hardest part of loving is saying good-bye. I am sending healing energy and prayers.

  53. Micki587

    From a horrible beginning to having a loving home with you, this little bird was so fortunate. So many others are less fortunate. Losing any animal that you have loved and been loved by is losing a part of your heart. Comfort in knowing that you gave her a home with so much love and affection will help you remember all of the great times you you both enjoyed.

  54. Leslie Kuhn

    I am so sorry for your loss ! I hope that her being able to help other birds and veterinarians will help , in a way she isn’t gone .

  55. Joan Nader

    So sorry to learn about losing your friend. 28 years is a long time.

  56. Ann Vanderlaan

    I’m so sorry, Susan. Losing any well-loved family member is hard, but 28 years is a wonderfully long time. Thank you for your willingness to share Timneh and help other birds.

  57. Adria

    Dear Susan,
    It’s so difficult to explain how incredible these birds are to someone who has never had a parrot; what an enormous presence they are in your life, especially a Grey, so I do feel your anguish and heartbreak about the loss of Arco.
    My African Grey Timneh, is now 31 years old and has been with me since he was 10 months old. He is such a big part of my family’s life having grown up with my children, who are now all adults with children of their own, and now, McLeod is a part my grandchildren’s life.
    I commend you for allowing Arco to enhance the science of these amazing creatures.

  58. darlene

    So sad, but also so wonderful you could enjoy 28 years together. Thanks for being such a great friend to all animals.

  59. Felicia Dale

    I’m so very sorry to hear of the loss of Arco. We also lost our beloved parrot, Ranzo the Red bellied poicephalus, after a very short life (only 7 years!) despite all our efforts to a transmissible, fatal and chronic disease which used to be referred to as Proventricular Dilation Disorder. We are still heartbroken- and he’s been gone longer than he was alive. He was the light in our lives and everyone loved him. I’m sure Arco’s passing has left an enormous hole in your lives just as Ranzo’s death did in ours. Be sure that we understand and are here for you in any way we can be. Thank you so much for taking in a frightened parrot and giving him/her the space and safety to be as happy a parrot can be when wild caught and kept as a pet. You did a huge thing and that’s just wonderful!

  60. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    Dear Susan,
    I am so very sorry for your families loss of your beloved Arco. You gave him a wonderful life. He knew how much you loved and valued him & how you saved him from his horrible former existence. He surely loved & appreciated all you did for him & the loving relationship you forged over the years of his life.

    Rest in peace dear Arco, over the Rainbow’s Bridge.

    While it is so very sad to lose a beloved family member, please hold onto the comfort of knowing you will be reunited once again, someday.

    Sincere sympathies on the loss of your sweet boy, Arco.

  61. Kat

    I understand ❤ 💔

  62. Kathi

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have birds (one being a Timneh)as well and several years ago my 37 year old started laying unshelled eggs. I rushed her to a vet several hours away, but the best in the state. Martini stayed with the vet for many weeks and we thought we had things under control. Then at the last, we lost her. The vet did a necropsy and found that she had liver disease. He also wanted to do more studies on her. I, like you wanted to bring her home, however, I wanted others to be spared the pain. My love to you. Sisters in paws and feathers.

  63. Marie Magyar

    Dear Susan,

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved bird Arco. Losing a pet is never easy, and after 28 years together, it must be unbearable for you. I am certain, after you rescued this little guy, gave him the time needed for him to adjust and trust, he wanted nothing more than to stay with you forever. Alas, life isn’t like this, nothing lasts forever. But you must know in his life, what a difference you made, as you have done for all of us pet owners who were fortunate to find you. And while your heart is broken, you allowed an autopsy, still looking ahead for what help your beloved pet might give to other sick birds. You are a real gem Susan. May God heal your heart soon.

  64. T Allen

    I’m so sorry for your loss Susan! It was so like you to be thinking of others during a time of great sadness yourself. There is a special place in heaven for you and I know Arco will be there to greet you, thank you for rescuing him and then you will also know, the “rest of the story”. God Bless you!

  65. Alida

    I’m so sorry to learn of your loss, Susan. What a blessing that you and Arco found each other and shared all those years of devotion. And what a wonderful thing you did at the very end, which honors her in such a meaningful way: Allowing her to possibly be the key to a cure. You described her as “one determined little bird” and I immediately thought you and Arco are birds of a feather… All of us are fortunate to have you, and that you had Arco; she will live on in your heart and in your work. Be good to yourself. I hope the pain softens soon. We are with you.

  66. Ann Steffler

    Susan thank you for sharing your loss with us and thank you for making that hard decision to help researchers learn more about his disease. Can you please tell us the name of the disease? You see, I have a Congo African Grey, Spike, who I raised from a 3 week old baby parrot. I hand fed him for months, kept him on my lap in a blanket while I worked on the computer and raised him until he became the wacky, spoiled parrot he now is. Spike is, as your Arco was, a very big part of our family. Spike will be 25 years old this November and I would be devastated if I were to lose him to something so quietly deadly as the disease that took Arco from you. I fully plan on him living the long life parrots are known to live. So I am very interested in learning more about this disease.

    I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved Arco and I understand very personally how heavy your heart must be.

  67. Mary Delaney

    Dear Susan, you have our condolences. We have had so many special cases over the years (35) we’ve been together. We know the pain of losing one of the family whether you have shepherded them through five short years or almost twenty. It’s never enough time, especially when you know their previous life was rotten for them.
    Bless you for allowing Arco’s tissues to go for research. I worked for many years in Anatomic Pathology clerical support, which included the Autopsy suite. My best friend also gave her body to the medical college deeded body program. God, how I miss her…we did a lot of animal rescues together!!! Getting to know the med students and pathologists over the years has let me know how VERY important it is to have REAL bodies and REAL organs to study. Book learning just isn’t enough…and they are PASSIONATE about their research to understand and someday cure diseases!!! It’s hard to let even a small amount of tissue go, but believe me, adding to the knowledge is appreciated more than you can imagine.
    I hope that your & Arco’s gift to science will comfort you in years to come. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve never had birds but know they can be such characters, and have very definite personalities.
    Fly free, Arco, and send a feather down to Susan once in awhile to let her know life goes on…just in a different place.
    Mary(AnimalWoman) and Steve Delaney

  68. Kris Hanson

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Each pet is a member of our families. God Bless. Kris

  69. cathy

    you are a special person to love and care for a bird like that. I am sorry for your loss. thank you for all you do on behalf of all our pets.

  70. Marie

    Susan, you brought tears to my eyes with your beautiful story of Arco. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. Unexpected loss is the worst, it seems – no time to prepare. What an amazingly strong spirit Arco has, to have lived with this disease for 28 years. It seems that she found in you a spirit just as strong, just as enduring and just as loving. I’m grateful that she had you to soften the shock of being captured as a wild bird, as clearly you shared great love and trust. I’m so touched in the way you enjoyed her antics so tremendously. I can even see what a character she truly is in that cute little face of hers. What a delightful, charming little bird! She is still all those wonderful qualities and so much more. God bless you, Susan, and your precious little Arco girl. Now she has become a gift, an inspiration to all of us. I wish I could have known her.
    With much love,

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