In Loving Memory of a Beloved Pet of 25 Years


Nikkie and DidiWe just wanted to share our story of our beloved Nikkie - a beloved African Grey parrot (written by Shane Sawinski and his wife Tracie Sawinski).

"Nikkie was a member of our family for 25 years when we suddenly lost her Sept 2, 2009. Nikkie was Shane's bird since he was 3. She has been part of our family (mine, Shane and our daughter Kayla) for the last 5 years.

Her favorite saying was "Hey girl". Whenever we would walk into the house she would great us with a whistle and "Hey girl" No matter if you were alone or the house was filled with noise you were never lonley with Nikkie right there with you.

We feel a deep sadness because she was such a wonderful part of our family. I know you understand the feelings we feel since its only been 3 days since we lost her. We believe that she suffered from aspergillosis, if only we knew before.

Shane had a deep atttachment to her as she was his mom's bird and a part of his life for 25 years. When my mom died 2  1/2 years ago, Nikkie was never the same. She had seemed to get sick around the same time as my mom and gotten worse since her passing. She had been to the vet but we never got the chance to understand what was going on since another family member was taking care of her. We took her into our home a few months ago to give her a better life. She was progressively getting happier and we felt she was starting to readjust to life without her "mom'.

When we rushed her to the vet on Sept 2, 2009 we had no idea that she wasn't coming home with us. This is a hard lesson learned and a painful one. To see Nikkie in that amount of pain and struggle so hard to breath was heartbreaking. My family and I cried for hours hoping that the vet would change his answer on her prognosis, but he held firm, she didnt have much of a chance to survive.

We no have a big empty cage but a lifetime of memories. I hope that  more people will really take this serisously and understand what can happen to these wonderful animals. This went on for years without anyone taking notice. And I hope that someone can catch it earlier enough  to save their bird.

Thank you for the information, we appreciate it. I am just so sad that it's to late."

Tracy and Shane Sawinski


Avianweb Note:

We are so sorry to hear of the loss of this wonderful pet. Most likely it succumbed to aspergillosis, a disease which is sometimes referred to as "the silent killer" as it develops slowly over time and largely remains undetected until this disease is so progressed that treatment is difficult to impossible.

The following resources may be helpful: