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Otto, a portrait from June 5 2004 | by Pia's birdseye view
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Otto, a portrait from June 5 2004

My ex-life partner, the African Gray female called Otto.

Ex because she didn't last longer than 23 years. She got aspergillosis, some fungus sickness that got into the lungs. Medicating is hard, medicines for fungus diseases are very toxic so the most efficient is impossible to give to fragile beings, like birds. I medicated her 3 times/day in 3 months; march to june 2005. The vet said it looked like the fungus was gone, but she was weak and didn't get her appetite back totally. Seemed to recover, though. I went to Ecuador in August that year, and she was just fine when I came back.

As always she wanted to feed me after a longer separation. We were really tight.

Later, in Jan 25 2006 I left her with her usual babysitters and went on my 5-week roadtrip Arizona-California-Oregon.

3 weeks later she just died, I got the news in an e-mail, I just had crossed the stateborder to Oregon, it was Feb 18 and I was on a restarea with wireless access.

Of course it was the end of the happy part of my roadtrip. The rest was like a nightmare, sometimes. However, it was no idea going home before planned, nothing was going to change. She was just gone. I tried to focus on the sceneries, the birds and also some socializing with an e-buddy, and it worked so-so.

Anyway, I've been posting photos from those last days of ignorant bliss recently (the ones from northern California) with mixed feelings. And I was obviously unable to resist posting some photos of her, complete with heartache story...

I miss her so bad, still, a part of me is gone and cannot be replaced.

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Taken on June 5, 2004