We had a lovely canary called ‘Blodwen’. When we rescued her from a tiny cage, we thought it was a ‘she’, because the only sounds to come from it were shrill squeaks.
By the time the squeaks had developed into glorious song a few weeks later, the habit of thinking of dear old Blod as a female was already well established so it stuck and he was to remain ‘she’ for the next seven years.
Now, dogs and birds are not usually expected to be bosom pals, but when Cassy joined the family, there was no animosity between them. Cassy used to enjoy watching Blodwen bathing in her clip-on bath (soaking everything and everyone with in a 3 ft range). And each recognised that I spoke to them both individually.
Blodwen used to do a special dance when offered slices of cucumber or lettuce leaves (little gem were her favourites), spreading her wings, opening her beak and acting quite spectacularly. Cassy watched this with benign understanding, possibly reasoning that if I had fed the bird it must soon be time to feed the dog too?
We never knew how old Blodwen was, but she was with us for seven years so was probably just a baby when we had her. Certainly she was bigger and shaggier in recent times.
One morning, having been woken by her beautiful rolling song at 8am, we ware shocked to find her ‘feet up’ on the floor of her cage at 9am. At least it was a quick death.
We tried to do the ‘pet thing’ right, and let Cassy sniff the cage to know that her friend was dead, and Cassy saw us bury the little shroud in the garden…. and inspected the empty cage afterwards.
She occasionally searched where the cage had formerly stood, but soon seemed to accept that her companion had gone for ever.Then one evening last week we came upon an old home video and were watching it on the TV, all three of us together. Suddenly, the screen was full of Blodwen and her beautiful singing and we felt quite nostalgic.
Then Dave noticed that the dog (who usually ignores the TV) was sitting up and watching the screen very alertly. Then Cassy got up and ran to the screen, wimpering and following the bird’s movements from side to side. We were amazed! She got so upset that we had to turn the video off.
Who would have thought it?