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December 1, 2011
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Ku'uipo, Luna, and Dandy by Windthin Ku'uipo, Luna, and Dandy by Windthin
This is one of our few photos of Ku'uipo, our oldest budgie, sadly passed away. With him to the right are Luna, the cinnamon cockatiel, and Dandy. We often called him Ku, and his name is Hawaiian for "sweetheart."

Budgies are notoriously frail animals often. We have four now: Dandy, Bruce, Sparks, and Winter (an English). Over time we've had and lost seven others: Ku'uipo (our first together, and the longest-lived at eight), Traveller, Logan, Snowball, Rogue, Robin, Judge Jay, and Tater Tot. The last two were both blue Englishes. Snowball didn't live out the day; she was ill when we got her, and she died in my hands, like so many others. It hurts, even as you know you're offering them some final comfort. Birds hide their illness instinctively, so that it's often impossible to know until it is too late. We've learned to watch for many of the signs, Ku and Dandy both have successfully recovered from illnesses thanks to vet trips, but even so owning budgies can be heart-breaking, though I don't think we could stop.

Ku loved both the 'tiels and the other budgies; when we first got him, we had just two 'tiels, Maui and Liriel. He courted Liriel, and eventually she accepted him. He'd preen her, he'd stand on her back proudly while she was nestingl... it was both adorable and stupid, our wonderful, friendly Ku. The day we brought home Judge Jay, Ku was so excited; a new bird, just for him! He survived a broken leg that had to be set, a crusting illness around his eyes that we had treated and resolved, and a problem with his beak that had us needing to trim it regularly. He was a wonderful bird. He died a week after Traveller did, and Logan, with both of her boys gone, passed away three days later. So far as we could tell it was not from illness, as at that time we had three more budgies that were healthy, two of whom we still have; Dandy and Bruce.

Ku'uipo lived up to his name entirely.
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