Alexis Pennings, Virginia-Maryland
I was the only person working in the clinic that afternoon, and I happened to leave lunch early to return to work. I had much to accomplish, and little time to do it, because it was my day to work in the petting pen. It was fortuitous that I did leave early, because I found a small post-it note on the door to the clinic. Written on the note were the words "Parakeet on counter not doing well. Found laying on side." I popped into the clinic and went back to the counter where a carrier was placed. Inside of it was a little budgerigar who was pale yellow and green. He was laying on his side, not a good sign, and barely responded as I stuck my hand in the crate to retrieve him. He didn't even make a peep, and I could tell he was feeling quite rotten. Upon picking up his light body, I could feel the keel bone sticking out prominently; he was extremely thin. His eyes were half-closed and he lie limp in my arms.