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Last Post 11-12-2013 1:54 PM by  SharonL
Norm's Success Story
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SharonL
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10-02-2010 11:47 AM

    Just over a year ago my hubby Bryan and I adopted Norman, a 6 year old male CAG.

    Since day one, he has not ceased to amaze us with his fantastic personality and vocabulary.He was however, what we referred to as ‘featherly challenged’. Apart from his head, Norman had chewed off most of his feathers.
     
    We started straight away to establish a strict routine with him. It was not easy, but in a relatively short time it started to pay dividends. We were able to leave him for short periods of time with hardly, if any, feather destruction. However, several times, for no apparent reason, we would come home expecting all to be well, only to find Norm had chewed loads of feathers off. These times we so distressing for us. We took it so personally, and were convinced it was our fault .
     
    Six weeks after we got him, we took him on the first of many holidays in our caravan. He took to it straight away! We bought him a travel cage to sleep in and a Pak O Bird carrier, so he can accompany us wherever we go, but still have his own space to eat and rest in. He and the Pak O Bird carrier sure do get a lot of attention when we are out and about!
     
    Fourteen months down the line and Norm is a much happier contented chap. He can now be left on his own for a few hours each day, happy in the knowledge that he will not get stressed. The rest of the day is spent either on me or by me playing with his large collection of toys. Though like most kids, he actually prefers the boxes they come in!
     
    He does still have episodes where he gets very stressed out, but these are few and far between and armed with camomile tea and honey, together with many distraction techniques, I am learning to get him (and me!) through these bad times. I have had a go at safehousing, but this proved detrimental to Norm, I am afraid he is destined, for now anyway, to be an only bird ……and doesn’t he just love it!
     
    As for feathers? Well they come and go. For now anyway, more come than go…. I do my very best to keep this little guy happy and content and I now accept that occasionally he will have times where he destroys feathers but that it is no reflection on me or how I care for him. Norm calls his look ‘Shabby Chic’ and tells me it is quite fashionable!
     To finish, here are some piccies of Norm.

    December 08. Norm arrives........

    Jan 2009 - Happy New Year! Butter wouldn't melt....would it??

    Pak O Norm! - Norm off for his first holiday.

     

    Pot o Norm 

     

    June 09 -  Aaaahhhh! Norm's first voluntary bath.

     

    G'day... Barbie anyone??? - Norm August 09

     

    Happy Christmas 2009 - Norm munching gambas Christmas Eve!

    Last Week! Norm away with us in Somerset - 'Helping' as usual...........

    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Steve
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    10-02-2010 12:15 PM
    He looks like a total different bird xx Bless him
    Kasuku
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    10-02-2010 12:50 PM

    Aww he is absolutely gorgeous.  Now I am in love too

    My goodness what a massive difference there is from the first to the last photo.

    Heartbreak, unconditional love and hard work works wonders.  Well done you.

     

    Sue 

    SharonH
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    11-02-2010 2:18 AM
    Well done Sharon, I'll stop nagging now, promise!! And well done to Norm, he is the biggest personality every, and his vocabulary is astonishing.

    Thank you Norm for introducing me to a terrific friend and the world's best neighbours, I still should've kept you though.....
    katie
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    11-02-2010 3:48 AM

    Norm looks really good hope he keeps improving Monty send his love

    kerryh33
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    11-02-2010 3:54 AM
    norm looks so happy ....well done
    Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
    Victoria Whitfield
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    11-02-2010 4:30 AM
    That's fantastic, a really really BIG success for you and Norm.

    Looking forwad to more postcards from his travels.

    Big Hugs!!

    Vicky
    Scott 'n' Dawn
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    11-02-2010 6:37 AM
    Remarkable!!!. You deserve a medal and Norm deserves the biggest Hug 'n' Kisses. I'll always have a special thing for Greys.

    Hope things keep going from strength to strength!!.

    Keep up the good work!
    Although parrots can talk, they will never tell you how they are really feeling!.
    Helen W
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    11-02-2010 11:03 AM
    Norm's story is a real success - all credit to you Sharon. I'm missing his postcards too - please take him on hols again
    Photobucket
    LesleyG
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    11-02-2010 1:12 PM

    OMG....fab piccies, I adore the one of Norm bathing in the bowl!!!  He looks so happy and so much better.

    It's only through understanding the normal can you better understand the abnormal.....
    Margy
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    11-02-2010 1:34 PM
    That's a lovely story and well done to the both of you for giving Norm a home he obviously loves
    http://s68.photobucket.com/albums/i28/margy_2006/
    SharonL
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    12-02-2010 1:03 AM
    Sorry Helen, he has been on his hols, but is getting lazy in the postcard dept. He is off again in a few weeks, so I will make him sit down and write a card!

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Makes me very proud of him!
    x
    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Victoria Whitfield
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    12-02-2010 9:42 AM
    Should be proud of you too Sharon!!
    Helen W
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    12-02-2010 11:28 AM
    I agree Vicky - and I can't wait for the postcard
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    picowitch
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    13-02-2010 4:00 AM
    I agree, Norms postcards always brighten up your day I love reading them, (apart from getting jealous at all the holidays he gets to take when I'm stuck in the office lol).
    Oodie
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    13-02-2010 9:42 AM
    Whenever I read about Greys and how much is going on inside them I always feel awful for that one I saw last year when I knew a lot less about birds in general.

    Norm looks fantastic..I love the stepping into travel cage shot. Really inelegant like one of those 'celebrity stepping out of limo' shots in Hello magazine. The standing on a pot photo..brilliant...hes just saying " "..and?..."

    Please don't advertise about camomile tea & honey and other treats, I don't want mine reading your post over my shoulder and expecting the same.
    Mandy
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    13-02-2010 9:57 AM

     oooh he is looking great! He reminds me so much of my Jack Jack, he came to be plucked and in very poor condition, then grew all his feathers back, and slowly since late last year has pulled most of them out again!  I feel sorry for him, but then he is happy and healthy in every other way so have learned to accept him as he is! 

    http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b324/Mandyd1975/
    SharonL
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    28-04-2010 8:51 AM
    Shows how long it takes me to read 'unread' posts. I have only just got to your replies.

    Your comments are all wonderful.

    Thank you all (gosh, I'm blushing now!)

    Sharon x

    ps Do you think Norm's story is suitable to go on the Success Stories part of the website anyone? If so how do I do it??

    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Helen W
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    28-04-2010 11:37 AM
    Of course Norm should be a success story! I was only thinking today that we hadn't had a 'Postcard from Norm' for a while. Is he due to be packing his Pak-O-Norm soon? If so, we want pics and updates please.

    And again, YES, he is definitely yours and Bl's success
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    Mandy
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    28-04-2010 1:25 PM

     THink you email Marc with the details? I agree I think he is VERY suitable to go on the success stories 

    http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b324/Mandyd1975/
    SharonL
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    28-04-2010 1:30 PM
    Aahh, well, yes - He has been on two holidays so far this year. He is so bad at doing his postcards these days! Or is it that his Mom forgets to post them(?)

    I will have a word with him tomorrow and see what he has for his admiring public!

    God love him!
    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Helen. R
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    17-09-2010 2:04 PM
    hi sharon, wow what a transformation, good job i didnt safe house him i would have kept him,

    what a sorry state he was in, unbelievable that love and attention can transform the saddest cases.

    he looks so happy now, well done.

    kerryh33
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    17-09-2010 2:46 PM
    what have i missed.....pics please xx


    Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
    Helen. R
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    18-09-2010 4:11 AM
    kerry go to page 1 and youll see the pics, ahhh
    putridmocha
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    16-02-2011 3:40 AM
    lovely story, makes me want to get involved!
    ps pot o norm did make me laugh!!
    Tammy n Thomas
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    05-06-2011 6:49 AM
    It brings tears to my eyes seeing and hearing this and I can say nothing more than your dedication and love did wonders for this bird. Absolutely brilliant for all involved.
    Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
    Helen W
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    05-06-2011 10:15 AM
    Norm hasn't sent us a postcard in a while....... hint, hint x
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    SharonL
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    09-06-2011 6:29 AM
    You know what Royal Mail is like Helen. Norm assures me he posted his card...... I will phone the local sorting office and check to see where it is............
    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Helen W
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    09-06-2011 10:57 AM
    Sharon, please do - you know how I love to hear of his jaunts
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    Matt
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    09-06-2011 12:09 PM

      Very nice to hear

    Sam's page can be found at http://www.myspace.com/samspaced
    SharonL
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    09-06-2012 7:22 AM

    Well, I can hardly believe it is over two years since I started this thread and nearly four years since I met and fell in love with our Norm, so I thought I would update you ‘old timers’ and introduce Norm to the newer members.

    Norm is now one of five BL babes that we have adopted. That number has been static now for over twelve months and I have absolutely no intention of increasing it! A wonderful balance and harmony exists and we have just the right amount of time to give each of the guys so they get the attention and stimulation they deserve. We enjoy safehousing during the winter and keeping our flock to five means there is always a warm and loving half way house for a safehouse bird.

    Norm has continued to improve both mentally and physically. The arrival of Thea CAG nearly two years ago had a tremendously calming influence on him, even though they are only friends from afar. Thea is scared of Norm and quite rightly so. Norm can be a real thug and shouts ‘Come ‘ere!” as he chases Thea around. Later on that year (2010)  following a visit to Ian our Avian vet for a health check, and on his advice, I took the plunge and converted the whole flock from AS20 seed to Harrisons High Potency. I was dreading what this change would do to Norm, but as it happened everyone converted with no fuss and all inside two weeks! Saying that, Thea CAG was already on Kaytee and we have just left her on that. Norm’s overall health and appearance I believe has improved since this conversion and the weak and deformed primary flights on his ‘bad’ wing are getting better and better. I hope eventually that they all come through properly but I fear some of the follicles are probably damaged. Again, time will tell…….

    It seems with every passing month Norm is getting more confident, better adjusted and well, just happier. We have just come back from a holiday during which time he was happy to sit in his travels cage with the door open whilst I did chores. Up until now, he would only be happy to stay in his cage at bedtime or when we left the house and shut him in.  He also happily chilled out  in his Pak O Bird whilst we were supping ale in the beer garden of the village pub we visited last Monday.

    As I re- read this, none of it sounds very spectacular to the ‘outsider’ but knowing Norm, as I know a lot of you do, and knowing that there are others out there that celebrate the small steps forward these little guys make, I know you will understand and forgive me my ramlings!

    Here are some recent pictures of Norm…..or should I say Norma…..as we now know Norm is a girl!

    http://s564.photobucket.com/albums/...CF1899.jpg" target="_blank">http://i564.photobucket.com/albums/...CF1899.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    http://s564.photobucket.com/albums/...CF1900.jpg" target="_blank">http://i564.photobucket.com/albums/...CF1900.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    http://s564.photobucket.com/albums/...CF1901.jpg" target="_blank">http://i564.photobucket.com/albums/...CF1901.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Sheena
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    09-06-2012 7:56 AM
    It is great to read about Norma's improvement since being with you.  I can remember the first photos you put on here so a wonderful job.  I expect others will be commenting on this latest "postcard".
    Victoria Whitfield
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    09-06-2012 8:08 AM
    Wow she is looking so good but for me she will alwasy be a Norm!! I can't imagine how hard it must be to have converted to Norma, I'd never get my head around it LOL


    SharonL
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    09-06-2012 8:16 AM
    I haven't Victoria. We still call him Norm and refer to him as a boy. He speaks in a northern man's voice. and I just cannot think of him as a girl! 
      
    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Victoria Whitfield
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    09-06-2012 9:01 AM
    I have made many many friend through BL, some of whom have feathers, some of whom don't, some of you I have never met but are alwasy available to me for advice and guidance, other get to see me occasionally (I'll apologise now to those that have to suffer a tad more frequently with the personal visit).

    When I joined a zillion yeras ago, I knew bu##er all and now I know a lot more now but all of you guys continue to teach me.

    I can only reiterate Sharon's words and for me Birline is forever and always!!

    Vicky
    SharonH
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    09-06-2012 9:20 AM
    Can I add my sentiments, I feel exactly the same way. BL might drive us to distraction on occasion, but we are there for the charity whenever needed, to do whatever we can. Just sometimes you do have to say no, with regret.

    I am tempted to see if I can find any pics of Norm from when he first came to Brixham, as I safehoused him for a few months. He was the original oven ready bird and his transformation is an inspiration, to see what happens with love, and the best care a bird could, have with Mrs L.
    SharonL
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    09-06-2012 9:48 AM

    About the worst pic is the one below. He took a step back every time he moved. He hot rock bottom once he left you

    http://s564.photobucket.com/albums/...ec08-5.jpg" target="_blank">http://i564.photobucket.com/albums/...ec08-5.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    SharonL
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    09-06-2012 9:49 AM
    Actually, he got worse than that picture. He lost all his red tail
    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Chirpysmum
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    09-06-2012 10:04 AM
    He's looking great now though Sharon, through your hard work and, much more importantly, bundles of love.
    I agree with your thoughts about BL, there's soooo much support when needed. I know I've learnt LOADS althought I'm aware I still know so little compared to a lot on here!
    Our little SH / show bird has also come on leaps and bounds whilst with us, nothing as dramatic as Norm as she's not a plucker but she's never known lots of people yet she was the star of our jubilee street party and went and sat on all the neighbours!
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    smally
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    10-06-2012 4:56 AM
    I think that Norm/a looks wonderful now so what a wonderful bunch of people that have helped her to get to that you wouldnt believe she was the same bird from the pictures of her plucked to the latest ones you do right to be proud of her and the work that you have done with her. Lets hope that she doesnt feel the need to pluck again and so stays that way that would be perfect.
    SharonL
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    10-06-2012 5:26 AM
    Thank you for your kind comments.

    Keeping Norm happy (and therefore fully dressed) is a tall order. He is my constant companion. I have not left him alone for more than five hours and have never gone away, not even overnight, without him. That means I do miss out on alot of things for his wellbeing, but it is my choice and I would not have it any other way. He can go from totally happy and chilled out to a very distressed state in a matter of seconds....I would love to know what causes this metamorphasis....guess I never will though.

    I do hope that I will soon be able to leave him for maybe 24 hrs. I have a goal of next July, when my best and oldest friend is getting married in the Midlands. I would love to travel up for that, stay overnight and come back the next day. The way he is improving I feel this will be no problem. I will of course only leave him with Sharon H so I hope she will be free for that
    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened
    Helen W
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    10-06-2012 10:05 AM
    You could always take him with you and overnight him with Shaz? Just a thought.
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    SharonH
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    10-06-2012 10:49 AM
    I will make sure that I am free for that Mrs L as long as you give me plenty of warning. Normy can come and stay here or I will even go and stay with Norm if that is easier for everyone. I wouldn't dare take him to Shaz's. Either he'd shack up with one of hers, or you'd never get him back off her, but a visit to the Porthill flock is a must if you are in the Midlands!
    Gillie & Terry
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    10-06-2012 10:55 AM
    You've done a fantastic job  he's looking fantastic.   whatever tricks you used keep it up.
    SharonL
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    11-12-2013 1:54 PM
    Well, another year has whizzed by and today is the fifth anniversary of Norm being here at No1. The transformation over this year has again been remarkable. Yes, the feathers come and go, hardly ever the latter now Our bond and trust has strengthened and Norm is altogether a more settled girlie. She did surprise me back in Sept by laying three eggs which she decided to sit on for an amazing 7 weeks, leaving them only to come out her cage for a poo, a wing stretch and a little sunshine and fresh air. She soon wanted to be back with her eggies though. Sadly, when she gave up on her eggs, she had developed a nasty skin infection which is still being treated. She has gone through a lot of pain and discomfort, which sadly continues, but not even once has she tried to bite me when she has been having her twice daily baths and meds. Thanks to Shaz for her help and support and of course our out fab avian vet Ian.
    Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened


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