The True Story of Bonnie and Spike

Bonnie and Spike were like no other team I ever met.

During the day, Spike kept a close eye on Bonnie and rarely let her out of his site. He enjoyed riding on her shoulder but loved it best, when she wore the ‘special’ hat. Perched upon that hat, Spike was king.

At night, Spike slept on Bonnie’s pillow…. nestled close to her head.

Who is Bonnie?

I met Bonnie in the 1990’s. She was one of several clients, whom I visited in their home.

Bonnie was on the ‘waiting list’ for lung(s) transplant. She had a disorder that was causing the elasticity of her lungs, to lose their elasticity.

In preparing her life for the unknown, Bonnie asked me:

  1. Would I care for Spike, should she be called for the transplant?
  2. Would I adopt him, should something happen to her?

We talked it over and in the end, I gratefully agreed.

heart stone

Some time later, Bonnie received a call on her Organ Transplant designated phone line. They had found a match for her. She would need to go NOW or decline it.

She made a quick call to me and left. I knew what to do.

Next day, I went and picked up Spike. He and all his belongings went into my car and off we went.

Bonnie’s transplant went quite well. She was able to call me from the hospital, anxious to know how Spike and I were doing. We made plans for when she was to be discharged and what day I could bring Spike home. She missed him dearly. And Spike missed her.

The next day, her family called me. Bonnie’s body, was rejecting the new lung. What was intended to help her, had become a toxic foreign object which her body was fighting against.

One month later, after continual decline in health, the family decided to remove Bonnie from life support.

I then became Spike’s official “family”. He lived a good number of years with me and kept me entertained. Spike was not just any ‘bird’.

Here is Spike’s story:

One day, Bonnie’s grandchildren found a baby bird who had fallen from its nest. They knew grandma Bonnie loved birds, so they brought it to her. Immediately, went to see if they could put the baby back, but the nest was too high in the tree.

Bonnie already had a house full of domestic birds. She had 13… maybe 15 varioius birds living in the upstairs of her home. They were all well loved and cared for. It was quite amazing.

Now she had one more to take care of. A wild bird was not exactly what she wanted. And especially NOT a baby bird. In calling around to various organizations who may be able to help, she was met with disinterest. The reason being was, she had a Starling…. known as a ‘junk bird’.  A worthless bird which they encourage you to shoot/kill.

Perhaps it was the notion of there ever being a ‘junk bird’, that triggered something within Bonnie. In learning about ‘junk birds’, she became determined to help that Starling to survive and dove (no pun intended) into research. In that research, she learned that Starlings are in the Crow family. Closely related to the Mynah bird. That meant that Spike could be taught to talk.

And that she did! Not only did Spike mimic her words, he mimicked her gestures.
Some of the things Spike said/did:

  • “Heeeeerrrre kitty, kitty, kitty. Heeeeerrre kitty, kitty, kitty {a slight pause of silence, then a very loud}, “Oh SHIT!”
  • “I like Spike!”
  • “Go sleep!” (followed with snoring)
    • {he would lay his head, sideways on his ‘shoulder’ with one eye open. Reason for one eye open, is because as Bonnie taught this to him, she would lay her head on her shoulder and peek with one eye, to see what he was doing.}
  • “Come ooooon! Come oooooon!”
  • Spike could also sing,
    • most of the Alphabet song
    • part of Barney the Purple Dinosaur song – “I love you. You love me……”

And that bird LOVED the water.

Bonnie would let him ‘bathe’ in the sink. Any time he heard water running from the faucet, he flew right to it. He would crowd his way in, to be under the stream of flowing water. Then he would shake all over. Flap his wings. And love every moment of it.

He was not complete, until he was so wet that he could not fly. He would then shake off the excess water and fly away to preen himself. What a crazy bird! And what a MESS! I trained him to take his bath in the tub, where he belonged.




And now you know, the true story of Bonnie and Spike.

Yet another chapter in my world.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!

Daily Prompt: toxic


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