Pigeon Tales

May 31, 2014

New PMV Cases, Betty left her Plaster Eggs after 114 Days and Chica has disappeared!

From the

Diary as of 2/8 – 2/13/2014

2/8   Today Roberta came in with severe PMV symptoms. She was totally unoriented and groggy. Before I could actually react she was gone again.

2/9   You would not believe it: Betty has left the plaster eggs and this was my opportunity to finally clean out the nest and make everything new! Betty sat on the same eggs for 114 days!!!

Roberta came again and tried to get inside. But she disappeared again when I tried to lead her inside. Oh my what can I do? I have no place for quarantaining a bird. I am so sad. What’s going on here? Do we have to face another PMV epidemic here?

2/10   Lucky and Betty are cuddling publicly!!! This is really a change. Betty was always so very shy and hardly ever cuddled with Lucky outside their house or somewhere else. She must have had a very prudish family.

2/12   Betty already laid her first egg – it is #9.

2/13   Johnny, the mate of Chica, has also PMV. He was showing heavy symptoms when he came in for feeding. The usual – unfocussed pecking of the seeds. I am totally sad. But I realized that he managed to actually eat some of the seeds. Chica has disappeared though – she did not appear since several days although she did not miss a single day having her meals here and sitting on my knees. I fear the worst. But it could also be that she left with some others to save her own health. Freddy has disappeared also and some of the younger birds. Maybe they sensed the oncoming problems and escaped. I really really hope so. What makes me believe this is that I could not detect any symptoms in any other bird.

I will miss Chica dearly. She and Johnny were such a lovely couple and I am so sad now that this happened. Chica was one of the most beautiful pigeons here and so very gentle. I hope that she is doing well. I am heartbroken that she is gone. Chica was Woody and Maggie’s last child (before they were “put” on plaster eggs) and had always slept on our balcony during the night for a long time before she left to look for a partner for the first time.

This was Chica with her sister Micky (from an earlier batch and Gino’s mate):

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After a bath:

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She was our little water rat…

 

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Chica and her mommy Maggie

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Chica right in the middle

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wet T-shirt party….

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Finally!!! Chica has a partner – Johnny – Jimi’s son

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isn’t he handsome????

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look at her – how happy she is!

~~~

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May 26, 2014

Pina is a “Wild Bird” and Sandy has Canker

From the

Diary as of 1/22 – 2/7/2014

1/22   Look at our Pina: doesn’t she look like a “wild” bird (in any sense of the word ) –  sitting on one of her favourite places on the balcony?

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And here is one of our circus artists who manage to balance on a very thin line:

 

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1/23   Fifi laid her second egg #16 and Jimi is taking his turns to sit on the eggs again. He IS a faithful and dear husband!!!

1/24   Everything is going normal.

1/25   Today I found Sandy’s place where he sleeps on the balcony full of his vomit. So I gave him a Spartrix in the morning. During the day he seemed to feel better again. I will see how it goes during the night.

1/26   This morning I discovered new vomitted food though. So I grabbed Sandy when he came in to eat with the others. I put him immediately into one of the hospital boxes. I hoped that he wouldn’t become really sick as I caught him early. Apparently his mate had sensed that he had canker and had left him on last Friday. Can you believe this? He was terribly sad and was calling for her the whole day. This really did not help. What a rotten tart – she had promised “in good days and in bad”.

1/27   Sandy is still vomitting – after the 3rd Spartrix – so the canker was worse than I had hoped. I put him additionally on Flagyl and tube fed him baby millet cereal with apple juice and propolis. I also gave him a warm water bottle which I exchanged regularly as he seemed to need additional warmth.

1/28  After 4 days of throwing up Sandy has finally stopped vomitting. Thank heaven. He seems to feel much better. I think he (the only red male of the balcony flock) is on the way to recovery.

1/29   Last night I fed him de-frosted peas to see how he manages non-liquid food. He did very well during the night. His poops have become a bit firmer and he did not vomit. So he will get his medicine for 2 more days and off into freedom again if everything goes well.

It is fascinating: as a patient Sandy is totally obedient, takes his medicine without quarreling and has no problems to be tube fed. On the balcony he is very bossy with the others and never misses a good fight.

This was Sandy and his faithless Adele when they were still so much in love

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1/30  Sandy is increasingly feeling better. Tomorrow he will have his last Flagyl portion.

1/31   This morning I gave Sandy his last medicine. If everything goes well he will be out tomorrow again if the weather is dry and nice.

2/1   Sandy is out on the balcony again. He is completely well and had his first bath today even in lovely sunshine together with the others and spent his first night outside as well. He is courting the females and seems to have put his unfaithful wife into the bin of oblivion…

2/2   Sandy is doing very well. His poops look a bit mushy still of course but it takes a little while until it is firming up again. So no worries.

2/3   Micky and Maggy should be coming off their plaster eggs by now…

2/5   The ladies are still on their eggs.

2/7   Now it would have been Fifi’s turn to leave the eggs. But also she is not willing to so yet. What’s the matter with these ladies???

~~~

 

February 10, 2014

Betty is sitting on the same Plaster Eggs since 38 Days and Gino has Canker

From the

Diary as of 11/23 – 11/28/2013

11/23   Feeding time – this morning the usual chaos in my livingroom again but I truly don’t mind. I love watching them how they line up neatly and tug their little heads next to one another into the wooden food boxes. And then  you hear only “tuck tuck tuck tuck” besides some chitter chatter when the beaks touch the wood of the food boxes. I REALLY HAVE TO MAKE A VIDEO ABOUT THIS. Looks sooo funny but I need more light not the terrible darkness we have at the moment…

11/24   Jimi is still always the first I let inside because he hates all the chaos and wants his peace. He then waddles into our bedroom where he has his own place and his food bowels. He is always the one who needs time for everything and he hates to be in a hurry. After eating he flies to his place on the bookshelf and stays there until late in the afternoon. Poor Fifi is alone for the whole day but apparently she can cope with this because she can come inside to eat something any time and does not need to leave the (plaster-)eggs for a longer time. Strange behaviour of Jimi – isn’t it?

He does not want to fly outside – maybe it’s his tumor, that is still in his chest, that disturbs him but on the other hand he is eating with very good appetite and his poops are perfect. He loves to listen to classical music that runs for the whole day and loves to be in our presence. So he seems to be absolutely content and happy.

Already as a child Jimi was different – he preferred to be alone rather than together with the others. In the late afternoon he indicates that he wants to leave, takes a long drink from the warm water bowl which I always prepare extra for him (he loves warm vinegar soup – lol) and then flies to his house, greets his wife and settles down for the night. And Fifi seems to accept his behaviour. Well – this is obviously the agreement between them: she has a house, regular meals and drinks. And love from time to time… Just like a marriage contract. Funny – isn’t it?

11/26   Betty is sitting on the same plaster eggs since 38 days now!!!

11/27   Gino came in this morning with that typical sad look where I know immediately that something is wrong. He did not start eating instantly as he usually does, was quiet instead of doing his usual chit-chat but sat on the edge of the cardboard wall and started vomiting heavily. So I grabbed him and after a thorough check and a look into his mouth I knew it was canker. There were no yellow nodules to be seen but his mouth was bright red on one side instead of his usual pink. So I gave him a Spartrix pill and prepared quickly Pina’s box to put him inside. I also gave him a warm water bottle and soon he settled down and looked quite content, knowing that Mommy would help him. He did not vomit again but his poop looked like that typical canker poop, dark green, mushy-slimy – yuck!

11/28   After apparently a good night sleep Gino looked much better in the morning. I gave him another Spartrix pill and he then indicated that he wanted to go out again. I let him and he flew immediately to his house where he and his wife Micky greeted each other with so much joy, dancing around each other and being happy that their world was okay again. It was so sweet. The day before Micky had come in for a quick snack several times – apparently she knew exactly where Gino was and did not seem to feel nervous about his where-abouts at all and that he did not take his turn on the eggs. Now everything was okay again, Gino went straight into his house to sit on the eggs and Micky could fly out again. What a happy couple!

And here is one of the rare photos I have of Lucky and Betty:

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~~~

October 1, 2013

Emily

From the

Diary as of 6/18 – 6/27/2013

6/18   Emily has not come in today for eating. I am worried and I don’t know whether this is due to the incredibly hot weather or whether she has now severe problems with egg laying. Yesterday everything was okay still – cuddling with Lucky, eating well and pooping well and she even took a long bath with Lucky.

6/19   Emily is definitely sick. How can this happen so quickly? She still did not come in for eating and she was sitting in the the hot sun outside the balcony where I could not reach her. I don’t know how to get hold of her. She is going to dehydrate completely if she is not even drinking.

6/20   Emily made terrible poops – only some cream coloured mushy stuff – no green at all. She again was sitting for a long time in the hot sun and only went into the shade from time to time. This is really a strange behaviour. She must have come back when it was dark. I still hope she will come inside so that I can grab her. No way to grab her outside. I am so worried…

All others are doing very well despite the very hot temperatures. They get the bathtub every day. Thank heaven my plants form a real wall now which functions very well as shade and natural air conditioning and the birds know how to use it.

6/21   Very early in the morning I was finally able to grab Emily while she was sitting on the basket  still where she usually sleeps with Lucky. Apparently she was already so weak that she could not react quick enough any more. Or she did not want to flee any more. I put her immediately in a hospital box.

As she did not eat since Tuesday I knew I had to feed her something fluid to keep her hydrated at least. But when I fed her a very fluid cereal with applesauce she vomited everything again. Out came lots of seeds although her crop felt only a bit blown up as if some fluid was in there. Apparently she had hardly digested anything since 4 days! I waited an hour and tried to feed her some fluid again  but she vomitted again. So it goes since then. She cannot keep anything down and is very weak in the meanwhile. At least she vomitted no more seeds so the crop seemed to be empty.

I have started to give her applesauce thinned with water only and with 2 drops of Propolis and Bach Flower Rescue drops every 2-3 hours. I also gave her Bene Bac and Calcivet once a day. I hoped I could keep her hydrated to some extent if only a little bit of the stuff stayed inside. There was a tiny improvement as she started to pass some stuff that was light olive green.

Despite the warm weather I also put a warm water bottle beneath her box to make sure that she was not getting cold due to not eating. I really hoped that the Propolis would do its job as antifungal.

I don’t think any more that this all is related to her egg laying problems as I thought in the beginning and if yes then only indirectly. It IS her time for laying eggs normally but her abdomen is neither swollen nor feeling strange in any way. I assume it was the heat that caused this and the usual weakness before egg laying. I think it is a severe candida infection and I am not very optimistic whether she will survive this….

6/22   Emily is still hanging on but since this early morning she has started to breathe heavily with noises and slightly open beak. I let Lucky visit her and he looked into her box but she was already too weak to even wiggle. I am very very worried…

In the evening Emily started to vomit foam. Her breathing became more and more difficult. I held her and tried to wash the foamy vomit away but apparently her airsacks and trachaea were already full of the stuff that I could not do anything any more besides holding her and covering her with my love. I knew that she was dying. Emily fought terribly and I felt so incredibly helpless. Late in the evening her little heart gave up. Then she was gone…

Emily, my brave and beautiful little Emily was now flying high, together with her first love Pete, free of all the pain and suffering. A chapter of the Pigeon Tales was closed… and I am crying…

My beautiful Emily:

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Emily with her first 2 babies on our balcony: Willy and Joey

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Beautiful Emily with her almond eyes and her characteristic “breeding spot” (area incubationis)

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Lady Emily overlooking her kingdom

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Emily with her first big love Pete

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Emily (left) in her happy days: bathing with her family

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Emily and Pete

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Emily and her second big love Lucky

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Lucky and Emily kissing

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Emily and Lucky in their love nest

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Emily sunbathing

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Emily proud of her new moss house

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Emily sitting on her roof garden

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Sunbathing together

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perching on the “veranda”

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Last photo of Lucky and Emily when the world was still okay

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Lucky and Emily on their sleeping basket – last photo

6/23   I still cannot believe that Emily is not here any more and that she will never come back. There are so many incredible memories about her antics and the only consolation I feel at the moment is that the others are still here – Pina and Rudi, Woody and Maggie, Jimi and his Fifi and Lucky of course.

We buried Emily today in our favourite forest beside Flea. So Flea is not alone any more and Emily can take care of Flea. She loved babies so much. The place where we buried her is full of old trees and the ground is covered with many ferns and moss. The next time when we are there I will take my camera with me and make a photo. It probably sounds crazy what I am doing but it is a way of coping with this big sadness I am feeling.

It is very hard to see Lucky searching constantly for Emily but I think he will cope with it as he is not alone on the balcony and he still so young. Jimi even came inside, jumped on the empty box where his mother was in and tried to comfort me by talking to me with his eyes.
Isn’t is strange that he is now back, living on our balcony with his wife? As if this all was meant to be just the same way when Emily and Lucky became a couple a few days after Pete’s death!

Even Gino looked at me and I knew immediately that he knew exactly what was going on. Pina of course the same way. The birds all knew. It was like a wave of comfort they were spreading. Tomorrow is another day…

As an aside – Fifi laid her first egg #1! in one of the hanging pots where she is living together with Jimi. This is how life is going on…

6/24   Maggie laid her first egg #23 and as usual a perfect one.

6/25   Apparently everything was meant to go the normal way – so Fifi laid her second egg #2. It was so sweet to see both of them, Jimi and Fifi, sitting together in the hanging pot, one on the eggs, the other one grooming the partner. I am sure now that this was Jimi’s new family life. What a relief and comfort after Emily’s death.

6/26   Maggie laid her second egg #24 and again a perfect one.

6/27   Missing Emily…

~~~

September 17, 2013

Fifi is improving, Jimi has fallen in Love and another String Injury

From the

Diary as of 5/23 – 5/31/2013

5/23   This morning I changed Fifi’s bandage again (every 2 days) and expected that the wound had closed more or less but it had not. It was a bit wet and seemed to be lightly inflammated although it was not swollen. So I washed it again with hydrogen peroxide and added another big portion of Neosporin ointment. Fifi is such a brave patient – she did not wince once while I was working on her little chicken leg. I continued to give her antibiotics.

5/24   Emily laid her first egg #110. It came out as a whole but looked terrible as usual.

5/25   Today was the last day, day 8 with Baytril for Fifi. After I renewed her bandage I saw that the wound looked much better. Not infected at all – so it was healing well. She still curls her toes but in between she is able to put her toes the normal outstretched way. I always forget that she is here for just a week and the wound looked very bad. So it takes some time until the feeling comes back in her feet.

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5/26   Jimi has fallen in love with Fifi. For the whole day he sat in front of her box and sang together with her – how sweet is that?  I wonder how this will continue….

Emily did not lay another egg. I am glad about this as it gives her body some peace.

Weather is absolutely awful: 7 °C and raining, raining, raining – snow in the mountains. When will the sun come back???

5/27   Pina has a new tick: she is knocking on all kinds of objects with her beak. And in the morning she knocks on her box walls when she wants to be led out. I think our pijjies are nuts…

Maggie laid her first egg #21.

5/28   A REMINDER: Be careful what you do with hair in your house, on your carpets when you are cleaning. Human hair that is just released into the open may become the killer of the next bird’s feet.

Today a foreign pigeon landed on our balcony, seeking help: he had only 2 toes left on BOTH feet. The reason: human hair. I just could remove the rest of it, because one foot’s toes were curled under because some hair was still binding his remaining toes. There was no infection any more – the damage was already done and the necrotic toes had already fallen off. I cleaned the remaining toes. That was all I could do for this poor bird. Still he flew off happily… but left me very sad for his situation. I don’t want to think about which pain he must have been through!

Jimi went out for about 7 hours. He left quite early in the morning at 8.30 and came home around 4 pm. The weather was very nice and warm and so this clever bird just took advantage of it. Poor Fifi had to stay in her box of course. But you should have seen the greeting when Jimi came home again but only after he had had his meal and some minutes of relaxing. He was very tired. But then he spend the rest of the afternoon and the evening sitting besides Fifi’s box and singing with her.

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5/29   Maggie laid her second egg today, #22 .  Pina still does not show any intent of laying soon and Emily is definitely only on one egg.  I am glad that they give a pause to their bodies. I think it must be the awful weather we have currently.

5/30   Raining today as if the heaven was crying. Awful weather – everything is so wet and cold.

5/31   Still raining like crazy and there are some heavy floods in the region. I am so glad that Jimi is staying at home. He does not like rain. On the contrary Pina and Rudi love to fly in the rain. They are doing so several times during the day. I am really amazed about this.

****

September 12, 2013

Bad Times – Canker Epidemic and a New Patient

From the

Diary as of 5/15 – 5/22/2013

5/15   Pina is still not showing any sign of laying soon. This is a long pause and good for her body. She seems to feel very well as she is flying out with Rudi several times a day. She has not done that for a long time. I am very happy about this.

5/16   Lucky has definitely Canker – I gave him a Spartrix. He was vomiting several times – after each meal more or less. So I gave him another pill in the evening as I did not know how much of the drug had stayed in his body. His behaviour though is as usual and he continues to eat with great appetite. Very strange.

5/17   Maggie is off her plaster eggs and cuddling with Woodie. I cleaned their nest so that everything is ready for the next “breeding” cycle.

5/18   Today I saw Emily vomiting as well. So I gave her a Spartrix too. Maggie seems to have canker also but I have not seen her vomiting. So she received only a propolis pill – same to  Woodie just in case.

Currently I am under siege: due to the totally crazy weather – one day 13°C – the next day 25°C – and then down again – we have a real canker epidemic here. I have never faced something like that. Besides changing the water every hour and adding a lot more organic ACV to the water than usual I cannot do much here. I am keeping a list of who has been treated with propolis of those who are living on our balcony because otherwise I am losing control. Lucky is treated with Spartrix, same for Emily because they were both vomiting heavily.
Have to clean up the stinky stuff for the whole day. Have never witnessed such a bad fishy smell. Hope this will be over soon – I am really getting nothing else done.

And as if this weren’t enough I have a new little patient, called her Fifi because she is so small but very vocal – with a bad injury on her leg (on the tibiotarsus) – must be a bite from a predator. Deep wound in the flesh – bone could be seen – but thank heaven no bone broken. I cleaned and disinfected the wound, removed the feathers sticking in the wound as good as I could, added antibiotic cream and bandage and put her on Baytril. Now she is in one of the small hospital boxes with fresh water and something to eat. Will see tomorrow how it goes.

5/19   Gave Emily another Spartrix to make sure that the canker has no chance on her. She has already stopped vomiting – same as Lucky. Thank heaven. No-one else seemed to vomit but I could see some awful stinky poops still. I treated Maggie and Woody with propolis only. This seemed to have solved the canker problem as their cases were not as bad.

5/20   No stinky poops on the balcony any more. The canker epidemic seems to be over. This was quick and I am very thankful that it did not become worse. The ACV in the water must have helped.

5/21   Maggie should have laid by now but she did not either. Apparently she is having a pause as well. Pina is still not laying. This is now more than 3 weeks over her time. I am happy about this because she needs a pause. I wished she would stop laying entirely. Both Rudi and Pina are doing very well – flying out regularly, eating with great appetite, pooping well and cuddling with each other every day. In the evening they are relaxing – look at my little princess – how cute is she:

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5/22   Fifi is now the 5th day on Baytril and doing quite well. She has started to sing a lot so I think she is feeling better.

*****

July 15, 2013

Flea’s Death and Jimi’s Resurrection

From the

Diary as of 4/20 – 4/24/2013

4/20   Flea died in the evening in my arms.

When I took her out this morning I realized that she was making strange noises while breathing. It sounded a bit as if she had some liquid in her lungs. So I gave her a warm water bottle again and left her in her box. She became more and more listless, in the afternoon she could not stand on her feet any more, becoming weaker and weaker. In the early evening I knew that she was going to die and that nothing could save her. I held her in my arms and it became more and more difficult for her to lift her little head. Soon she was gone.

Flea was probably already sick when she appeared on our balcony. She was so thin and my suspicion is that her parents stopped feeding her because they knew that she was sick. So her little accident was only the tip of the iceberg. This is what I am trying to tell myself. The mean thing is that she did so well and seemed to recover and then suddenly… This is soooo unfair. She had not had the slightest chance. Why wasn’t she allowed to live?

4/21   Today we drove to my favourite forest in the southeast of Munich where we often take a walk etc. We used to search for mushrooms there before Tschernobyl happened. Since then the mushrooms are still contaminated and should not be eaten.
There are lots of old trees and the floor is covered by beautiful moss and ferns. We searched for a good place at the foot of an old tree and buried Flea between the roots. We will easily find this spot again. There were lots of birds singing and the sun came out between the trees. This was a bit comforting also…

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4/22   Flea is gone and I still cannot believe what had happened. I feel depressed because I could not save her… and there are so many questions…

4/23   Maggie laid her first egg #19 and as usual it was perfect. Maggie is a very sweet pigeon, a little bit shy and very introverted. She never complains, is always patient and loves her Woody. Once  a week she gets an extra portion Calcivet in order to keep her healthy.

4/24   Today was the big day where Jimi indicated that he wanted to fly free again. It was a very difficult decision for me, especially after the last weekend where we had lost little Flea, but then I did not want my baby to be unhappy and a prisoner. In the morning he had his breakfast and then decided to stay a bit at home still but at lunchtime he definitely wanted to fly out.

So I opened the balcony door with a heavy heart. Jimi did one step after another – as he always does – looked around on the balcony, met some other pijjies from our flock and finally took off. Before that I requested from him the promise to come back when he found his home occupied or if he felt not well enough to spend the night outside. I requested his promise not to fight and getting injured again. You can call me crazy but I know that this bird understands every word I say.

During the whole afternoon I was very nervous and could not think about anything else than Jimi. After 5 in the afternoon I saw Jimi suddenly in one of my planting containers on the balustrade and he seemed to be okay. I called him and after a minute or so he came inside and went straight into our bedroom. You should have heard the rock that fell from my soul. He seemed to be quite exausted – no wonder. BUT HE WAS HOME AGAIN, IN ONE PIECE AND IN PERFECT CONDITION!!!

~~~

 

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