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Nick, Dr Jeannie's companion & teacher
About Dr Jeannie
Dr Jeannie Thomason, is a doctor of Veterinary Naturopathy, an Animal Nutrition Consultant, author and Natural Animal Care Educator. She has worked with animals holistically since 1984. Having been a licensed Veterinary Technician and graduating from Kingdom College of Natural Health with her doctorate in veterinary naturopathy, she is qualified and adept at educating and consulting. Dr. Jeannie has written numerous peer reviewed articles which appear in magazines and on various websites. She is a host for the popular internet radio show, Animal Talk Naturally and is currently witting her first book.
Natural Healing Methods
Jeannie's background includes education, training, and experience in animal nutrition, anatomy, physiology, psychology and behavior, toxin-free environmental living, herbology, massage, aromatherapy, flower remedies, and prayer.
Dr. Jeannie is available for consultations on natural nutrition and holistic health care for Parrots, Dogs and Cats .
"I grew up with budgies, tropical fish, cats, dogs and horses as a child. I had thought it would be fun to be a veterinarian but my grades were not good enough and I was in a hurry to do something to help animals in any way I could. I became a licensed Veterinary Technician instead. I married, had a child, raised and showed dogs and English Budgies and took in two wild caught parrots all the while studying genetics, natural health, conservation and nutrition. I wanted the most beautiful, most healthy, longest lived animals anywhere and wanted to share with others how to have the same!
While working as a veterinary technician I was frustrated that what I was studying about natural health and applying to my own animals was not at all going along with what I had learned in Vet Tech training and was currently practicing in the veterinary clinics I was working in. It became more and more difficult and frustrating for me to be dispensing processed foods, drugs and chemicals that were only masking symptoms and in many cases, making the animals more sick over time. I was learning from my studies in natural/holistic health, the importance of finding the CAUSE of the symptoms and thought it was only logical that if the cause or source was eliminated or healed then there would be no more symptoms or sickness. The fact that allopathic veterinarians were treating the symptoms or at best suppressing them was very discouraging to me.
I continued my studies in natural animal health, nutrition and natural healing modalities and graduated from Kingdom College Of Natural Health with my doctorate in Veterinary Naturopathy. I had started my own natural animal health and nutrition consulting business and built websites that offered education, information and natural products for animals.
My Life With Parrots
My first parrot was my beloved Yellow Naped Amazon, "Charlie" who was at least 20 years old when I took him in and not too many months later I acquired my very special Moluccan Cockatoo, Gabriel whose age was unknown but obviously a mature adult male. They had been locked away in cages with seeds and water only changed when it was so thick and green the owners remembered to give fresh. Gabriel lived in his cage out in the garage due to his screaming. Charlie had been a so called "pet" of a family that acquired him as a baby with no yellow on his nape yet. They loved to listen to him talk but rarely if ever let him out of his cage as they said he was too aggressive and would bite them and then, they would lock him in the guest room when he got too noisy around company (which they had a lot of on a regular basis).
Slowly and patiently, over the months, I quietly worked with them. First gaining their trust. Over time, I was able to slowly hand feed them treats and eventually taught them to "step up". Once they trusted me enough I would get them to flap their wings and play as I gently swung them or dipped them in the air on my hand. They enjoyed being misted while on T-stands for showers. Over time they tried their wings at flying short distances. With very little known about avian nutrition at the time, I fed them what ever I was eating, mostly salads, pieces of fruit, scrambled eggs, cooked oatmeal, split pea soup, baked sweet potatoes and even mashed potatoes with no gravy, crackers, etc. I only gave them seeds as treats and they relished the sprouted seeds and grains in my salads.
These guys THRIVED with gorgeous new feathers and renewed muscle tone. Sadly though, Gabriel began to lose weight no matter how much he was eating. He became slow and lethargic. At that time there were no real avian vets yet and he got vitamin injections for a month or so all to know avail. He died in the night.
I could write a book about my YNA, Charlie, he was one special bird! His health improved and he talked more then any amazon I knew of at the time. I did not realize at the time that he was pretty special in that most of the time he spoke appropriately. He would ask me for water when his was dirty or running low, he would ask me what I was doing when I would leave the room, he would say bye bye when I went out the door and Hello Baby when ever I came home. Yes, he was a typical nosy, party animal Amazon but his appropriate speaking would sometimes blow me away! He only tolerated my husband because he had to share his house with him. He would fly down from his perch and chase my husband around trying to bite his socks or bear toes when ever he could. Charlie taught me much and gave me a new view of animals and nature. I was awed by his incredible intelligence, sense of humor and emotional capacity. Charlie died of what we all think was simply old age.
During the time I had Charlie and Gabriel a Bird Shop opened near by. I was driving by one day and saw a van being unloading all kinds of birds in all sizes of boxes and home made cages. I began to frequent the shop and visit some of the birds. Of course they were all wild caught and many, sadly died just from the stress. I found it disgusting that the owner of this store actually knew very little about the birds he had there for sale and he would often ask my advice on taming the birds or what to feed them. I would work with one or two from time to time while visiting and one day he asked if I would like to take home a "bronco" African Grey to work with and if I could tame him, I could keep him! That was Ben, my introduction to African Greys. After reading everything I could get my hands on about African Greys I took Ben home and slowly began working with him. I would leave his cage door open and talk to him, sit near him, leave special food treats just outside the cage for him, etc. It took a long time but by the end of a year, Ben would come out on his own, still not stepping up and letting me take him out however, he was out and enjoying the scenery and my company while taking food gently from my hands. By the next year he was a different bird! Stepping up, letting me get into his cage to take him out, sitting on the couch next to me for skritches and telling me what he wanted (apple, drink, etc.) He even learned to go potty on command.
About that time Gabriel died and my Charlie was gone too. My husband became disabled and we had a baby now. It was just too much and I had no time to spend with Ben. I was reluctantly talked into placing him into a breeding situation where I could go visit him and even have one of his chicks one day if I wanted. I could never bring myself to go see him though as I knew I would not be able to leave without taking him back home with me so I would just call from time to time to check on him.
There have been a couple other parrots in between that I hand raised for a breeder and/or rehabilitated and then placed in wonderful new homes with educated families.
I have to stop here to say I could not have raised such wonderful birds, my own or the ones I raised for the breeder if it had not been for the passionate pioneers in the field of parrot behavior and nutrition like Liz Wilson, Phoebe Linden and later Maggie Wright Sally Blanchard and others whose articles and advice I would devour monthly! They were my wonderful mentors and never knew it! Well, they know now as I have told them so. hee hee
13 1/2 years ago I brought my "Nick" (Nicodemus - meaning victorious among his people) into our home. Nick taught me even more then Charlie, Gabriel and Ben and I am still learning from him. I have become an even calmer person then I used to be. Nick taught me to take a deep breath, relax and keep moving forward no matter what. He taught me to be still and listen to the quiet and just enjoy being alive and in the presence of a fearfully and wonderfully made creature as well as in the presence of an awesome God. I could go on and on about Nicky, he is indeed, my special gift from heaven."
You can learn more about Nick on his page, Nick's Roost
Within this site and its articles and blog you will find lots of information on how to care your parrot as close to nature as possible in our confining, foreign environments.
Jeannie's true love for the animals is beyond a passion; It is a way of life ! Dr. Jeannie is known to colleagues and friends as one who practices what she preaches and has positively influenced thousands of pet owners and grateful animals themselves, sharing her knowledge of natural and holistic animal care through her articles and consultations.
Dr. Jeannie is available for nutrition and preventive health care consultations. Please check out her main website at DrJeannie.com for details on how to schedule a consultation with her.
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