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MemorialLarry Bird the cockatiel was a blessing to all who knew him over his 25+ years of his bird life. Weak near the end of his life, he appeared to pass away from natural causes on May 22, 2023. He is survived by humans Diana, Daniel, Baby A, and numerous family and friends. The family is so grateful to all the veterinarians and veterinary staff who treated Larry over the years, especially Dr. Abete and Dr. Sakas (Niles Animal Hospital), as well as Dr. Welle, Dr. Keller, Dr. Wong, and Dr. Selting (University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital), and Niles Vet Techs Maria, Miranda, Kori, Lucy, Lionel, Christian, Melanie, Haley, Bianca, Jules, Ayelet and University of Illinois Techs Jenny and Victoria. [Paragraph 2] In 1997 or 1998, Larry Bird hatched and as a baby bird escaped from his original home. After some unknown time in the wilderness, Larry Bird flew into a man in his backyard in Indiana. Larry Bird was eventually adopted by a different family after his backyard rescuer made attempts to find Larry’s original family. His adoptive family (family of 4 + one cat + 2 other cockatiels) gave him the clever name “Larry Bird” named after the famous basketball player. Larry Bird lived with his first adoptive family for about 9 years in the Indianapolis area. Larry Bird was adopted by a second family, who took care of him for 16 years until he died. This second family consisted of Diana and her roommates over the course of about a decade, followed by her family with husband Daniel, and finally with the addition Baby A in Larry Bird’s final year of life. [Paragraph 3] Larry Bird endeared himself to all the different families and roommates throughout the years with his cheerful whistling, bowing his head for a scratch, kissing noises, barking like a dog, and occasionally saying “pretty bird.” He also charmed extended family members, family friends, children, veterinarians and vet techs, a trainer, bird sitters, and neighbors. Larry Bird lived in at least seven different towns (many in the Chicagoland area) and took three cross-country roadtrips. He survived exciting adventures and near-death experiences such as being locked out of a house with his owner, towed in a broken down car, a near-miss with a tornado, a cage intruder by a house mouse, a 24-hour long hurricane evacuation (which involved staying in a motel similar to the one in the movie Psycho), and a small fire in the kitchen (the salmon dinner did not survive). He loved visitors to the home and expressed his excitement once by flying and landing on a guest’s face. In 2020, Larry Bird was diagnosed with cancer, for which he was treated with a few surgeries and radiation procedures. He also endured gout and arthritis and maintained a bright and chipper personality despite his struggles. For fun, he threatened to bite fingers when they were near, was willfully bribed with millet treats/popcorn/cheerios/pasta, masterfully moved beads on his bead toy to create original art, and enjoyed a good beat for dancing. Larry Bird tried his best to learn to whistle the “Andy Griffith Show Theme Song” but he never quite figured it out. [Paragraph 4] Every day was a gift with Larry Bird, and we hope that every family would have the opportunity to have a pet as wonderful as he was. God bless you Larry Bird – safe travels to being reunited with God, we sure will miss you!
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