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“Juno’s Circle of Life”
By Dee Confer, Juno’s Owner
ASA-Bulletin January/February 2011
“On July 11, 2009 when I was finding toys and treats for my
Red-bellied Parrot, Java,
I was permitted to see three African Grey chicks.
When I approached the brooder, one little guy jumped right
out, pulled the cap off a water bottle, and then proceeded to
get into everything on the table. As I came close, he
hopped right onto my arms while his two small
brothers huddled sleepily together. It was like a
storybook beginning, he seemed to choose us and my family
said the time was right. When I offered to trade my plans for a
dream cruise to Alaska in order to secure this little
fellow’s future with our family, we decided to name
him Juno. We laughed and said we could visit Juneau
once or we could spend our lives with Juno every day.
We waited patiently to allow his clutch to wean and he came home
in November. He was an inquisitive, bright-eyed little bundle of
energy. He would greet the day with the typical African Grey
whoop and our family was totally smitten. He was the
epitome of pure joy. His time with us was cut short
just days before Christmas and the extensive test
results confirmed he was afflicted by
Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD). His
breeders have been supportive and when I said I
wanted to make a quilt that would speak to what Juno
meant in my life, Ann suggested we could present the quilt in a
raffle and donate the proceeds to research.
When I saw a design that reminded me of wings, the
designer, Deb Karasik
gave her permission to use her design. My vision for this quilt
was to impart the light and love this little bird
brought to our lives. The
vibrant red and orange center
reminds me of the energy of the beginning of life.
While I sewed the pieces I realized I was humming “You Are The
Sunshine of My Life.” I sang to him at night before he climbed
into his sleep tent, he always made me smile. The
outer ring in yellows are the rays of sunshine that
come from the delight of seeing him awaken and greet
the world. The next section of green symbolized to me
the oil palm tree tops where his ancestors roost and make their
home. The blue sky is peeking through, the dawning of a new day.
The next section of the quilt is going to be a rainbow of
vibrant colors. When Juno
passed, his Florida vet sent me a card with the
sentiments expressed by the rainbow bridge. As the quilt has
been coming together on my kitchen table, I am filled
with the joy of spending my life, however a short
time, with an exquisitely delightful sentient being
who brought a new dimension to our home. When I
decided to call this quilt “Juno’s Circle of Life”, it is to
focus on the brightness and light that only those who
love deeply and freely can understand. Juno’s little
brother, Kopi, has taken a place in our lives and is
a treasure. He is an amazing little fellow in his own
right and the circle of life continues for us all.
This quilt is not about sadness and loss, it is a celebration of
the experience of pure joy that comes to the lives of
those of us who love parrots of every size and
And now, to take this story forward to the present,
unfortunately, we lost Kopi on October 20, 2010. Juno
coming from a breeder with 20+ years with no
incidence of PDD, we initially thought that Juno must
have been exposed during a routine exam at a vet’s office in
Atlanta. Upon receipt of the necropsy (January 2010), we had a
blood test and crop biopsy done on Kopi and they were both
negative. There is one other possibility that Java,
the other pet bird, could be a carrier. Or, could the
PDD virus have lived in the house for 3 – 4 months?
But, why Kopi and not Java, the older bird? Despite
all the research that has been done, it still is not enough
to help us! It is now our mission in life to do what we can to
support and promote PDD research. We don’t want to
see this scenario repeating itself. As long as this
disease has been wreaking havoc with breeders and pet
owners, it’s time we devote our efforts to the
1 Positive identification of virus to include mode of transportation,
incubation and disease development.
2 Develop a reliable diagnostic test.
3 Develop a cure/treatment.
4 Develop a vaccine
Juno’s Circle of Life Quilt is destined to be raffled in 2011
with the proceeds to be donated to Texas A & M
earmarked for PDD Research.
quilt is being constructed with 100% cotton, quilt-shop quality
fabric. It utilizes batiks, hand-dyes and printed fabric. All
the fabric has been prewashed to minimize the
color migration. It
has been professionally quilted by Peggy
Barkle using a
long-arm quilter. The quilt is layered with Dream Cotton batting
for a lifetime of softness and durability. This is a unique
approximately 80” by 80” for a queen size bed.