by Shauna Hill
It is with very mixed emotions that we announce that Dr. Bridgett Ferguson, an avian certified veterinarian, who has been working with Mickaboo for over 10 years has left Holly Street Pet Hospital to pursue a wonderful opportunity in Washington with Avian Exotics in Wallhoo,WA.
Our Director, Tammy Amarzo, reflected on Dr.Ferguson's time with Mickaboo:
"The thing that sticks out in my mind is her absolute undying devotion to helping whenever and I mean whenever! She told me to call anytime day or night, and sometimes we did (against every grain in my body but I did it). Through new jobs, moving homes, conventions, studying for her avian boards and even through the births of her two children, she was there for us. There is one story that sticks out in my mind. It was when she and I had just met, and she was the new vet at the practice where I worked. She immediately showed an interest in helping with our rescue work, and she gave me her number to call in the event of an emergency. As you can imagine, that event didn't take long. We took in a cockatiel who had his beak nearly bitten off by a lovebird. When we saw the extent of his injuries, we knew we needed to call her. She was at my house within minutes (I was lucky then--she lived really close) with her medical bag and, as usual, she had lots of optimism for this pathetic injured little bird. There was no where to take him, so we ended up needing to suture his beak in my home. She did the procedure; she medicated him; she made sure he was comfortable before she left, and then she refused the money my husband tried to give her (which was nothing compared to what the emergency room would have charged for much less specialized care). That began a trend that lasted for nearly ten years. We would get in a sick/injured bird; we would call Bridget, and she would come to our rescue. I am going to miss her tremendously, but I will always have many, many great memories. Years ago when I thought about starting a bird rescue organization, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that we would be fortunate enough to have such a smart, dedicated, caring and tirelessly devoted vet at our beck and call. It is time for the sweet little feathered friends in another part of the world to have the good fortune to have her for a while."
- Tammy Amarzo
Making herself available when ever needed and going above and beyond "office hours" was a common experience. Over the ten years working with Mickaboo, Dr. Ferguson has supported many Mickaboo volunteers in times of need. Below is just a short list of comments and thanks from Mickaboo volunteers.
"Between the late night emergency visits to Dr. Ferguson's house (because all emergencies seem to wait until the vet offices are closed) by me, my husband, my mom, and any combination thereof, we'll never be able to repay her for everything she's done for us. She's fantastic and gentle while handling the birds. She takes every case to heart to the point of coming back to the hospital multiple times during the day and night even on days she's "off" to check on sick birds and other exotics she may be caring for on behalf of Mickaboo. She's been truly selfless throughout the years, and we're going to miss her tremendously!"
"Bridget Ferguson was there for us when our elderly and magical Mr. Charms became ill and passed away. Mr. Charms was diagnosed with an inoperable foreign body, and he had stopped eating. In the final week that Mr. Charms was with us, Bridget remained positive on the single day that he tried to fight, and she provided tenderness and understanding the night we had him put to sleep. We could have not made it through that experience without her kindness."
"I first met Dr. Ferguson when I had a medical emergency early on a Sunday morning when I brought my bird to her. She was a wonder. She reassured me about the situation. She took the time to talk to me and to listen to my concerns. She helped me set up a working plan for dealing with the issue... After that, I moved my whole flock to her care. I'm going to miss her tremendously both as our vet and as a friend."
My own experiences with her echo the sentiments above. She was wonderful with my flock and with the many fosters I brought in for care. She was equally wonderful even with the pair of blue front amazons who were determined to take a chunk out of her and the vet techs! She has a wonderful way of calming fearful birds and their fearful and sometimes tearful humans.
This article would not be complete without also taking time to mention her generous and giving nature. She would find ways to help keep the cost within reason for Mickaboo's birds and others as you can see from this experience:
"My first strong memory of Dr Ferguson was when I went to her at BayAreaBirdHospital. I was pet sitting 5 birds, 2 cockatiels and 3 budgies, for my manager's manager, and I'd taken the menagerie to BABH to see if anything was wrong with one of the female cockatiels that was scratching herself way too often.
Since all the birds were in the same cage, Dr Ferguson wanted to do a test consisting of swabbing the back end on the female cockatiel and on all the other birds. In order to save me money, she decided to put the swabs for all the birds on a single slide so she could do the test all at the same time and charge me for only ONE test."
Dr. Ferguson has donated her time and services to Mickaboo by sponsoring fund raising events such as safety clinics where she would trim countless beaks, nails, and wings! She took a special interest in helping the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill have been plagued by a neurological illness that has claimed a number of these magnificent birds. She has worked tirelessly trying different treatment regiments to help the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill brought in by our volunteers.
There was a luncheon held on October 6th to present Dr. Ferguson with a gift in appreciation for her years of work with us. Here are some photos of that day:
[Place photos here]
In a farewell email, Dr. Ferguson left us with the following kind words...
To Everyone at Mickaboo,
I want to thank everyone for the beautiful send-off last Saturday and for the lovely statue. I will treasure both of those things forever.
Over the last 10 years I have tremendously enjoyed working with everyone at Mickaboo to not only take care of many of the rescue birds, but also many of your personal companions. I feel truly blessed to have had such a wonderful opportunity and words cannot express my sadness at leaving everyone here in California. As most of you know I am leaving for a great opportunity in Washington to work with another veterinarian who has very similar philosophies as mine. Together we can offer our clients and patients so much more, since we will have each other for back-up.
I will still remain on as Mickaboo's Medical director; however, it will be a long distance relationship. Thank you everyone at Mickaboo for all of the great care you have all offered our fine-feathered friends, and I will miss seeing everyone.
Dr. Bridget Ferguson, ABVP
Yes, to say that Dr. Ferguson leaves a huge gap in our organization and hearts is an understatement, but a truthful one. We wish her the best in her new practice! If you do find yourself in Washington, and you are in need of an avian vet, make sure to give her a call. Save to say Dr. Ferguson has a countless list of glowing references from her Mickaboo family. Thank you Dr. Ferguson!