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'My heart is shattered ...'

Woman seeks help to find missing parrot

Have you seen Oliver? The 3 1/2-year-old Conure parrot is green with yellow and orange markings on its head. A reward is offered by owner Aret Konstantakis. See story for details. Courtesy photo. (click for larger version)
November 23, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Anyone who has one knows that pets have personalities and quirks; they're members of the family rather than property.

To some people, the relationship they have with their animals is almost like what others have with their children — so when the animal goes missing, it's a time of worry. When that happens atop purely human crisis times, the loss can be traumatic — yet another point of stability gone.

Areti Konstantakis knows what that's like.

Last week, she was preparing for a birthday party for her brother, Kyriakos, who was recently released from the hospital after suffering head and leg injuries in a vacation accident. While she was helping to clean their parents' Dennison Drive home, her pet Conure parrot Oliver literally flew out an accidentally opened door and vanished.

"It was the strangest feeling.  Here I was supposed to be celebrating the fact that my brother's alive; yet this tragedy left me feeling angry, sad, and empty," she wrote in e-mail Monday. "… He's brought the most peace and happiness into my life and my heart is shattered without him. He was a part a part of my everyday life.  I looked forward to waking up each morning and having breakfast together.  I couldn't wait to get home and spend time with him."

If it sounds like a strong bond, it is. Konstantakis said she came across the parrot about 3 1/2 years ago, at a time she was struggling with "a lot of personal stuff. I had gone through a very bad breakup… bought a condo, and felt very alone."

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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