You can’t help who you fall in love with, and most of the time you meet someone special in the most unexpected places.
When 23-year-old Isabelle Eisenmann from Boston saw a post about a featherless lovebird needing a home, she immediately knew that she wanted to help.
The featherless bird, named Rhea, actually has Psittacine – a beak, feather and immune system disease in birds that can cause abnormal feather development, infections and abnormal growth and deformities of the beak.
It’s a horrible diagnosis for any bird, but Rhea has learnt to manage with a mild case of the disease. The only treatment she usually requires is an annual blood test, and with Eisenmann by her side they have created the perfect solution to keeping her warm without any feathers.
The condition has left Rhea pretty ‘naked’, so Eisenmann started creating sweaters to keep her little buddy warm.
One thing led to another, and Eisenmann set up an Instagram page for Rhea. It wasn’t long before people from all over the world felt they needed to do something to help little Rhea, and started hand-knitting custom sweaters for the naked bird.
Rhea’s Instagram page now has over 250,000 followers and an impressive 85 personalised knitted creations that were made just for her.
Even better still, Eisenmann takes photos of Rhea in every single one of her crafted gifts and posts them on the social media platform for her fans to see.
It’s clear to see that – although she’s dealing with Psittacine – Rhea is a very happy bird. She’s also very social and loves running around in the house and singing.
Rhea, who’s basically become a spokesperson for the disease, proves that ‘different’ really can be adorable.
“Acceptance is key and no matter how different you are physically, you are still beautiful; that’s what I want people to learn from her. Always smile, be happy and have a positive attitude” said Eisenman.
We’re so glad that Rhea is keeping warm and comfortable day in and day out with these snuggly creations – and what better way to spread love worldwide than by knitting something this special.