What gives you great satisfaction and ask so little in return than your pet? In my case it is Exotic Birds. You know....Parrots. Those intelligent, colorful, loving, loud and endangered animals.
With me it goes all the way back to when I was a teenager. I raised parakeets as a hobby and always had birds in the house. Then it was college and a career and pets were on hold. Now it's back to a strong commitment with birds.
Let me tell you about three special ones. Arnie is a Severe Mini Macaw that does NOT know he is a bird. Arnie's special time is the dinner hour when he sits on the kitchen counter and has his banana, orange juice and whatever the family is having for dinner. Arnie does not associate with other birds and has his own private room.
Then there is Max. A bright red Greenwing Macaw. He surveys the outdoors through the large patio doors next to his perch. He sings and dances and shows such grace for such a large bird.
I guess though when you think of a talking parrot you must know about Nickie. She is a beautiful 28 year old Double Yellowhead Amazon. She is the ultimate entertainer. She will sing to you in pop or opera, laughs so hard you can't resist joining in, tells you what she wants and ask you questions! When she gets going, we humans have a tough time keeping up.
Some of my other pet birds don't do any of these things and that's okay. I don't own these birds. I'm their companion. A pet that makes you feel something is all we can ask. They show you affection anytime and lift your spirits whatever your mood.
It also helps if there are others who share your interest. My wife, Marie, is a long time bird enthusiast and shares time with me in the birds care and attention. In fact Nickie will always talk to her, but sometimes she will just stare at me with a what do you want look.
I recommend that you read and study all you can about your pet and find out what works best for you both. Some exotic birds can live 50 or more years, so it becomes a life long commitment.
I am fortunate to be a member of a local exotic bird club, Tennessee Valley Exotic Bird Club, which keeps me active in what is going on in the bird world. It offers education, advise and socializing with other bird people.
So with a bird on my shoulder and my dog Shabi on my lap, I think I'll stretch out and watch a little TV. Wonder which one of us will fall asleep first?
Gary T. Reid
We at TVEBC Experience the great loss of Gary in May 11, 2001. He has left a lasting impact on all that he touched.
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