A couple of months ago we asked for funny/inspiring stories from you, our readers. You have responded with some great anecdotes - here are some more to move you or tickle your funny bone. Thanks again to all our readers – your tales move us and tickle our funny bones, too!
Submitted by: Laura Hildebrand, Elmhurst, IL USA
Damie an eleven year old Congo African Grey who speaks very well in context… we adopted her 2 years ago.
She can see who comes up the steps to our front porch, and the other day a Cub Scout came and rang the doorbell to try to sell an order for holiday wreaths/trees/garland. The boy couldn’t see the bird, but she yelled “hi” as I opened the door. Then, as he proceeded to tell me about the scout sale and asked if I would like to purchase any, before I could say no, the bird said “oh yea” to the boy. Then, as he turned to leave and go down the stairs, she yelled “now get out of here” in a stern voice. That boy boogied down the stairs so fast, I felt sorry for him. He probably went home to tell of the weird house he visited, and will never know it was a bird talking. We have so much fun with her. She bosses our two little dogs around all the time but they have learned to ignore her. We have numerous adopted birds, some of which are very old, some special-needs, but we love them all the same.
Submitted by: Nina Cooper, Tulsa, OK, USA
My husband Matt and I have always loved birds and for the longest time had six - a Blue & Gold macaw, a greater sulphur Cockatoo, and African Grey, a pair of lovebirds, and a Moluccan. We lived in Las Vegas, where exotic pets were not unusual. As soon as people found out we had birds, we started getting the calls: “I’m in over my head, this bird is too _______ (you fill in the blank: noisy, expensive, messy, etc), can you take him?” Needless to say we became very good friends with our vet (I think we sent several of his kids through college), to the point where he started calling me when birds were abandoned at his office after boarding or a procedure. We currently have seven Moluccans, two goffins, four African Greys, two lovebirds, four cockatiels, a Meyer’s parrot, a green-cheeked conure, a military macaw, a second greater sulphur-crested cockatoo in addition to the original, two umbrella cockatoos, one yellow-nape, one double-yellow head and one blue-front amazon, one “Moluffin” (cross between a Goffin and a Moluccan), one Major Mitchells, and the blue & gold macaw.
Every morning these guys get fresh cut up veggies, and every evening they get a hot “birdie dinner” (which on more than one occasion has been mistaken to be human dinner). I am fortunate to have the space to keep them in very large cages, all with more than enough room to flap about. They also get time out on large tree branch perches. Of course I would be remiss if I did not mention the toys!! Oh, the toys! I have funded the college funds of the kids of the guy who makes them, a wonderful man named Mike Keens who owns and produces Jungle Toys.
The joke is that we have the world’s most spoiled parrots, and people tease me as the “bird whisperer”. But it’s not a joke. Some of my birds were previously abused, neglected, and plain ignored. But, with TLC, attention, and good diets, they have all become wonderful, friendly, fun, inquisitive company, most of whom are very loving.
I am grateful that my husband and I are in a position where we are able to do something good for these guys. Many people ask if I breed them - no way! These guys are in cages, mixed species in many cases, just to have a “bud” to hang out with, to preen, and to play with. The other thing is that people ask me if I sell them or give them away - the answer is a big no. Once they come to our household, there they will remain. I don’t always know the trauma they’ve been through before they got here, and I don’t want them to ever be exposed to anything bad again.
We moved out of Las Vegas almost 2 years ago to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rather than cram them into small kennel carriers, we bought dog-sized travel cages and rented a 31 foot RV at our expense to transport them in comfort. We slept in the RV at night with them to make sure nothing happened to them.
Are we crazy? I’m sure a lot of people think so. We know however that we are doing what is best for these guys.