Why Oliver?

  • Because he is imperfect
  • Because he needs healing also
  • Because so far he doesn’t like to be touched – I don’t get an easy fix for my touch needs.  No photos yet of Oliver – here’s an eclectus pair (the male is green).eclectus 4
    • What’s it like to have a pet that doesn’t want to have me touch him?  We have to make contact in different ways: verbally? Nonverbally?
    • I need to not let him do mating behaviors as one way to contact me:
      • Eclectus parrots are “hypersexual” – they mate 365 days a year.
      • If I let him regard me as his mate, he will “protect” me from other people and birds.
      • That was a problem with the last companion owners: he “mated” with the wife and was aggressive to the husband.
  • Because i want to see what it’s like to have a pet who can verbally communicate
    • He’s “really smart” – even more than other parrots?
    • He has a “huge” vocabulary.
    • He can maybe learn to read (Jennifer Cunha, My Reading Pets ).consent-1-711x642
  • Because he likes me.
    • “Interested” at first meeting
    • Way interested at second meeting
    • My savvy friend Linda McLean said, “Take your time deciding when and if to foster.  Oliver has probably already decided.”

Why adopt a parrot?

About three years ago, I knew a guy named Sal who had 13 parrots. I never did understand why. He was an odd guy and much of his life was used up taking care of these birds, but it always seemed like they gave him a lot back too. I remember being really interested in the parrots. I didn’t like him enough to want to go over to his house and see them but I wanted to get the information about the adoption center where he got them. It’s the same place I’m going to now.logo
I didn’t know what drew me to these birds then, but I’m starting to get some hints now.
  • Because I am meant to open up my kinship with this other part of life.
    I’ve never had a bird – I don’t know birds.  I want to.
  • Because once in my young life (grad school?) I was obsessed with birds – bird watching, thinking I had been a bird in a previous life time, flying dreams.
  • I’ve had flying dreams through my lifetime.

    hawk 1
    I think the flying dreams of my youth more involved hawks or eagles.  But parrots can be impressive flyers.  When Oliver just opens his wings and flaps from the top of a cage to my shoulder, he really gets my attention.
    • One of these dreams – the last one I remember having, and many years ago – was so vivid that i went out in the backyard believing that if I just could remember how I focused my mind in the dream, I would in fact be able to fly.
  • There is so much I need to learn about parrots – it will really preoccupy me, take my mind off my depression.  (It already is doing this, even without a physical parrot in my house.)
  • Because i read the New York Times article about PTSD parrots and PTSD vets healing each other.
  • I understand they are good companions – Nicole tells me that Oliver is a good companion.

    I long to see parrots fly in the wild.
  • A companion pet that can actually communicate in spoken language – what a gas that would be!

Why am I not adopting another dog?

  • Because at two months since Toni died, I’m not through grieving her.  I go to a “Pet Bereavement” support group twice a month and I want to let that process take its course.
  • Because I don’t want to try to have a new dog “replace” Toni.  I want to savor – sit with – just what a special dog she was and what a special connection we had.
  • Because my ornery self wants to violate the expectations of all those people who ask me “Are you going to get another dog?”  Not totally violate their expectations.  I will often also offer the other half of that truth, after “No” or the softer “not yet” – “I can’t picture going through life without another dog – but just not yet.
    Lucy and Parrot
  • This picture of a dog and a parrot says it all for me.  I use it under my email signature.  I believe in the Kinship with All Life.  Nicole, Oliver’s caretaker, has two dogs.  A parrot is likely to live a long time.  I like the idea of a parrot and a dog.