Need help from those of you in the know
Posted By: Art
Need help from those of you in the know - 05/23/07 07:12 PM
For the simple information I'm 41 year old divorced permanently disabled man. I have a 2100 sq. ft. house with 2 empty bedrooms (either of which could act as a bird's ROOM!! Not just the room in which her cage is placed, but the room which would be entirely hers.
The initial reason I wanted a cockatoo is somewhat like the reason many people like them--yes they're beautiful, but in my opinion there ARE more beautiful birds. The main reason I've been drawn to them is I've always wanted to have a bird that WANTED to be handled by me and be my companion for several hours a day (1-8 hours depending on the day, my physical condition that day, etc...) I cannot own a dog due to bad dog allergies, but have handled cockatoos extensively, powder and all and never had any outbreaks, no itching eyes or sneezefests, no rashes, et. al.--all of which I get when I handle Every dog I've ever handled save one breed, and those symptoms come on within 5 minutes maximum of having just petted a dog on the head. The only dog to which I have no allergic reaction is a Basenji because they are festidiously clean dogs, but I want a companion and a Basenji is ANYTHING BUT a companion dog. I live in a deed resticted community which bans cats, and besides, see above re: the Basenji. Cats are worse than that.
I am lonely, cannot physically get out to meet people very often (once a month if I'm lucky), though I do take a walk around the block each night for 10 minutes or so and I'd like to know if I could take the Bird for a walk and if I do, can I let it walk around on its own? Or will it just fly away or run away? What about a year later?
Now come the questions. After reading this site, I am PETRIFIED of cockatoos and I need opinions from anyone who can help regarding a) Am I right to be petrified and I should absolutely stay away from an Umbrella 'Too? and b) Given my limitations AND my desires, what bird SHOULD I buy?
I would think anyone who read this site and then actually STILL wanted a cockatoo would have to be either sadistic or masochistic. Who really cares which one!!??!! They seem to be positively demon spawn creatures (as pets) and should NEVER under ANY circumstances be considered as pets.
Yet, there are things I believe might be positives for me which might be negatives for the other 99.99% of the population.
1. I'm at home all day, every day, and very lonely.
2. I want a bird I that WANTS to sit on my lap and watch TV with me. Or
3. I'll give her a "TODDLER'S" Mouse, and let her have a shot at playing with the ball and buttons (which are built to be thrown full power against a wall and not break) and playing Toddler's games with the computer and monitor (monitor is mounted AWAY from the trackball and is still very visible)
4. I do have a room for her to have all to herself in which I could leave a TV running for her to watch all day and leave lots of wood for her to play with. Since there's still tons of NEW construction going on very close to me, there is always an area where grand amounts of discarded (broken) 2x4's are available for me to take my skill saw to and make LITERALLY THOUSANDSs of wood chew toys for her. I could even string them across the room for her to jump or fly from one to the other. I do have a question about the window and the blinds in the window. Should I leave the blinds closed and down? Or should I keep them completely up so WHICHEVER bird I get can see the outside world a little bit and get fresh sunshine?
I ALSO have THIS convenience.
5. A Screened In Foyer with a Hot tub in it (no cholrine, no bromine--it is cleaned with an Ozonator and 1 half BROMIDE pill per month--IOW, it is drinkable in even 8 oz. glass sizes, but I wouldn't drink a gallon or anything, thus if She flew in while I was in, I could take her out and put her back on the floor with her toys. The Hot tub also can be Half covered and half open, so I could let her stay on the open half while I stayed in. I could also put lots of toys all around the Foyer and allow her to spend her day there and since one of the doors connected to the foyer goes right into my bedroom--the room in which I spend most of my time. I was even considering attaching a rope ladder from the floor to the top of my bed so she could climb up to be with me if she wanted to.
6. Will She ALLOW me to play computer games? Or will she be angry with me if I don't pay attention to her at all times, every moment, every second of the time when she's near me? Will I HAVE to put her back in order to use the computer myself?
7. I watch roughly an hour or two of TV a day, though it's virtually always on (I just don't pay much attention. It just breaks up the monotony). Will She be satisfied just cuddling with me while I watch TV? Or is that another thing I'll have to put her away for because I wouldn't be speaking o her, I'd be paying attention to the TV.
8. I do have concerns about food. FI, I don't even cook for myself unless you count the microwave. I would NOT be capable of making the recommened feed for a Cockatoo (Umbrella if anyone was wondering?.
9. Since HER Bedroom will be ~300 feet away from mine, will her morning or night or whenever screech STILL wake me up? Because this is a Florida Villa, I share a main wall, and my neighbor and I have tested the shared central wall and determined we were completely sound proofed from one another (We both put our Stereos on Full Blast alternately, and neither of us heard the other families music at all
10. There ARE days when my body FORCES me to sleep for 24, 30, even 36 hours straight at times, mainly because I'd not slept the prior 72 for more than an hour or so per day for those 3, 4 days.
How will this affect her? Can she become acclimated to my off the bench strange sleep habits? Note, they're not intentional--they're due to my disability.
11. Is there A DIFFERENT bird which would be better suited to me?
12? Which Bird would that be?
13. Yes. I do want a bird that talks and learns
14. I've looked into an Eclectus and received positive feedback, but I've heard they're not as affectionate or loving of you as the "Too.
15. I'm WORRIED about the cage. I don't know which one to get, what's too small, too large... Does anyone know of a reputable intenet bird cage dealer with a GOOD Cage for c "Too or an Eclectus or perhaps some other bird you might recommend.
16. I may not be able to clean the cage every day. I do have a bullet effectually fused to my C1 Vertebrae and suffer occasional temporary pararlysis below the waist. What will happen if I have to skip a day now and then? The same with food and water? I'm not talking 3 days a week or anything, I'm talking 2 or 3 days a month.
16. I want a bird I can sit on my lap and talk to it as if I were talking to a person--AND have the bird interested in what I'm saying, even though I KNOW they won't know what the words mean.
17.I want a bird I can handle and pet and have te bird enjoy it. Is the 'Too the ONLY bird in the Parrot family who enjoy being handled?
OKAY!!! I know that's a ton of information to go over but I really truly need to know what I should do? As I said, I'm thining I'd be a very poor owner as I couldn't POSSIBLY OR CONCEIVABLY handle all the needs this site lays forth as needs of a cockatoo.
Given that, Is the Eclectus the better purchase for me? Will the Eclectus allow me to talk to it? Will it want to play with me? Will it want to cuddle with me? I know this isn't an Eclectus Site, but many of you seem to know a lot about all kinds of birds.
I'm done. The floor is everyone else's now. Please help me figure out what to do. Loneliness CAN be literally deadly.
Posted By: Walter
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/23/07 08:17 PM
I'm divorced too, and Rocco, my U2, is my closest companion. I'm at work every day, but spend over an hour each morning and several hours each evening with Rocco on my lap in front of the TV. If we're not cuddling I'm acting as his own personal jungle gym.
I'm concerned about the times when you can't get around well because of your disability. Do you have someone who can help you with a bird as well as your own needs?
Rocco has effectively become the center of my life. I like it that way, but it's not for everyone. If you get a bird, consider rescuing an unwanted bird. There are a lot of beautiful birds without homes that would love to have a whole room to themselves, and someone there full time to cater to their every whim!
Posted By: Kyrie
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/23/07 09:03 PM
Art, You have certainly put a lot of thought into this decision which is a good thing. I will try to answer as many of your questions as I can, others will chime in as well. First thing is no, all cockatoos are not demon birds. The problem is that in captivity it is difficult to meet their needs, which are to forage for food, fly freely and make baby cockatoos. Because of these deprivations, neurotic and sometimes agressive behaviors set in. Many folks on this board have very well adjusted birds which they have owned for many years. Others have the best of intentions, but because of a change in their situations, ie marriage, baby, new job, etc. they feel they can no longer provide a good home for the bird, or the bird misses his old routine and developes problems.
It really sounds like you could provide a good home, what concerns me the most is when you mention that you may have to sleep at times for 24-36 hours. That could be a problem. If it doesn't happen very often the bird may adjust, but expect that your bird may very well get unhappy and scream and wake you.
The things that draw one to a cockatoo are the things which can make them difficult pets, that is their desire to be with their human companion.
You asked about other birds; I have two cockatiels, and in my opinion they are wonderful little birds. Great big personalities and are completely happy to sit on your shoulder all day. Mine love to be scratched and loved on around the head and neck and will turn his head side to side to get me to do this. Also the males can be quite good talkers/whistlers.
A well adjusted cockatoo should be able to entertain herself without your attention 24/7. Mine is happy sitting on my knee while I watch TV or on my shoulder (a big no-no but I have had my bird for 9 years and I know her VERY well) while I am on the computer.
Do you have a bird rescue/sanctuary near you that would allow you to foster a bird, or visit to see if a bird "picks" you.
Posted By: Chewy
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/23/07 09:31 PM
I gotta say my bird is more then 300 feet from me and his talking yes his talking, wakes me up.
I also have disabilities, and single. But I live in a group home where they help me take care of him. I do the main things like clean up after him, clean his cages and hold and lvoe him. But when I am gone at my parents house, they take him out, feed him and pla with him. So he is extremely happy.
Posted By: Cassie's_girl
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/23/07 11:51 PM
Art, IMO you would make a very good bird owner just because you are concerned about how a bird will do with you, and doing your research first. Here's some thoughts that I have, just from my own experience.
1. You need to sort out how you will feed your bird a healthy diet. Perhaps you have a friend or relative who can make a big batch of rice or pasta and veggies that can be frozen for you to thaw every day? Or you could steam a small serving of frozen veggies in your microwave each morning? Add in some fresh fruits and veggies, and a small amount of seeds and pellets and nuts and you'd be doing pretty well.
2. If there are times that you can't clean the cage every day, it shouldn't be a big deal, IMO, IF it isn't longer than 1-2 days, and IF the grate at the bottom of the cage is high enough above the mess that your bird can't reach it. Although, I know my bird LOVES to climb down and forage through the food she has dropped into her tray and throw it on the floor (apparently green peppers are so bad they can't even be left in the tray under her cage! <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh.gif" /> ).
3. I also would be very worried about the days you sleep straight through. Even if someone could stop by on thoses days to just check on the bird would be better. I honestly can't imagine ANYONE being able to sleep through a 'too screaming for attention though
. BTW-I think this would be an issue with any bird, not just 'toos.
4. As far as which BREED is best for you, I think it's more a matter of which individual BIRD is best for you. There are generalities for all breeds, but these animals are as individual as people. I highly reccomend going to a rescue and spending time with them, you may be surprised to find a bird that's perfect for you that you hadn't considered. Here's my story about this:
12 years ago I was looking for a cockatoo, any kind. I'd wanted one for years and finally was in a situation where I thought I could both afford one, and provide for it. There was an ad in the paper for a parrot, they didn't know what kind, but he was green. I knew this wasn't a 'too, but decided to go look out of concern for a bird who's owners didn't even know what breed it was.
When I get there with my husband the guy takes us to a CLOSET in the BASEMENT! Poor Ollie was in a tiny cage, only sunflower seeds and peanuts, and missing two toes. His left wing drooped down quite a bit. The guy tells me his wing was that way since his brother hit the bird and broke it 5 years ago. He said he "saved" the bird from his brother who had had him for 15 years. What a prince :rolleyes: . I asked if I could hold him, and the guy looked at me like I wanted to jump off a bridge, but Ollie came right to me talking up a blue streak.
The guy wouldn't take less than $800 for him. Now, I couldn't afford two birds, and I REALLY wanted a cockatoo, but I couldn't leave Ollie there. From day 1 Ollie was the best choice I ever made, this poor abused, neglected, animal became the sweetest most entertaining companion you could ever want (at least with me-it took my husband a year just to be able to hold him). I could never trust others handling him because we never knew what might set him off with his history, but he completely trusted me and was comfortable going anywhere with me,schools, nursing homes, walks, etc. He would talk and laugh and seemed to really enjoy "putting on a show" for them.
Sorry to go on so long, I just wanted to make the point that you should keep an open mind, I believe that the right "pet" usually crosses our path when it's time, and I've been very fortunate with the animals I have had the luck to cross paths with.
Posted By: Cassie's_girl
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/24/07 12:24 AM
Oops! I forgot to say Ollie was a Blue-front Amazon. We think he was wild caught, so he was at LEAST 20 when we got him. An excellent example of how wonderful adopting older birds is, no "terrible twos" or "teenage hormones" lurking down the road. But, I do love my Cassie
Posted By: Tammy_Angel's Mom
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/24/07 12:37 AM
Hi Art, glad you joined us!!! You have done your homework and have also learned that we will always keep learning about these wonderful creatures. I was fortunate, my Angel came from the dog pound, previously a breeder, and she's been the best most loving friend I could have ever asked for!!! It was just one of those accidental meetings and it has worked out wonderfully for both Angel and me. I will say that I was terrified about Toos, but still she seemed gentle and timid, and she was for the 1st year. She's still the most gentle bird, but full of the devil now, and that's fine with me. Each of these birds has it's own personality and you will find one that fits. Please rescue, and consider an older bird so yours and the bird's longevity matches better. One of the things that bother's me the most is that we think Angel is 30 and I am 47. I don't want to have her go through grieving for me, so I am just going to have to hang on for a long long time!!! I don't know what the reason for your periods of sleeplessness are, but quite possibly with a bird that needs attention, your sleep wake schedule will normalize more. I work the 2:30 pm shift till 10:30 pm, with the commute, I am away from home from about 1 till 11pm. But since I have so many hungry beaks to feed, and preening to do, I tend to wake between 6-7 am, cuz I'm needed and because I selfishly want to spend time with them, as much as I can before I have to go to work. The way I look at it, these birds keep me going.
You say you have a disability, but you can overcome any obstacle you have because the love you get in return will drive you. You too will find a perfect fit!!! Good luck and if you have anymore questions we're all here!!!
Posted By: ayres with a 2
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/24/07 03:31 AM
Welcome, Art. Do you have anyone that would be able to take you to visit a rescue? What about vet visits? Making toys is a great idea- you just need to be REALLY careful about what wood you use- if anything has been treated or even come into contact with anything harmful, your bird could die.
They do make a harness for birds, and you can do a search (top right) on taking your bird out. even with clipped wings, if the bird were to get frightened, they can get a good distance, and it doesn't sound like catching a scared 'Too would be an easy task.
Maybe before you do find the perfect bird, you should see about finding someone- a friend, a vet tech- to call every day and check on you- If you don't answer or return the call, they can come over and change the birds food and water? Having a water bottle may help keep the water clean if you can't get to it, but if that bottle gets knocked off, the bird will be without while you are sleeping.
Most birds will be content for periods of time, playing by themselves- so your own play time would be fine
...but they do seem to love destroying computers.
If you let the bird into bed with you, be very careful not to fall asleep- they tend to not move fast enough if their human rolls over- If I remember correctly, someone here lost their bird that way.
All of our birds are thrilled to hang out and watch TV with us- even better if they can rip the buttons off the remote.
Please do not buy a baby bird, or a bird from a pet store. Read the mytoos agenda, and you will understand why we are so adamantly against that. If you can get to a rescue, and have a bird choose you, that would be ideal. Perhaps they could even put you in contact with someone who is looking to rehome a bird, and that person would bring the bird over for you to meet.
I have to honestly say, if you have never had a bird, with your limited mobility and sleeping habits, a "too doesn't sound like a good idea. They move so fast, and if the bird were to get into something, would you be able to react fast enough? Do you have someone you could call in an emergency for a ride to the vet, or the hospital if you got bit badly? Please think about this long and hard, and try to get to a rescue. Check out petfinder.com- maybe that will give you some ideas, and some contacts in the world of rescue. Somewhere out there is a perfect companion for you, but I would rethink that companion being a 'Too.
Posted By: Art
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 01:35 PM
First of all, let me thank ALL of you for responding and sharing with me your opinions, objections, worries, et. al. I know I won't get to everyone's concerns, questions but I'm darn sure going to try. Regardless, the OUTpouring of answers, questions, considerations, preparations, recommendations, "go for its", "it will be good for you" (not said, but implied), and everything else you've all taken the time to write had made me feel very welcome and as if I've come to the right place to ask these questions, and indeed found a surrogate family, most of whom (Chewy being the only exception) really want the best for me and other than "ayres with a 'too" most of you think I'm more or less part of that small percentage of people who would make a good fit for an Umbrella. As someone SO VERY ALONE, your written words are welcome as it seems someone cares enough to even talk to me. Disabled vets in particular (since we are used to being surrounded by 40 men who would risk their lives to save yours) find civilian life very challenging as we've all completely lost that support base we've counted on for, years, and in my case, decades. Going from all that socialization to NO SOCIALIZATION is a shock in itself. We disabled long timers are really no different than Toos in that we are used to and NEED companionship or we do just what 'Toos do--start to self mutilate if they're female, or if they're a male, put a gun to our heads and just pull the trigger (women tend to use pills). I think 'TOOS appeal to us because they're so much like us. If an U2 and a 100%DV can care for each other, than isn't that a match made in heaven?
Second, after I THOUGHT I'd done my research, I called around to bird hospitals everywhere in the Tampa area. For those not familiar with this area, it is a bird owner's paradise. There are more bird doctors, vets, etc... than there are GENERAL vets.
Upon calling them and ASKING about rescues, voicing my fears regarding breeding mills, etc... I was told the nearest "rescue" with ANY choice was over an hour away with GOOD traffic (and with the recent disasters in Florida, expect that amount of time to double) and was not the best to choose from since very few birds stay there long. Why? Well, again, birds in Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater/Orlando/Ft. Myers/Sarasota/Ocala ournumber DOGS!! The rescues that I contacted in Tampa said they usually find themselves with 1 or 2 birds which vanish almost immediately, then they get in antoher 3 or 4, and they'd get picked up just as fast. It's just not a place where a rescue will have TONS of choices, if any at all, so the BIRD DOCTORS ALL pointed me to this one store and ONLY that store, warning me away from all other stores.. again, they RECOMMENDED A STORE--no, not a rescue, a store. And when I visited this store, after the entire first visit (described below) I put down $1000 non-refundable down payment. THUS, I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart, as deep as my compassion can possibly go regarding not using a rescue. I feel like a villain for not using one now, but it just doesn't seem feasible, and I really can't afford to just throw away the money I've already put down. It's a logistical, financial, and also a PERSONAL desire to buy a bird which has never had any other owner but me and the guy who raised them. I'm SO very sorry I can't rescue more. I AM (as I'm still mentally fit) being asked to run a financial venture (no capital outlay on my part--just a request to use my indivual imagination and intellect--I have 2 masters and a Ph.D. but won't bore you with all of that) which will hopefully allow me to make plenty of money to buy a bigger place, perhaps more private, where I could build a dedicated aviary into which I could RESCUE several birds, and hire someone to watch them and sell them to wannabe owners of a bird from a rescue. If none come, then it looks like my one bird will have a wonderful, heavenly room in which to live. Since so many of you told me to consider a rescue, I want you to know my heart goes out to those abandoned birds and I wish I could take care of them all. I am sorry I put down the deposit as even if I did have to travel 100 miles, I probably would've gone that direction, but I'm stuck now. That all being said, let me tell you about the store (I'm not going to advertise for them because they will not, under ANY circumstances, refund my money, despite the fact I have to go under the knife and won't be able to get that SPECIFIC 'TOO which CHOSE ME OR the ECLECTUS which chose me. I will have to let ANOTHER bird choose me when I go in again when the next clutch comes out. Now about the store--it's called 1-2-Tweet, and its website is ******* Please read their descriptions of birds and 'Toos in particular and tell me where he's WAY WAY off.
I went to this store and as I was walking around the store looking in the cages talking to all the different birds, it was indeed an umbrella 'Too which PICKED ME!! As I looked at her (they were sexed) she was too young to be handled by others (3-4 months from what I could tell) and the owner would not let it go for another 3 months minimally so he could properally wean it. Every time I would APPROACH or WALK BY that cage, the very same 'Too came to the cage and looked at me (you can't see the tears) with a "don't you realize I'm yours?" look. I would stroke it... it never tried to bite, it only would, well, "cuddle"? with my two fingers.
Alright, so though I wanted a 'Too already, this made me REALLY want THAT 'Too, and none other. Then another thing happened. A bird I'd never considered--an Eclectus female, caught my eye. She walked down her little wood staircase and climbed onto my finger and just sort of started preening me. I'd never HEARD of an Eclectus, let alone seen one. Boy, NOW I was really torn. I asked the owner about the characteristics, and he showed me a list. I told him of my problems and the things I have going for me. He said either would do wonderfully, and it seemed to him both birds had, in fact, picked me? (Do they have some 6th sense we don't know about?)
Before you go off on how this pet store owner would do anything to sell a bird, another couple came in while I was marvelling at his birds (everything from a Scarlett Macaw down to miniature parrots--lots of African Greys, a breeding pair of Eclectus' he wouldn't sell, and then one male and one female eclectus seperated so they wouldn't bond, again, neither of them ready to leave. Anyway, back to my visit. The couple that came in looked around and just blindly said to him "We'll take that one" (pointing to an African Grey). He asked them what they knew about "that bird." They said they didn't know much about it... what was it called? Did it talk? and on and on with insipid questions. He kindly told them they were not ready to be bird owners of HIS birds and recommended they do some research before returning. He simply wouldn't sell a bird for a buck. He reviewed future owners as if they were people adopting children. Doesn't this say something about HIM to all of YOU???
When it came to me, the one thing he did NOT do was tell me about how LOUD the 'Toos would become, or how DEVIL SPAWN this bird aparently is particularly the way this site states them ALL to be. Some of you agree with this site's post, some of you don't, but most of you agree it's the owner's fault, not the 'Toos fault. A good owner will have a good 'Too. This, of course, is also true of any dog owner. A BAD dog owner, will have a BAD dog. A GOOD dog owner will have a lifelong protective friend for life.
Okay... next question was about my ability to move to get the bird if I needed to pull it quickly from an area due to an emergency or whatever. YES I can retrieve it quickly! I have about 5-15 minutes of movement time when I can move as though I were 17 years old again. Of course I suffer severe pain afterwards, but I CAN respond to emergencies. I saved my own mother's life by giving her CPR in the summer of '06, putting us BOTH in the hospital (I didn't have to work on her for 5 minutes, but had to work on HER for 15 and then another 10 while my niece dialed 911 and gave me the phone and they finally arrived, then I spent 20 minutes calming down my 6 year old niece, then another 20 talking to the paramedics. By the time the night was done, I was in severe pain--8 on the 1-10 scale. Below the waist from twisting my neck and from pure stress, moving my legs at all became difficult. That was an HOUR of emergency time. So yes, under stress, and simple emergencies, I can handle things wonderfully.
As to days when I will have to sleep for 24-36 hours, I COULD take the bird to the shop for 2 days and leave it there while I went home and got my necessary rest. The shop owner runs a bit of a bird "hospice" if you will, for owners who are going on vacation, are sick, need to sleep for 24-36, even 48 hours, et. al. He only does this with birds from HIS shop so all the birds already know him. Additionally, in my neighborhood is a man who breeds birds. He, too, has offered to take a bird from me should I need him to care for it for a day or two. That answers the sleep problems. Note, however, one of the reasons I WANT to get a bird--a PARROT in particular is I want a TALKING companion. Cockatiels don't appeal to me. I want a big bird, but not Macaw big. Cockatoo, African Grey, or Eclectus big is plenty big for me.
I should also note, by the end of my first day at the bird shop, I was so certain I'd found the place I wanted to buy from , I put down a NON REFUNDABLE $1000 On a U2. I can use it to get the 'Too OR the Eclectus or any other bird at any time--as soon as I'm ready, but I will need that money. I can't afford to just kiss that $1000 good bye.
As to noise, many of you said even if the bird were 1 football field away (300 ft.) it would wake me up. Well, my niece is a screamer when she doesn't get her way (but only when she wakes up--shes truly my little angel when she's awake). When she stays here in the summers, she will SCREAM at the top of her lungs if nobody is there to greet her good morning--WAILING AWAY!!!! She's only 50 ft. away and I DON'T HEAR HER. My mother has shouted for me from the back bedroom (200-250 feet away) at her absolute loudest and I heard NOTHING, even TRYING to hear them (hear both her OR my niece, BOTH shouting in unison). This floor plan was built so two complete houses are together and they share the center wall. Thus, they build this house especially to seperate the noise of one part of the house (through hall ways, hurricane proofing, and yes, sound proofing--it's a villa, , so all rooms are sound proofed) from the others. I can't hear my LOUD doorbell if my bedroom door is closed and I either have the TV or computer on. For those who worry about safety, I use wireless cameras around the house and would put one on in her room (sorry, I will ONLY get a female bird. I bought a male once and was the sorriest person he ever bought a bird. It adopted my wife, but not me. It hated me. It LOVED my wife, even though I did everything possible for it. It was a male. It naturally bonded with a female, thus, for me, only a female will do). With a camera in her bedroom, I can look, at any time, at any hour and either a) turn UP the sound to HEAR if there are problems or b) turn DOWN the sound to cut off all sound, but see if she's okay and resting happily or playing happily, or if she's in trouble.
One reason, probably (actually without question) the main reason I want a bird is to make me take better care of MYSELF! too (BTW, will a "TOO shower with you? What if they have they have their own area away from the water? My shower has a bench for the disabled and I can move the shower head to reach the large, wide, long bench when my legs don't work. I want this bird, as one of you suggested, as a way to NORMALIZE my schedule and be BETTER to MYSELF!! Right now nobody cares about me, so I have to fight to convince myself to do ordinary things every day. If I have an animal to care for that I love, I will force myself to get up and care for the animal, and as such, might as well take care of myself. This bird is, in many ways, THERAPY for me. When nobody knows your alive and nobody depends on you, it's much harder to make yourself get up every day, and go through the grind. I want to buy a bird so I will be forced to take better care of myself by forcing myself to take care of her.
As to feed, I talked to the owner of the birdshop and he agreed to sell me Pre made feed of any recipe I give him. I'll have to pay out the nose for it, but he'd make a weeks worth at a time (more, he says, if customers buy it and like it--and for the recipe, if it's popualar, he said he'd give me free food as long as it's not TOO much) and overnight it to me, along with several 'TOO specialized baked goods (Sweet potato pies, veggie pies, etc...). He also recommended PRE cooked ORGANIC all veggie meals for vegetarians which are sold in stores for people, but contain basically what is in the concoction suggested. He also has pre made meals for an Eclectus, African Greys, and Macaws, et. al.. His store is apparently known for 100 miles in every direction. He used to just breed, but found his stock went so quickly, he'd be better off opening up a shop and expanding. He's SUPPOSEDLY one of the best, most conscientious dealers in all of Florida. Don't quote me on it, it's just what I've heard. On a second visit there, a couple came from 80 miles away to "kennel" their bird there for a 2 week vacation. He had no problems with it as they'd bought the bird from him. Both they're long drive, and his quick acceptance to lend aid made me start to understand why he's so recommended.
The only other question I haven't answered is can I get the bird to a vet in an emergency. Answer? Yes. There's a BIRD DOCTOR (only birds) less than 2 miles from my house, and I can ALWAYS drive two miles. They're not open 24 hours, but they do have a 24 hour emergency line and emergency house calls. Even if I'm hurt, my car is fit with paddles and throttle and hand breaks I can activate should my legs not work and I need to use my wheelchair.
So, it sounds to me, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be honest, that a 'Too would NOT be a demon bird for me, but rather quite the opposite. The other disabled person who has the bird which cuddles with him for hours, and then uses him for a jungle gym (Thank you for the positive feedback my friend) for those hours when he can't pay complete attention to it, seems to be in much the same condition I'm in and he seems to think as long as I have this pet for a companion, the bird will thrive.
Thank you all for warning me regarding the sleep thing. Should I need to sleep for that long (I'm usually medicated heavily BECAUSE I haven't been able to get to sleep and NEED to use medication to make me sleep. Due to heavy nausea, vomiting, and excrutiating Pain, sleep just will not come some times. I'm exhuasted, but simple pain, never mind, extreme nausea, constant diarrhea, parts of my brain which JARR! me awake every 30-45 minutes if I forget my alprazolam that night, along with nightmares I would wish on Bid Laden and George Bush Jr. if either of them had a conscience, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. Med's CAN help that a LOT!!! But once my body is fully asleep it tries to make up for the 1,2,3, or sometimes even 4 days I've gone with no more than a combined 2 hours sleep. The main point here is, I KNOW when I'm going to have to sleep that long and will have time to drop her off in a safe place.
Now, please, if you don't mind, allow me to ask some questions over again.
Can I take my 'Too for a walk DAILY?? What precaustions need be made? Will it run away? do I need a harness? I've heard differing opinions on whether or not I can "shoulder" perch it. what are your experiences? How will it react to small dogs which are all under 30 pounds as they are the only other legal pet (other than fish, but fish are interactive ornaments, not pets)?? Do I need to go to the other side of the road? Will the bird be fast and cautious enough of a dog if the dog tries to bite it? How about experimenting--keeping them restricted so they CAN'T attack each other and see how they react and then finding out from there? Will that work?
Can I leave the foyer door open and let it go between the foyer and my room as long as the hot tub lid is down? As I've said, other than concrete and aluminum, there's nothing there for it to chew other than toys I will make for it (and don't worry about the wood, it's OBVIOUSLY untreated. The major amounts of wood come from crates that were used to carry refrigerators, ovens, hot tubs, and other such things, so they're not even sanded, let alone stained.
Can I take the bird with me to the hot tub when I'm in it? (I must be in it for an hour or two daily for my disabilities--it relaxes muscles whch no longer relax naturally--imagine 24 hour severe muscle cramping and you'll understand why i'm sure to get my hot tub time daily!!)
What precautions should I take, or will the bird actually ENJOY Swimming in the hot tub with me and just get out when it wants to (providing I make that possible, which I would, or failing that I could life her out and put her on the steps). She'd have her own food bowl and water bowl in the foyer as well as a litter box with a grate over the litter box. Basically it would be a bird litter box. I've heard SOME can be trained to use them. I don't know if that's true or not.
What about when I bicycle ride? Will a 'Too capalbe of flying want to fly next to me as I bike ride? I live in a virtually "NO TRAFFIC" circular gated neighborhood (no outlet, and ONLY a circle, so there's never even a NEED to come in here unless you live here. Other than rush hour, figure 1 car per 2 hours) which I enjoy biking around several times weekly. I imagine a 'Too might enjoy flying around the block a few times while I ride. I know Duck and Goose owners who regularly ride motorcycles with their Geese... wouldn't I be able to ride a bicycle with the 'too starting perched on the handle bars and then taking off to fly if it so desires?
I'm really scared about it flying off into the wild blue yonder (harness should fix this). Would it be able to "find home"?? Especially considering the degree of bonding it's done with its owner?? Wouldn't it desperately WANT to come home? Would it even try to fly away from me in the first place? The "Toos bond to you so significantly as to grieve your death" and "Toos will fly away from you and never return" seem to be somewhat mutually exclusive. How about if I harnessed it and tied it to the bicycle?
Lastly, nobody even approached the possibility of an Eclectus. These birds supposedly need MUCH less care, are VERY quiet (relatively speaking), are DARLINGS with children (and I worry about my niece who loves animals and has loved birds like I love birds since the day she was born so she WILL want to play with whichever bird and this site makes it out as if ALL 'TOOs are out to KILL children, but the store's site says Umbrellas in particular are very good with children. What are YOUR experiences, especially with WELL TAKEN CARE OF 'TOOs? And GENTLE children?
Does anyone recommend AGAINST getting an Eclectus? Is it just nobody really knows about them? They are less expensive to keep, easier to keep, better talkers, don't NEED attention, but do enjoy it, and are, IMO, MORE beautiful than 'TOOS AND they have no feather dust so require less cleanup.
I've heard all the arguments for and against 'Toos, and now I'm feeling like I might be able to handle one, though I still have the above questions. Oh, and another question--Just how much does the bird's personality change in 2 years or 3 years? Is it a COMPLETELY different bird? Will it go from being loving and then, for no reason, bite you to the point of you needing stitches? If it's a Well Cared for, loved and socialized bird, will it still love me after those 2-3 years are up?
I would LOVE to hear from the owner of this site since he's the one who has me, STILL, literally scared to the point of tears (I cry easily) regarding getting that female 'Too that chose me... I'm not a cleanliness nut, and I'm not festidiously clean. I will clean the bird's room and my house is cleared of all spoiled FOOD and though not dirt free, it's in very presentable condition, but it does have some clutter and some very expensive wood furniture (in rooms the bird would never be allowed to play in freely.
PLEASE, for those of you willing to help out a disabled veteran, continue to answer my questions as I truly appreciate your help. Pessimists and cynics are not appreciated. If you think I shouldn't get a 'Too, that's fine, but then please suggest a different bird. Don't just say "forget 'Toos" and then disappear. You only HARM the process without adding anyting other than your bad experience which well could have been YOUR fault OR the fault of a previous owner. If that's not the case and you have other great opinons, please share those--as did the woman with cockatiels. Sadly I can't stand cockatiels. I want a TALKING bird, and one bigger than the size of my hand. I've seen cockatiels and just do NOT like them. I don't like Lovebirds, don't like canaries, or ANY small birds for that matter. They're NOT an option. THIS BIRD is to be my companion--MY answer to the GF I will never have. No "Small" bird could ever fill that void. It requires a lot of intellect to make me want to enjoy the bird.
Oh, other questions missed--What about computer use? Could the bird TRY to play with the computer? Is it even a possibility?
Will the bird watch me play on the computer and not scream at me for not paying attention to it 24/7. I believe Walter answered that for me already as have others, but if anyone else has solutions or ideas, I'd love to hear them.
My idea with the computer and the bird was to give it a USELESS BROKEN keyboard and let it go to town. I also have a childproof, ALMOST human proof (a Drill has a hard time going through it--I've tried) Toddler Mouse. I think it would be neat if this intelligent bird could learn the correlation between hitting one key and the color changes on the screen. Notice the movement of the HUGE cursor as the TrackBall moves, and THEN having it step on a clicker and see what happens. I'm so curious to see how much the bird COULD learn to do , especially if encouraged and taught to play games. I BET it could learn to add (African Greys HAVE been proven to be able to add from VERBAL commands... say "What is 7+2" and the Grey answers "9"--ABSOLUTELY true, so I don't see why the 'Too couldn't learn to SEE a 7 and a 2 and CONSISTENTLY see that putting the cursor on 9 and pressing teh button gives it a good show, could learn that 7+2 is 9--EVENTUALLY--WITH TIME--WITH EFFORT and love.. All of which I have in abundance.
The "BIRD HARNESS" idea, thought not popular in my mind, might still be the best of the suggestions. If I could give it enough line, maybe it would like to fly in circles--it could definitely fly in the foyer as the screens won't hurt it like a window or wall, and it makes perfect sense for when I take it for a walk or TRY to take it for bike ride.
Oh, on the WINDOW SHADE issue....UP? or CLOSED!!??!! Or have it always open acting as the "night day" indicator for the bird?
AGAIN (I know I did this already, but I feel it bears repeating), your advice and experiences are immensely helpful, and the CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and the SUGGESTIONS are the most appreciated. I APOLOGIZE TO ALL for already having put the non-refundable money down on a bird from a store, but that store WILL be the store that will kennel it for me, send me special food for it (even cooked), Give me FREE wood toys for it, and I could go on. You'd have to know the store to understand they're level of committment to the matching of bird to owner.
Sadly for most of you (I think) I'm leaning towards the Eclectus only because so many of you have brought up problem after concern after problem after concern regarding me and a 'TOO. Those problems are ones not associated with the Eclectus, AND, the only thing I WILL miss, is the desire for the bird to bond with me and only me, and want to be with me for hours on a day. I might not get to play with Eclectus as much, but I would have far fewer problems with it, and it does like human contact, does like to play, and to cuddle, just not as much as the Umbrella.
Again, I welcome any comments or questions you have. If someone out there is adamant about me going to a rescue, then if you can part with the $1000, and you send it to me, I promise you, I will use it on the purchase of a bird from a shelter (I'll even NOT accept money, but rather have you work out payment with the rescue so I'm not OUT the money I already paid). IF you're wealthy and want to go that path, my email address is ******* and we could arrange to find a good rescue TOGETHER!!! Then you wouldn't worry about me scamming you AND you can call ******* to find out I did put down non-refundable money with them. I don't want this or expect this to happen, but if anyone is THAT adamant, then I will do my best to use a rescue instead of the store, with the only problem being I wouldn't know where to get food anymore as I wouldn't be welcomed in that store anymore.
I suppose that covers all. AGain, thank you all so much. For anyone who knows the owner of the site, i tried to write to him but received no response. I KNOW he got it (received return receipt) but he didn't answer. Maybe someone who knows him could nudge him towards my post so I know EXACTLY what to do. Best wishes all. And from the bottom of my lonely heart, thank you.
Posted By: Charlie
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 02:09 PM
Baby birds will pick anyone! I deleted the link to that store. Please see our agenda on the front page. If you still want to participate in this site, please refrain from even talking about these crappy stores and the crappy information and advice that they shovel out. This is not debatable. This thread will be locked if an attempt is made.
As a fellow veteran, I will tell you that you want an Umbrella or an Eclectus and nothing else. You want the bird for you, because you are lonely. You don't want to address the fact that the bird may be left for days unattended or fed. I didn't even read all your last post yet but the front part was enough for me to have to get this off my chest. You do not have to answer my concerns, you are going to do what you want, just don't throw it in our faces. We are here to prevent just this act. Oh, raising a chick under the conditions you have described, good luck 4 years from now!
EDIT: Do not post e-mail addresses.
Posted By: Kyrie
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 03:09 PM
Art, I am truly sorry for your loneliness and depression. And I understand your desire for a bird companion. I'm sure it gives you a sense of purpose, someone to nurture and to give you companionship. I know from experience that baby parrots are irresistable. Especially cockatoos. I understand how one can be drawn to one. I did visit this particular breeder's site and as far as breeders go he seems to have a bit more regard for his birds than most, i.e. not selling unweaned babies, educating purchasers, etc. But the bottom line is all breeders are contributing to the problem of parrot overpopulation in this country.
Parrots are now the third most popular pet in the U.S. and since many outlive their owners, become loud, messy, etc., they are often shuffled from home to home and then eventually either left in a dark basement or turned over to a rescue, sanctuary or worse, dumped on a breeder. These birds often suffer unspeakably; developing self mutilating behaviours, sickness, etc. The day is here where unwanted healthy parrots are being euthanized because homes cannot be found. I was recently involved in rescuing birds from a breeder in my area who was closing down. There were over 500 birds and it was heartbreaking.
The goal of the education of this site is to prevent people from buying baby birds, thus stopping the demand and eventually the supply, however that is a lofty goal.
I could go on and on about the problem of overpopulation of parrots, especially the large, long lived ones, but that would just be too lengthy a post. Read this link. http://dahsinc.com/dnn/News/CritterCorner2007/tabid/65/Default.aspx
Art, we are not heartless or mean, just experienced and informed. If you follow the route of purchasing a bird, although it will not be accepted as appropriate on this forum, don't leave us. We can't support your decision of purchasing a baby, but don't want to desert you in your quest for advice when needed for the best possible life for your bird.
Posted By: Trish and crew
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 03:22 PM
I am terribly sorry that your intense loneliness had lead you to this point where you are determinded to bring a bird into your home. Your intense lonliness breaks my heart and I wish there was something I could personally do besides enable what I feel is not the right choice for you or the bird. I wish that there was a community of people that you could be involved with that would fill this immense void that you must have. I cannot imagine how tough that is, and I am worried for your sake and think that you should seek out professional help and council. You obviously have a huge heart and want to do whats right and be the best possible bird owner, but I really do not think this situation is the best for any bird and I know it would not play out anywhere near what you expect.
The thing about this board is, we discourage the filling of voids via bird ownership. It is against everything we believe in because in the end it is all about us and not at all about the birds and in the end the birds suffer due to our own selfishness.
There are many things that concern me, one major one being that you are 41 years old and looking to bring a bird into your home that will most likely outlive you. The other major thing that worries me is your impulse to impose expectations on bringing a bird into your home. Really you can never really know what to expect until you are in the midst of it. You have a fantasy of how you would like this to work out, and in all reality it has very little possibility of fulfulling that fantasy. This whole idea of playing computer games with your bird, hot-tubbing with your bird (and I don't care how little chemical is used it is not safe), biking or taking walks with your bird (also not safe), is just plain nonsense. You have a lot of misconceptions and these can only harm not help a bird- wood from construction sites/fridege boxes may not be at all SAFE for a bird! I would hate this to cause you more misery because it doesn't work out as you expect and formulate it to despite your best efforts.
I know this may be falling on deaf ears as you seem overly set in what you intend to do. To put it bluntly, bird ownership is NOT a cure for loneliness. I think you would be getting in WAY over your head. You need to make other efforts to build yourself a community and I know you are welcome here, though your stated intentions may not be greeted as warmly.
I wish you nothing but the best, but also that you do not follow through with this.
Posted By: hellobaby
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 04:15 PM
Being a person who always looks for ways to jump the hurdles in life, I believe there are ways for you to fill your life with happiness without having to use a wild animal to do so. Where there is a will there is a way, and I do not believe disability can stop anyone who is determined. You spoke about being able to take walks with your bird daily, although you don't get out much. I believe you have a kind heart that you would like to share with others, and I am sure there are others in your area who would love to hear from you.
Toos are long-living, WILD creatures. You cannot have expectations as to personality or "skills" (ie: talking, doing tricks, etc.) with birds because each is an individual. If you want a creature that will most likely be cuddly, a domesticated dog or cat is a more likely candidate. Domesticated animals are easier to find proper Vet care for, and if something happens to you, it's easier to find someone to catsit or dogsit than it is to find someone capable of birdsitting.
Dogs LOVE to go for walks, are always glad to see you when you come home, and there is a HUGE overabundance of them who are in need of homes. I was just visiting family when I heard the county where they live has to "put down" 90% of the animals they take into the shelter. 90%!!!! There are a large number of "unwanted" birds out there, but that is because people take them into their homes not fully understanding the HUGE commitment they're making. I'm in no way condoning irresponsible people to have ANY pet, but birds are WILD and have more labor-intensive needs than domesticated animals.
What I'm trying to say to you is that I don't think you should limit yourself to a Too, or a bird. There are lonely animals out there just hoping as hard as they can that someone will love them - save them from death - right now. You have a big heart that you can share with them if you'll only keep your options open. Beyond that, you do NOT have to be lonely and cooped up in your house. If you have trouble getting out, I'm sure there are people in your area who may enjoy getting together to have "movie night", watch sports or who like to play cards or board games - or do whatever interests you may share. Please do not put limitations on yourself. You can always surpass the hurdles life puts in front of you!
Posted By: Art
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 06:34 PM
I have to post this immediately before anyone gives any credence to what "Charlie" said.
I am NOT definitely going to get a bird. I may just eat the entire $1000 and get NOTHING!!!
I just cannot afford to shell out MORE money AND lose that money.
Thus, I'm stuck. If Charlie would get off his high horse, "Donate" to 100% totally and permanently disabled vets, and HELP me get that Non refundable money back, I'd be happy to go to a rescue (nearest one I could find with any selection was in Orlando--about a 3 hour drive)
So, my choices are
a) Get NOTHING, EAT the $1000 and do NOT make any bird suffer, PERIOD!!
b) Get one from the store
c) find a donor
d) maybe find a lawyer on here who will be able to argue their way into letting me get my money back.
(Hey Charlie, how about that!! Call up the owners and ask to get my money back, OR, since you're a vet and obviously have the money, buy me a bird from a rescue. I'll happily go if you'll man up and pay the bill. Just remember, I lost my health defending your right to insult and judge me without knowing me at all.
Anyway, I guess the best thing for me to do is just continue to live alone. Thanks for the input. everyone. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!! You, doubtlessly, have done some bird a wonderful favor by ensuring I do not own one. Charlie certainly thinks so.
Yes, I'm said I won't be getting a pet, but I AM happier knowing I won't be harming a bird rather than being less lonely, but doing harm.
No bird seems to be the best option. Thank you all, again, for your help.
Posted By: Charlie
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 06:43 PM
I donate to 100% totally and permanently disabled parrots that were screwed up by ignorant people listening to pet stores and breeders. I also pay my ton of taxes for your benefit. From your post, it certainly does not appear that you are destitute.
EDIT: Art, do you know why that deposit is nonrefundable? Because they never ever want to see you or that bird again unless it is in the context of spending even more money! Let's get truthful here, Bud.
Posted By: liviray
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 06:52 PM
There are a large number of "unwanted" birds out there, but that is because people take them into their homes not fully understanding the HUGE commitment they're making. I'm in no way condoning irresponsible people to have ANY pet, but birds are WILD and have more labor-intensive needs than domesticated animals.
Very well put Lynne!
Art, I know sometimes how hard it is to learn the real truth about birds....Sometimes people have built up a story in their own minds as to how thigs can be...and they truly think they are ready for a large bird~ Ive seen it time and time again here over the years....and my heart falls to the bottom of my stomach when I see well meaning people after a year or two ...or three give up their birds becouse they just cant do it anymore.
Its to much work, to much mess, they have health problems created by the dust, they have life issues where things change. These were all well meaning people just like yourself.
We are all just trying to help you make the decision thats best for you and any animal that you bring into your home....
and please, dont bash Carlie~ Hes been here forever, day after day, year after year helping people just like yourself...we all care, just keep reading....You'll see were not that bad.
Posted By: nai
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 07:39 PM
You should not get a 'too. I Know you think what charlie and the others is saying is harsh but OUR main concern is the welfare of the birds. It seems that your disabilities are such that you would not be able to look after any parrot sufficiently. When you dissappear for days on end to sleep, think of the concern and stress the bird would experience. You say that you wont be able to hear it, but parrots NEED to be heard, and call back and forth to flock members.
The idea of taking a too into a hot tub is laughable, i do hope you're joking (can anyone say birdy stew?). And, just for the record, good owners can end up with terrible 'toos, and so can the bad ones.
Baby birds are the world biggest flirt. They know that people will feed them if they beg. This is the attention they show you. They are very affectionate, do you want to repay that by bringing up a potential toddler in an unstable environment (Re: Sleeping, food, routine, socialising etc) ???
The lonliness you are experiencing will not go away because you get a bird. It seems to me to be an avenue you are pursuing out of desperation for company. I do feel very sorry for you, and im sorry ive had to be so blunt, but you have taken on board little of what you have been told. If you really care for birds realise your limitations and find a compromise, like helping out at a local animal shelter. Do not think that the sympathy and concern we have for you and your condition will overshadow the needs that a cockatoo (or any parrot) has.
Posted By: Art
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 07:40 PM
Charlie prejudged me. Charlie impugned my integrity. He resorted to obloquy rather than reason. He offered and continues to offer ZERO empathy. For those who aren't aware, OF COURSE I get counseling from the V.A. I'm STILL stuck in my bed 95% of the time. As to Charlie's being so confident as to my wealth, well Charlie, I am about $30,000 in debt, not counting my mortgage. These go for nurses. To pay for my therapists, my medications, fixes to my items to make them wheelchair friendly. Happily Charlie, you don't live the life of a permanently disabled person, but unless you were disabled, or had lived the last 4 years of your life with minimal human contact, you could never BEGIN to understand my position. My Ph.D. in Investigative Psychology (mainly Behavioral Analysis) tells me so much about you, and believe it or not, I feel more pity for you, than you ever will for me. I am not angry. I do not judge others. My word is my bond. As a hint, in the future, try to walk a mile in another's shoes before you judge their actions. So many others on here realized how hard my life is, and how I wake up each day (if I've slept) first dreading that I lived through another day, and then trying to find another reason to live for just that day. Yes! My life IS that hard and THAT lonely. I was told by therapists to get a pet, knowing how much I love animals and knowing I would rather hurt myself than an animal, and as seems to be the consensus here, I will end up eating the $1000, and letting someone ELSE buy the bird (it's going to get sold to someone--maybe they won't be as good of an owner as I would have--had you thought of that?)--whichever bird. Oh, and NOT every baby bird there came to me. MOST did not. 2 out of 100 did. That's HARDLY every bird. Your posts are so lacking in fact, lacking in empathy, lacking in any understanding of my situation whatsoever Charlie, you may as well be a ghost.
A few words for LIVIRAY, instead of admonishing me, when I'd not said a word about Charlie until now, how about telling Charlie not to jump all over ME, a person he doesn't know from Adam, to grow a heart, and have some sympathy for the thousands of American boys and girls over in Iraq dying for no good reason, and the HUNDREDS of thousands coming back either maimed or disabled for life!!
Thanks to the REST of you, LIVIRAY and NAI included, however.
So nobody misses this part, I will put it in caps,
I WILL TAKE THE ADVICE OF ALL OF YOU AND NOT GET ANY PET WHATSOEVER! No more need be said.
Again, with the exception of one person, thanks to all of you for your answers and your help.
Posted By: LeAnn
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 07:48 PM
I guess I am gonna add something here. I am sorry you are disabled but, you have to understand where everyone here is coming from. These birds are lot of work and commitment. You are constantly doing something for them. I also feel that you are short tempered and Charlie is right to say what he said. I think you should get a hamster or a small bird. Just thing about how much you have to spent time with these guys and why would you take it back in forth to a store so they could watch it. I don't think its a good idea.
Posted By: Art
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 08:16 PM
I hate rodents--ALL rodents. I do not want a pet with which I get no reward, no appreciation, no love, and that's the very definition of small birds and rodents. I'm alone. I wanted a companion. I've always loved birds, thought I did my homework, but didn't do enough. I've accepted my mistake. I'm not angry and am ANYTHING but short tempered. I would sooner laugh heartily at Charlie than call him a name. I don't know him. I know only that he's a vet who has been insensitive and has insulted me in the worst way possible, for no reason whatsoever. I'm not ANGRY with him. I just think that's the kind of person he is and he will never learn to be another way, nor would he want to. I can't be angry with him for being who he is, anymore than I could be angry with a person with Tourettes for calling me a whitey, bastard, or a cracker. Charlie is who he is. I'm able to ignore the ignorant very simply. Charlie is who he is and I do not have to respect the way he treats people (or at least me). As to my temper? LOL!!! After having bullets fly over your head and BY your head, very little can make you react suddenly (except for maybe episodes of PTSD) or get angry so quickly. My ex-wife used to hate that she couldn't make me angry. You'd really have to know me to understand. I just defend my integrity as I do my life, as my life and my integrity are the two most important things to me. When my integrity is attacked, I will simply point out the error, which is all I did with Charlie. I did not call him any names. I did not insult him. I merely pointed out his actions. That's all.
Besides, what does it really matter. The issue is settled.
I'M NOT GETTING ANY PET!! so you can all stop worrying about me or any bird I will never own. Before today, none of you knew me or thought of me,
AFTER today, none of you will think of me again or have to worry ever again about any pets I will NEVER own.
How many times more must I say thank you for your help and call the topic closed?
Goodbye and but for one, Thank you all for your kindness, your sympathy, empathy from some, and advice from those who gave it. It was well received.
I am NOT YOUR PROBLEM. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ME!! I WILL NOT GET A BIRD, I PROMISE!!
Posted By: liviray
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 08:31 PM
I do not want a pet with which I get no reward, no appreciation, no love, and that's the very definition of small birds
Try telling that to my daughters that lost their beloved Tiel last weekend. The worthless little bird who went everywhere in the house with them, who spoke his silly little phrases, and had the personality of a real person.
They have been crying for a week now...bring flowers to his stone in the back yard everyday so they are fresh....Tell me again how small birds cant give you love or appreciation.
Posted By: LeAnn
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 08:39 PM
Will we have 8 tiels and you really make me mad to say they do not give love or appreciation. Mine all have different personalities and they are great. I have some that love to be kissed on top of their heads and snuggle with me. Then their or some that love to play out side of the cage and crawl all over me. They all show love to us and appreciation! In fact I have one that love to stay on my shoulder and walk around the house why I'll clean or just watch tv. So there they have personalities. I love all my birds the same and they would be greatly missed if something happened to them.
Posted By: Janny
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 10:32 PM
I just want to say I am sorry you take offense to what was said to you.One thing I will say is that Charlie is a very dedicated person....dedicated to the birds not the human.I like that about him.Sorry you don't.I mean that in a tender way not to be rude.Afterall this group is here for the birds and to help the humans care for them properly and to try to stop the overpopulation in captivity.
I also want to add we have 6 parrots.2 Cockatoo's ,2 African Grey and 2 tiels.I have to say I love my tiels the best.They are so much bird compact into such a small boday but the most wholeheartedly loving of all of our flock.They will love you no matter what time of day or night or season.They are here to love and they do.We have both of our talking and whistling.One of ours has learned a trick or two.She plays dead when you shoot her with a finger pretend gun and she will also put a little fluffy pompom into a cup for a basket.They surely aren't anything to disregard for a loving companion.They can also go a day without me if they need to.I don't do this often but sometimes life gets busy and they are the ones who are more than happy to hang out with toys and get extra treats if they need to for a day.
I do want to ask you to please keep your comments in check when directed at the members here.They do mean allot to all of us and I don't think it is really all that necessary.I am sorry you feel things that were said were harsh....I didn't see that at all.The internet is a funny thing and you can't always know what someone feels or means from reading black and white.The emotions are very easily mistaken.
Posted By: hellobaby
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/25/07 10:43 PM
This is just about OT, but I wanted to mention something about 1-2-tweet (who incidentally operate under another name). They were originally located here in the Lauderdale area. Several years ago, they patted themselves on the back for no longer selling large Toos (U2's/M2's). They openly admitted on their site that large Toos were the most challenging birds to live with, and that they were almost always bounced from home to home to home. After some time passed, they went back on their word and were again selling them. I visited there, seeing this for myself.
A few years back they had a huge (months long) "going out of business sale". My happiness about them going out of business was short-lived when I learned that they were simply liquidating so they could afford a larger facility in the Tampa Bay area. Those are the very type of people we stand united against here on this forum. They're money-grubbing LIARS who put the bottom line above the welfare of the birds they sell.
As for Art, I wish you the best of luck in dealing with your disability and lonliness. As I said, I hope you don't allow it to hamper your determination to have happiness in your life. While a large bird may not be the answer, I think you can find that there are others in this world who will value your company. It's hard to meet them when you're in the house so much, but you DO get out sometimes...... Keep trying! And thank you for your sacrifice.
Posted By: NaniToo
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/26/07 12:33 AM
Art, I'm sorry you are so lonely and can understand why you would love to have a companion animal. After reading, I do not think getting a parrot, especially a Too would be any good. They require so much attention and care. I change food and water dishes 3-4 times daily and cleaning is required daily. Due to your disability and times you spend sleeping over 24 hours a day, this would be a huge problem for any pet, not just a bird. Have you thought about a cat or a small dog? They offer tons of love and affection and require less care. However it sounds like you would need help still as they need feeding, cleaning, and dogs need walks. There are also people who take their pets to hospitals, senior homes. Maybe you could contact some and see if people who do 'pet therapy' would be willing to visit you every week. That way you could experience the love and affection but not have to be responsible for the care they require. I used to be a Humane Officer for Animal Control and too often I would see animals go without care and be severely neglected as people could not care for them. Please don't become one of those people.
Posted By: ayres with a 2
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/26/07 02:21 AM
Being the proud and thankful daughter of a 3 time Vietnam Vet, who is now widowed, I can understand how lonely you are. Yes, I thank you for your sacrifice.My Dad also thought a bird would fill the void and keep him company- and now the bird is here because it was too much for him to handle. A bird is not going to fix your lonliness.
There is a search feature at the top right of the page, Art. Do a search on TOO AND CHILDREN, DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR, CHEWING, PLUCKING,Harness training, LOST MY BIRD and SCREAMING. Maybe THEN you will see that it isn't just us naysayers that think 'Toos are demons- they are just 'Toos. While you are at it, do a search on hormones and biting. That should keep you busy for days.I am not being mean- we are all being honest, and that's all- we live with and for these wild animals, and work hours a day to keep them happy. People don't even take vacations because of their birds, and dropping off the bird at the pet store because you need a few days of sleep is going to do nothing but harm to the bird. That bird will see you at best as it's parent, and then as it's mate...but I'm sure it could handle (with it's toddler mindset) that you need sleep, so it has to go get poked at by strangers for a few days, away from everything it knows.
Go visit a rescue if for no other reason than to hear a 'Too scream and see what an adult is like- they are NOTHING like a baby. If you read the intro page here, and our agenda, you will have a better understanding of how we feel. Putting Charlie down for stating the rules of the board that you either didn't see or chose to ignore, and telling you the facts that no pet store will ever tell you will not fly with most of us, and if you would like to know more about how Jerry would respond, do a search on him- he is member #1- read the most recent so you'll know where he stands, and why.
Edited to add- I'm wth Liv- my daughter lost the best pet she has ever had- a hooded rat- and was inconsolable for days. That rat came when you called him, had a big, fresh meal every night and got a bath once a week. You would be very suprised how much the little animals give back when they ask for a 10th of what a large parrot will.
Posted By: Cassie's_girl
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/26/07 03:08 AM
Art, I was one of the people who responded to you initially. I really admire your thorough research, and I can understand your motivation for wanting companionship. Please read my entire post, even if you don't like it. I am worried about several things you wrote in your more recent posts. For one, you told Charlie you spend 95% of your time in bed, I know you were upset, but if this is even nearly true, a large bird is going to be too much for you. You have a wonderful picture in your head of what your relationship with your bird will be like, BUT unfortunately you can't really "teach" a bird to be what you want them to be. They have different personalities and will do what THEY want when THEY want to. And a lot of times at the WORST possible time. I think you can only be disapointed when your bird does not turn out to be the fantasy you hope for.
I have a U2, a lovebird, and a 'tiel. My 'tiel talks more than the umbrella, walks and flies all over the house following me, or my daughters around, and likes to "play" games and barbie dolls with my daughters. It's snuggly and sweet, and thinks it's in charge of EVERYTHING! It is completely fearless, and a wonderful companion. Will go anywhere with anybody and never seems stressed by new situations (unlike Cassie who is afraid of EVERYTHING!) Our lovebird also talks quite well, and is so funny to watch playing, it's upside down more than not, and loves to play peek-a-boo.
I think you are expecting way too much from ANY animal, but I wonder why you would rule out a small bird who would be lucky to have an owner so devoted to it and give you back just as much companionship as a larger bird (and less chance of out-living you, or needing to be re-homed). I have helped many birds be re-homed after they didn't live up to their owner's expectations, and it's a tragedy. Imagine a 4 year old child having to live with stranger after stranger, and nobody being able to even tell them it was going to happen.
My biggest concern is that when you talk about what you would like to do with your bird it reminds me of when teenage girls imagine how wonderful it would be to have a baby to dress up, take on walks, and love them unconditionally. They can't imagine the magnitude of parenting, or what it will really be like- the good or the bad. I'm not trying to offend you, I'm just hoping to make you understand that the REALITY of owning a bird does not match your fantasy.
I actually think you could make a wonderful home for a small or medium size bird, if you do some more reading about their care. Small birds are easier to house, easier to clean up after, less expensive to keep, and easier to handle when they get aggressive. My daughters take their birds out in carrying cages all the time for walks, this would solve all of your problems with flying away, or being injured by dogs.
About the money, perhaps you could use it to buy a cage, playstand, food, toys, and carrier, and then find a rescued bird. If you are really all alone I would not recommend getting a baby of any species that will live more than 15-25 years, what will happen to the bird when you're gone? If you are really just going to eat the $1000 maybe you could use it to purchase supplies and donate them to a rescue, then at least it does some good.
I would be happy to answer any specific questions you still have, but it's hard to address so many issues presented at once, so keep asking. If you have decided not to own a bird, that may very well be for the best, and I commend you for making a difficult choice so unselfishly.
Posted By: Charlie
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/26/07 03:15 AM
There have been some requests to close this thread. I really think it might be advantageous to leave it open for now. Art probably won't be back but it can't hurt for him to read all the replies from people that already have 'Toos. Many people come here without doing any reading and it ticks me but that is life. The agenda has been pointed out; the information is here for his research. He may think about it more after a rest.
No hard feelings here, people have problems and the membership here is so diverse that he may indeed find a good compromise. I hope so.
Posted By: Bird Mom
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/26/07 04:26 AM
Art, I haven't really checked your posts until now...sorry about your disabilities. You seem like a very unselfish person. Pets can fill a void that no person can. I appreciate the fact that you have done so much research. I wish I had done more research before we adopted our too last year. He's much more work than I anticipated. I know you must be feeling a bit frustrated & angry hearing from everyone. It's even worse because you met a really affectionate too that would make a "good companion" for you. Even though I probably shouldn't have taken in our first too, I still want to add others. They can be soooo compelling :rolleyes: I wish you well & hope you get through this time in your life. We have had tons of fun with our conure, who is twice as loud, but half the work. He's also very entertaining & affectionate! Maybe you could get a credit for your money & check out conures. I have never owned an Eclectus though
Posted By: Bokka-pooh
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/26/07 09:10 AM
Im sorry for your loneliness. but I have to agree with Charlie. He is right. Also a couple concerns I have are, since your brid will be 300ft away..and if he is callign to you, you'd HAVE to get up, he is 300 ft away, he may be in trouble!!! THat is why I always have my birds either in my room, or somewhere close by. Also to respond to your, here now quote
Who really cares which one!!??!! They seem to be positively demon spawn creatures (as pets) and should NEVER under ANY circumstances be considered as pets.
Well NO they are NOT DEMON SPAWN CREATURES, I take offense! It is HUMANS that are devil spawn, ruining innocent, pure lives like the cockatoo, that make most cockatoos the way they are. Not because the birds are bron the way they are that this site may of made you think they are, but they are loving, MUCH MORE emotional beings then humans, and take thigns personally, these beauties are sensitive creatures, once of the most, probably the most out there, much sensitive than humans, and dont do lightly to stress and depression.
What also worries me, is your disable, and not able to properly feed a bird...
I would either sue that store for actually taking money from a disable man who couldnt think right because of the depression or say its win-loe situation.. Weird how you cannto go 3 hours away to a rescue to RESCUE an animal, but you can spedn $1000 on a petstore, which you could;ve done so for a rescue, spending $100-200 on gas fees round trip and, how ever much for the rescue, which usually includes cage and all, and GOES BACK into th birds at the rescues, NOT profit for a damn cruel petstore that spawn the "devil" inside the cockatoo. This thread makes me sad. Very sad, and makes my heart beat up into my throat.
Art you do sound like an unselfish person, really you do. And no one is here to get you. But I really think you should spend A LOT more time in rescues and to understand a too that is over 4 years of age, ones that get negleted and such, because it helps you prepare for yourself and your Too you may get.
I would say respondign to craigs list would be better bet than going to a petstore.. but what has been done is done. I am not sure what I can say about that, but to hope to get your money back. Or something...
But I really dont think a baby is good for you, I really dont. A fully mature bird, that choose you is the bird for you. But then you have to realize you NEED to cook and (or atleast) prepare fresh food daily for him! And wake up at the time the bird needs to wake up, and let him out of his cage for 6-10 hours a day and spend lots of time with you. REALLY going to a parrot rescue and getting to know a Umbie will be your best best, really. I say that out of the bottom of my heart.
Also did you know that cockatoo dander can cause breathing problems?
Posted By: gn18
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/26/07 10:08 AM
I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I will also like to applaud you for taking the unselfish act of forfeiting the $ for the benefit of the bird and future birds to come.
You may feel that you have not been blessed by not being able to get a too. ..but I will say, you have already been blessed in these areas
1) You mentioned that you were in debt. Birds are very expensive to maintain especially for the larger ones. Vet fees, food, toys, cages etc cost a lot. Vet fees is not just limited to a 1st time check and annual check but many more. Birdmom, a member here had to sell off her car to pay for the cockatoo's vet fees when her too was sick.
2) You willl have peace of mind knowing that you will not be in a position that may hurt your bird (such as the bird not being able to get fresh food etc) when you are sick. You will not have to face the guilt of unable to care for the bird properly at times and no guilt of perpetuating the suffering of cockatoos by fueling the demand and hence supply of cockatoos. Guilt is a horrible thing to live with and I have my own share of guilt when it comes to past pets. Even though it has been many years, the guilt is always there and it doesn't lessen and will surface at times. 'Luckily' my guilt is borne of ignorance and not having the opportunity to learn and correct. I don't even want to imagine what the guilt will be like if I had the chance to learn and hear from experienced people and choose not to take their advise all because of selfish reasons ie me wanting what is best for me and not for the animals.
Thus, I thank you again for taking the unselfish route especially since so many are unable to do so. This makes you a special person in my book.
Posted By: NaniToo
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/26/07 10:24 AM
Art, it's true about a Basenji breed dog being less allergenic. They have a different coat that usually doesn't shed and they groom themselves similar to a cat. They have different personalities but Poodles are sweet and are known for not shedding either. Cats can be extremely affectionate.I have one that hasn't left my side for the last 3 hours. If it's allergies that keep you from liking cats, get a Rex or a Sphynx (hairless cat). I had a friend who had a Rex and it was very loving, just different looking. There are also hairless dogs which are also extremely friendly and affectionate that would willingly sit on your lap to be petted and love you unconditionally. A cockatoo will not. Also, if your 'living community' bans cats, they most certainly will not like a Cockatoo. The world will hear it and it will create far more mess than any cat or dog. I live in a rural neighborhood and people who live over 300 feet away can hear my Moluccan.
Posted By: jm47
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/28/07 04:05 PM
Art, I missed this whole thread until now, but hope you are still there, reading.
First off, thank you for serving.
Secondly, you probably don't need to complicate your already-difficult life by adding a wild animal who will need far more supervision than you will be able to give. Since you're allergic to most dogs and all cats, and what you need is really a "therapy animal" or a "service animal", you are in a difficult situation.
You don't say whether any members of your family (the niece you mention, or your mother) share the house with you, or live close by. If you did manage to get an aviary built, would you be able to maintain it?
There are nursing homes in my area which have aviaries, and the residents share the care responsibilities, but if you are all alone, you seem to need someone to care for you, rather than adding responsibility for another living thing to your already heavy load.
I have a small garden. In it I have a lot of bird and butterfly friendly plantings. Robins and starlings are really numerous, and follow me around while I work, and I talk to them. They aren't "cuddly" and don't speak English, but they do talk back, and even in winter, when I skiied around the neighboring golf course, flocks of wild birds would follow me around. Not sure they recognized me in my winter "plumage", but they did follow me around.
This allows me to have a lot more "comapnions" than "dependents" around me. We do have a cockatiel, and he's a lot of fun, and we have a sun conure, who is a truckload of entertainment, although very small, and I feel guilty for not giving both of them better lives. Can you get your niece to help you put in a patch of sunflowers? Aren't there flocks of parrots around where you are? Have you watched the "Sild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" movie?
Being a good neighbor to the wild birds around you will give you an idea about what sort of things a bird needs, and why they are sometimes just as well off living outside and flying free.
Just some thoughts. Best wishes, and keep reading.
Posted By: emmy
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/28/07 07:39 PM
I just found this thread. Iím sorry you have so many challenges in your life and I, too, thank you for your service to our country.
Most of the time I use a wheelchair to get from point A to point B in the house. Also, most of the time I use my feet and legs to move my chair so that my hands are free for other things. I have help from my family to take care of Emmy, our G2. There is no way I could care for her and maintain her quality of life without help. If any more detail would be of any help to you, just say the word and Iíll do my best to describe how we manage things. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. If I had the info in the early 90s that I do now, I wouldnít have even looked at a cockatoo/parrot or gone to a breeder.
I think JM has some good ideas. I plant dwarf sunflowers in pots on our small deck and enjoy watching the birds that come by for a meal. I also have potted plants that attract humming birds. One morning I was having coffee on the deck and two humming birds ignored me and got right to work on the scented geraniums and hardy fuchsia. I get a lot of pleasure watching the wild birds enjoy our deck---even the blue jay that dug up and ate my nasturtium seeds and the crows that shredded the young chard plants. I hope you have an area where you can easily get outdoors.
Posted By: CJM77
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 05/29/07 07:02 PM
I know I'm late to this thread, but I just wanted to post my 2 cents.
I think there are two different issues here that are getting confused:
1. Should Art get a pet
2. Should anyone buy a baby bird from a pet shop.
The agenda here is crystal clear on the second one and the answer has to be "no". No one should by buying baby birds from a pet shop and in particular, don't come here and ask us to support that.
I think part of the problem came about when that issue was getting confused with whether or not Art would be able to provide a good home for a pet.
Art, dunno if you're still reading or not. I think that in your case a cat would be ideal, I'm sorry that you're allergic and maybe you could find a breed that you're not sensitive to. As a mental health therapist myself, I understand the desperate lonliness that anyone with a disability can feel and I particularly get the lonliness and isolation of living with chronic PTSD. Folks here are passionate and I would never have expected much of a different response from them. Maybe a cockatoo isn't a great animal for you, but then again, being forever the optimist, maybe there are ways you could mobilize a support system to help you care properly for a bird.
Humans are social creatures and need a pack. Emotionally and physically, we die without it. An animal can be a wonderful companion, but I'd hate to have you get a pet and use that as an excuse to withdraw farther from the human world. Stay connected.
Posted By: Michelle8822
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 06/02/07 01:30 AM
I think instead of saying you are not going to get any pet you might consider a adopting a wonderful dog from the Human Society. They are loyal, loving, understanding, love to go for walks, will play when you can and will be just as happy to lay by your side when you are not feeling your best.
I am a new Too owner and I have found that they are a lot of work. The TOO I got was 5-years-old, not a baby and he was no longer wanted by his people. My day is on a set routine now that I have brought this Too into my life. With the way that your life fluctuate it would not be easy to take care of a bird.
For one a bird can not swim, therefore you could not have the bird in the hot-tub with you, not to mention that the water would be way to hot for him/her.
Birds do not go for walks. You can put them on a harness and allow them outside, but they do not walk with you like a dog does.
To allow the bird to fly along while you are on your bike is a bit optimistic. The bird would fly away. If you had a harness on him/her and it tried to fly away you the bird would hit the end of the harness and probably harm himself.
The people on this site are only trying to stop you from making a mistake. I have 6 horses and 10 dogs and of those 16 animals none of them demand the attention and time that the TOO does. With your health being the way it is Please consider going to the shelter and getting a dog.
Posted By: Chuckledoo
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 06/02/07 06:53 PM
The way you sound, very emotional, ups and down suggest that a too is not for you.They feed on peoples emotions really well and they can sence feelings before we know them ourselves!!!You would really have a demon spawn cockatoo then.Go and get some (or make some)people friends who can come and hang out with you.
Posted By: hellobaby
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 06/02/07 08:02 PM
I'm not sure Art is around anymore. The last post from him included this:
The issue is settled.
I'M NOT GETTING ANY PET!! so you can all stop worrying about me or any bird I will never own.
I am NOT YOUR PROBLEM. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ME!! I WILL NOT GET A BIRD, I PROMISE!!
Posted By: happybirds
Re: Need help from those of you in the know - 06/03/07 12:16 AM
Following is a link to a very interesting article concernning veterans and pets, more specifically, vets and parrots. The moment I saw this article, I thought of this thread, and wanted to share it. This isn't saying Art should, or should not have a bird. It is just a coincidental finding concerning vets and birds. Vets & Pets