Friends and workmates often ask me why I keep parrots as pets and companions. I find it’s a really difficult question to answer without sounding like I’m a crazy bird lady. I think birds are fascinating creatures. They continually surprise me with their ability to learn and their intelligence. This is why I’ve decided to start this blog. I want to spread the word about how great these creatures are. They aren’t an animal to be scared of and should be in your consideration set when you are choosing a pet for your family.
Just recently, my Quaker Tweety used new words in context, with the perfect timing. It was late afternoon and I had just fed my dogs, and I took Tweety out of his cage for playtime. My Rottweiler finished his meal within 30 seconds and walked over to steal my smaller dog’s meal. I raised my arm, pointed my finger and I was just about to tell the Rottweiler “leave it, get out”. But Tweety beat me to it! He yelled loudly “Out, get out!”. I was shocked, surprised and amused. It was almost as if Tweety read my mind!
I know some people may think that it was just a coincidence, pure luck or that Tweety had associated the finger pointing with the words “out, get out”. But I disagree. If anything, I had actually taught Tweety to associate the finger pointing with the words “stop it”. During the Spring/Summer months he gets rather unpredictable and possessive. This sometimes leads to Tweeting biting or attacking, so I decided to train him out of this bad behaviour. If he had an aggressive outburst, I would point and say “stop it”. He responded to this really well. Tweety started using these words in context when he was doing something naughty, like attacking the dog, cat, my husband, or even if he was chirping like crazy. I would simply point my finger and he would stop what he was doing and yell “stop it!”.
So why not birds? I think they make great family pets and I’m hoping this post didn’t make me sound too crazy!