Mean to mushy

by Tracey
(Austin, TX)

Dining Companions

Dining Companions

My DYH Amazon came to me through my office. My boss rescued him from a patient, who was completely unable to care for himself or Paco, culminating in a house fire. Paco was ill-tempered, eager to bite, and just a "mean" bird, in general. He'd been raised in feces, scavenging through leftover human food, and socialized by an alcoholic who had the graces of a guttersnipe. Paco was much like him.

Another coworker and I took on socializing him. First we had to get him off the horrible human diet - which was all he would eat. Slowly, he moved through sunflower seeds to a good diet of fortified parrot feed with fruits and vegetable added.

Also after a number of severe bites, and many hard bites and "dent" bites (6+ months' worth), he's now full of kisses, puts on quite a show for everyone, lets me actually pet him and give kisses on his head, and even goes to strangers.

I started taking him home, and he's taken over. There's perches all over the house, but he frequently gets down and goes where he wants. Usually it's wherever I am, including insisting that he now has to sleep in the bedroom with me. My three cats have completely accepted him, and one LOVES Paco's seed mix. Paco just shoves the big head aside so he can get in the dish, too, but Smokey learned right away NOT to go near the fruit. Paco leaned into Smokey's face and let out a long growl - that put fruit stealing to an end.

So now he's got a forever home, with daily trips to the office. He goes to any store that will allow pets inside, Lowe's being his favorite. He hangs out on the deck with his feathered brethren, and the vet said he's very healthy. More importantly, I think he's very happy.

Editor's note: Do NOT let your cat with your bird just because you see this picture.

Comments for Mean to mushy

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Jun 14, 2009
by: Linda

Your story is very heartwarming, and Paco is an extremely fortunate bird to have found you, and you are extremely fortunate to now be "owned" by a parrot!

The only advice I can offer is to NOT let the cat eat from bird's dishes as cats, people and most other animals carry gram negative bacteria in their bodies, and this can be transferred to birds causing infections eventually. Of course, he got used to quite a bit of the negative bacteria in his other life, but it never hurts to be careful with them. Once the negative count gets too high, then BOOM, they are sick.

Also, I'm sure you already know this, but never, ever leave the room when your cats and bird are alone together. Also make sure bird is safe and in cage when you leave home, as pets act differently when Mommy and Daddy are gone than they do when parents are home watching things.

Otherwise, keep up the wonderful work you are doing with Paco, and treasure him for the special, sweet little being he is from mean to mushy.


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