I was googling for one of Fajr’s vocalizations, but “green cheek” and “cry” in the same sentence resulted in stories about how people’s birds have died. And now I’m so upset! So many stories of people who slept with their pets. I am not entirely innocent. I used to nap in the bird’s day room (we only use it during summer, the insulation is awful so the cold leaks in during winter) after school back when I had my tiel and keet, and would wake up to find them both sitting on me. It was a couch, they were both flighted, so if I had rolled over, I would fall and they could fly away (though this never happened). There was one incident with Fajr where one of my sisters( who is not currently involved with any of our birds) “forgot” to take out his toys and newspaper and just sprayed his cage with the hose, then never dried it so that by the time night came around Fajr was in the house and had nowhere to sleep- but even then I didn’t trust my fully unconscious self and cleared out one of my shelves and arranged it so that Fajr could comfortably sleep in there, but could also not leave it for the night. The whole night was spent half awake making sure he had not escaped somehow. Still, after reading those notes about birds dying because their owners chose to sleep with them on a nightly basis, I’m appalled. I often privately disagree with the mantra of “love is not enough” because in my experience my love for my birds is what compels me to do more for them, but now I must agree. Just the feeling of love is not enough. Love won’t bring birds back to life.
It is sad but true that people learn faster from horror stories than from dry facts. And even then, too many times people think “it won’t happen to me”.
I guess that it depends on what you consider love to be as to whether it is enough or not. The word love ranks, to me, right up there along side of perfect. It has multiple meanings and modes of expression depending upon the circumstances in which it is applied. If the people who killed their birds by sleeping with them had loved their birds, they would not have slept with them. Love would have dictated that this was unsafe for the bird and unless they had some way to prevent the possibility of them rolling over on them they would not have done this. Love is not the same as ego gratification. Love would dictate that if they do not know about their bird that they would set out to learn about them as quickly as possible. Love is one of the most used words in existence, it is one of the worst defined and most misused words that I know of. But Love would require you to place the loved ones well being before ones own, as well as above ones selfish desires and or egos. Pajaritas keeps saying that love does not replace good husbandry practices. This is true, as far as it goes, but then love is not in conflict or competition with good husbandry in the first place. Love would require you to learn and use good husbandry practices. Just my thoughts.
In the years that I have had Myrtle, I let her sleep with me twice. I don’t know what was wrong but on those nights she needed more from me. She was on my shoulder and when I laid down she stayed there and put her beak behind my ear. I guess neither one of us moved during the night. We were in the same position when I woke up.
Actually, Wolf, I agree with you 100%. I strive every day to make my animals lives better PRECISELY because I love them. Because, when you truly love something or somebody, their needs are more important than your wishes, your comfort, your convenience, your opinion, etc. But I say that ‘love doesn’t trump good care’ because most people do not understand that meaning for the word love. Everybody and his grandmother call themselves ‘animal lovers’ but, in reality, there are few of those and all the rest are ‘animal enjoyers’. They enjoy what the animal does for them to the point that they feel they love it but, in reality, it is, like you say, ego gratification and not real love. These people are the ones that buy the teacup and the giant dog breeds from breeders (even though they are all born defective because nature never meant for canines to be so large or so small and die way before their time), the ones that buy the baby bird from the store (even though they are in overpopulation), the ones that decide to breed their pets because 'they love them so!" (but sell the babies in CL to whoever has the money), the ones that take in a parrot without doing any research (which is NOT asking somebody in a bird forum for their opinion) to make sure in advance that they can, indeed, provide a good home for it, the ones that buy the exotic, wild animal just so they can say they have one (even though the poor animal is doomed to a terrible life), the ones that buy a puppy and, working full time, proceed to put the poor baby in a cage (yes, crate is nothing but an euphemism for cage) for 9 to 10 hours a day and, when the dog is grown and completely mal-adjusted (not housebroken, nippy, barking all day long), they put it in a shelter… and I could on and on and on about these people. If you ask every single one of them, they will tell you they are animal lovers and that they LOVE their dog, cat, bird, degu, coatimundi, wolf dog, etc Geez, just the other day I signed a petition for a law suit to have USDA remove a bear that had lived 18 years in an outdoor cage with noting but a concrete floor and bars, so small that she could only take 3 steps before she needed to turn (which she did constantly, the poor thing!). The owner of the ice cream shop that had the bear in display to attract customers had trapped her as a cub and put her there and, you know what? He says he loves her!
Liz-You know your birds better than I do. The main thing that bothered me was the people sleeping with their birds, but their posts also indicated minimum research before AND after they acquired their birds. Like I said, I’m not perfect either-I’ve slept with my birds as I stated above, but your birds (From what I remember) and mine, are flighted. This doesn’t mean we sleep with our birds all the time, but it grants our birds an escape route. Many of the cases I read were of clipped birds. I’m going to use Parjarita/Wolf’s phrasing and say those people let their egos cloud their judgement. Parjarita and Wolf-I’m going to agree with the ego perspective. I was browsing bird ads on a whim and I came across a ridiculous amount from people who wanted to give their birds away because they had started nipping, or the people “didn’t have time” for them anymore-their birds were no longer babies that went along with everything and the humans didn’t like that they were showing personalities and actually demanded attention. Their pets were no longer satisfying their egos, so the illusion of love was gone.
I get so angry with the way that people treat their animals, that it gets hard to think clearly. They want them but not enough to put in the time to learn or train or anything that is much more difficult than putting a key in the ignition of their car and turning it on, or harder than pushing a button. They are living beings, but are treated like throw away things like a paper cup. I had more to say, but this irritates me to the extent that I had best stop here.
I have woke up many mornings with Rambo on my belly. I must have an instinct that reminds me not to move. I nursed my babies. The only way I could get any sleep was to take them to bed with me until they could sleep through the night. I would wake up in the same position as when I went to sleep.The horror stories upset me so bad and there is nothing I can do about them. Just in my little flock of rescues there are horror stories that they cannot tell me.Tammy’s wing healed in the wrong position when Rachel’s cat took her outside. She was out there for 24 hours before I saw her. I prayed and cried for her. Can you imagine the horror she went through.Maggie was a breeder bird. Why did the breeder sell her to me? She is a non stop eater and has grown in size with her good food. Why did they breed her before she was full grown?Lacy has twisted feathers and missing toes. It hurts so bad to think of what she has suffered.Lola was a pet but not cared for as she needed. She has plucked the feathers inside her right wingFlutter earned his name. Why was he so afraid. He has no physical problems but emotionally messed up. (he has settled down and actually talks to me now)Phoenix was mutilated. Not only did someone cut all his feathers but also cut part of his wing off. How cruel people can be.Cagney & Lacy and Flutter & Phoenix were passed around so many times that no one knew their names. I control my PTSD as best I can but if I ever came across a passed owner it would be bad. I know I would slap them around really good for what they have done and caused.
I have to add something here about parrot keeping. I don’t completely and 100% blame everybody for not knowing enough about parrots. Most people go by what they are told, very few actually do any real research and even less people listen to the ‘extremists’, as I’ve been called So, they go into a store and they see this beautiful, sweet little baby bird and maybe they don’t buy it right then and there, they wait and go to birdsites where they find all these people singing the praises of parrot ownership, posting pictures of their birds, telling all these funny and sweet stories about them and, thinking that an animal that lives in a cage couldn’t possibly be high maintenance, see themselves the object of this animal’s affection without a whole lot of work on their part and buy it. And everything is peachy keen at the beginning and easily fulfills the idea they had of what their life with the bird was going to be. Then years go by and the problems start. And, again, they go to birdsites, the breeders and the stores employees and get all different kinds of recommendations which are, in fact, contradictory. So I understand perfectly when people come here and ask about a problem and find that our answers might not quite ‘match’ what they heard everywhere else. But this is the point where I draw the line and start blaming people. Because, personally, I don’t go by what people tell me, I do my own research and I go to scientific sources and, when you do that, there are NO discrepancies but, if I did go by other people and found a conflict in their info, then I would dig deeper and find out the truth - and then I would change to accommodate that truth and no other. It’s when people refuse to accept the truth because it’s too hard or too inconvenient for them that I get pissed off with their irresponsibility.
If someone loves their parrot, they may not know how to take care of them. If someone truly loves their parrot, they will learn how, or adopt him/her to someone that knows. If I didn’t really love Lilly, I wouldn’t have let her go. That decision was for her own benefit, if it was for my own entertainment, she would still be here. Sometimes, there is an exception. People might love their parrot to the world’s end, but for some reason can’t quite take care of them right. Love is not intelligence.