Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beasts of the earth and fowl of the air.

First of all I want to say I love my animals, and our home would not feel complete to me without pets; they keep me company and bring me a lot of joy and love. I needed to get that out before continuing. :)

We currently own 7 pets: 1 dog, 2 birds, 1 rabbit, 1 rat, 1 gecko, and 1 Tarantula. ( Yes, I said Tarantula). Now, 4 of these pets give me no trouble at all.

Oliver the rat

Scarlet the tarantula

and Bill the Gecko

belong to Nick and Les so I rarely even see them much less than have trouble from them.

Clover my little bunny

is the most precious bunny ever created and never gives me trouble. ( we had to pay for abscess surgeries last year, but other than that he is perfect).

We do however own three pets that continually keep me on my toes. Those of you who know me well already know who these three are. Introducing them from most rotten to least rotten would be:
Murphy, (our 2 year old boxer)

Doby (our 6 year old eclectus parrot)

and Dory (our 4 year old parrotlett)

Looking at these three you would never guess they are so ornery. Well, Murphy maybe... I think he even LOOKS ornery. They are sweet, however when left to their own, they are purely rotten.

We saw Murphy mere hours after he was born and visited him every week until he was 6 weeks old. He heard our voice before his eyes were open and we were among the first 5 people he saw once he opened his eyes. This is the Murphy we fell in love with over 2 years ago.

Who wouldn't fall in love with that face???? We were deceived by the puppy breath and sweet eyes. We brought him home and loved him like no dog has ever been loved. He quickly had a place in our home AND in our hearts. Now, in return for all this love and care we set only a few rules for Mr. Murphy.

1. Please stay off beds.

2. No people food, he was off to a bad start on this one.

3. Don't chew on the kids toys:

4. Stay off the couch.

The list continues: Stay out of the trash... he finds trash to get into EVERY day. Don't bark continuously at the neighbors.... does it everyday. Don't root around in the bedrooms to find stuff to destroy..... does it everyday. See.... I wasn't lying... he is ROTTEN!

Now on to my green guy. He too is rotten... however he is intelligent so he KNOWS better. He too was very young when we welcomed him into our hearts. He was bald and ugly and I don't even think his mother would have loved him.... but we did.

He grew to be a beautiful bird. He was funny, snugly and smart and we enjoyed having him around. He even had political views and opinions:

And then it happened..... 3 years ago we placed our wonderful, beautiful parrot whom we loved so much into his cage to go to bed. We said "Night Night Doby" and he gave us his usual "Night Night, I love you" response. The next morning we woke to find THIS bird in his place:

What the heck??? What happened to my beautiful green and red parrot??? Why would he do such a thing. I took him to a Vet in Cincinnati who ran a series of tests on him and said he was fine physically... must be something hormonal or mental. Great I thought.... I have a mentally ill bird??? Seriously??? We worked on hormonal injections, steam bathes, extra protein in his diet as well as a lot of sweet potato for vitamin A. Nothing helped.

After a while I didn't feel this Vet knew what he was talking about so I decided to take him to yet another vet in Kettering...( a little closer drive). This Vet also ran a series of tests, however they came back stating he had bacteria in his system and it was making him itchy which would explain why he plucked all his feathers. I was soooo relieved, we finally had an end to all of this. He was placed on antibiotics and after the round of antibiotics we ran another test to see if he was clear. NOPE, still had bacteria..... we did this over and over again for nearly 2 years. They felt I was doing something to reinfect him each time. I was sterilizing all his water bottles, using antibacterial gel on my hands before handling him or any of his things. It felt like I had a "bird in a bubble" instead of a boy in a bubble. They then gave us this contraption to put him in.

He couldn't break feathers that's for sure... but I felt terrible... he couldn't do anything a parrot loved to do such as climb or hold food in his feet.

I was tired of the worry and Greg was tired of the expense so I went BACK to the Vet in Cincinnati. I filled him in on the past 2 years of medical history on Doby and he ran a couple tests. He came back to tell me I have a perfectly healthy bird. The bacteria in his system is normal bacteria and he has inflammation in his upper GI and just needs to take some Celebrex. Are you kidding me??? Celebrex??? Isn't that a drug for people???? Yep, same drug. So, now I have a bird who is on Celebrex and is feeling much better but STILL breaks all his feathers every winter. We have decided it is seasonal/hormonal and I am not going to worry about it (yeah right). For 4 months out of the year I have a very ugly bird. Sweet, but ugly. I think he does it on purpose.... I think he knows I want to scream and pull all MY hair out when I see him start doing this. Drives me crazy.

A while ago, when his cage was in the dinning room, I walked past his cage and found him with our dinning room curtains being held in his foot. I looked at him and said "what do you think you are doing?" he looked up at me and said in this little baby voice "Who's the baby?". See how smart he is?? He KNOWS when he is driving me crazy. He loves it when the kids come home from school. Both kids are usually in the play room either on the Xbox or computer and he yells at a volume just loud enough to stay above whatever noise is going on in the room. He usually ends up in his travel cage in another room in the house.

My little fire ball Dory is rotten too. She is sassy and if we had taken the time to get to know her a little better before naming her she would probably be named Sassy. My dad calls her Sassafras. :) She is a tiny little bird but she is quite bossy. She likes to yell at you when you walk into her room and touch anything she might think is food, (whether it is hers or not). In fact.... she will yell at you before, during and even after you give her food. If she is really worked up she will sit and eat her food while she is still yelling at you. If you take her out of her cage she is fine... you can kiss her and love on her and she will snuggle up under your hair or in your pocket. But if she is in her cage look out. This is the only time she ever makes a peep. Any other time you would never know we even had a bird.

My dad has always been very kind to bird sit for us while on vacation. He has two birds of his own so they all hang out and have a good time. While sitting for Dory this past year he made the mistake of leaning over her cage to open the curtains behind her without a shirt on. She bit his bare stomach through the cage. We laughed and laughed because she is sooo little and cute but she packs a pretty good punch. :)

So those are my little demons in a nut shell. I love them all dearly but while being cooped up inside all winter I realize just how rotten they can be at times. I wouldn't trade any of them..... but some days I feel like selling them. :)

It amazes me how each of us are created differently. I have such a passion for animals and they are a big part of my life. We have three little squirrels who visit us each day for walnuts ( I will tell you that story another time) and these little guys bring so much joy to me each day. I love how God created us differently... with different passions, talents, interests and desires. I love how we all live life together and if we are willing, we can share and learn a lot from one other.

Just when I think I am crazy for the love I have for furry and feathered creatures I think of Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." Not only did God KNOW I would be crazy over little fuzzies...... He created me to be. :)

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