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bigfellasdad 07-13-2018 05:30 AM

stability for parrots.
 
Ive just been mooching about on other sections of the forum and its a common theme for birds having several homes, I find this is so sad :( I do realise that some peoples situation changes in life and in extreme cases birds need to be re-homed but still it must be so destabilising (correct spelling ;)) for the birds as well as the parronts

My GF, Kelly, has been with me for nearly a year now and we are about to move in together. Enzo has been with me a few weeks longer and im her third parront in her 14yrs. Kelly has been growing more and more fearful and jealous of Enzo, as Enzo is clearly jealous of her as Kelly takes so much of my time and affection. It recently came to a head where it was clear that Kelly didn't want me to keep Enzo and a massive row ensued and im 100% sure that Enzo realised she was the centre of it. Thankfully I think Kelly 'gets it' now and the two of them seem to be making more effort with each other.

I think once Kelly realised that if she made me take a choice, it would be Kelly that would lose out, she is the adult and she has the mental capacity and understanding to move on, Enzo doesn't. Id be heartbroken if I wasn't with Kelly, I really dont think Enzo would take being rehomed again though.

Other good news, Enzo gets a new cage today, A rainforest Santos II Dome top.

Caitnah 07-13-2018 06:03 AM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
Sounds like things are moving in the right direction.

I just read an article (might have been here) that stated the average parrot is re-homed SEVEN times in its life. That is a very sad stat. No wonder many are neurotic and tough to handle.

I just adopted a 25 year old Grey and am having some difficulties gaining his trust. But we will get there.

Tell Kelly to just keep giving Enzo treats when she walks by and talk to him softly. As many have stated here..." It's a long process...baby steps".

Good luck.

Kiwibird 07-13-2018 06:57 AM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
When we adopted Kiwi, we were his 3rd (known) home in 10 years and he was already a pretty broken bird. He may have not been salvageable had he been passed around much more. He's such a smart, curious, sweet and happy little guy who just needed some stability and patience to bring out those traits. I have to wonder how many "Kiwi's" out there didn't ever get the chance to fall into a good home and are still angry and miserable being passed from home to home. It hurts these beautiful, sensitive, intelligent creatures to have their trust and love broken again and again, often for reasons beyond their control (divorce, moving somewhere that doesn't allow them, novelty wears of for owner etc...) or simply being a parrot and doing what parrots do (being loud, destructive, biting etc...).

As for the GF, I hope the situation has been resolved for Enzo's sake and I hope you continue sticking to your position that Enzo is yours for life. It's a red flag in my book if a partner ever demands you get rid of or makes some kind of "me or them" ultimatum about a pet. As a woman, I also really don't get being jealous over a guy being a good pet owner and spending time with his pet. If anything, that would be a plus in my book- shows he's caring and responsible, traits many men seem to lack. My own husband isn't a big animal person in general (i.e. he would never go out and get any kind of pet on his own). He agreed I could get a parrot on the condition I take care of it. And so I have, for 10 years my husband has never really helped clean or feed or make toys for etc... Kiwi, nor have I ever expected him to help with Kiwi's care. He does play with him and give him treats and Kiwi likes him (more than me even) but he has and always will be MY bird and my responsibility. Perhaps a similar arrangement would help ease your girlfriends concerns a bit, that she doesn't have to help care for a pet she never wanted. Hopefully she can come to understand the love and joy Enzo brings to your life and accept her if for no other reason than YOU love and care about this bird.

bigfellasdad 07-13-2018 07:34 AM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
Im sure this will be the case, im hoping this has been the outburst that has been needed for a while. The last few days Kelly has been here she has been in the room whilst Enzo is out and even given Enzo treats by hand and Enzo has shown respect back. Im still on edge that Enzo will attack her again but as yet this hasnt happened...even in the kitchen where tension between them is the highest. But im still on gaurd!,

fingers crossed.

LordTriggs 07-13-2018 08:37 AM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
Good to hear you stood your ground!

I know for me a pet comes first, be the pet came before or if both parties decided that pet is number 1. I believe I said somewhere else but to reiterate, if I was given the ultimatum of my pet or partner the partner would be gone. Not out of more loyalty to the pet but purely because that means they are putting their feelings first, they're not thinking of that pet nor are they thinking of my feelings. There are ways to make all parties happy, it just takes some creative thinking and some effort on all parts!

ChristaNL 07-13-2018 09:31 AM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
Same, here, actually...there would be no Kelly left to try again.
(LOL< thats just me- I am single for a good reason)
It's not even a pet/parrot thingy, I just despise people who think they can use ultimatums to force others into doing things they are not ready for.

on a happier note:
One of my friends had a really hard time getting used to my grey (he is the -only- one that got attacked/ bit ) and was pretty judgemental about the whole situation- but 3 years on he is less stressed around the birds- and they have never done anything like that again.
He finally understood he is the one that triggered the behaviour bij being stressy, moving in alarming ways (to birds) and has been working on that.
They probably never wil be palls, but he accepted that parrots are animals you really need to learn about to avoid doing things that alarm them (just like you learn how to handle a cat etc.).

If Kelly really resents the bird - she will show that in her bodylanguage - birds always know/ read that very well and there always will be trouble.
Giving it treats will not fix things in that area - but if she really wants to give it a try... beautifull things can happen!

bigfellasdad 07-13-2018 11:50 AM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristaNL (Post 740604)
If Kelly really resents the bird - she will show that in her bodylanguage - birds always know/ read that very well and there always will be trouble.
Giving it treats will not fix things in that area - but if she really wants to give it a try... beautifull things can happen!

To be fair she has always tried hard with Enzo but its gotten no where, if Kelly came into the room she would either attack Kelly or any body else in the room apart from me. Enzo would beak me if I tried to calm her down. I do get her argument and it must be very frustrating for her........
Since that night though, ive seen a change in both of them, Enzo is still stressed in her presence but to a lesser degree, Kelly is coming into a room of Enzo is out of her cage as well, It really does seem that Enzo and Kelly are making an effort, which is quite remarkable to see to be honest. Im hoping no further set back occurs and this trend continues.

When i was a young lad I used to fight like crazy with my older brother, the whole situation reminds me of those days lol.

Scott 07-13-2018 12:05 PM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bigfellasdad (Post 740580)
I think once Kelly realised that if she made me take a choice, it would be Kelly that would lose out, she is the adult and she has the mental capacity and understanding to move on, Enzo doesn't. Id be heartbroken if I wasn't with Kelly, I really dont think Enzo would take being rehomed again though.

^^^ This right here, my friend! ^^^

When one makes an ultimatum in a relationship, better be prepared to walk away if the bluff is countered. Kelly clearly cares enough about you to accept Enzo (at least for now) and is willing to try her best to live in harmony.

Nice to see the efforts at acceptance. If any parrot is capable, it is the mighty Grey! Stubborn but highly intelligent!

EllenD 07-13-2018 01:10 PM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
Welcome to the community! I think you'd and Kelly both would be wise to stick around here, post often about your lives with Enzo, and to find support with other parronts who are going through the exact same thing that you guys are...It's extremely important for both of you to know that what you are going through is extremely normal and common, you're not at all alone in your situation, and that there are answers, help, and compromises that will make your lives with your CAG much less stressful, and eventually and hopefully a loving household...And you re-homing Enzo after you've had him for over a year and after you have both bonded to one another should never be an option, as there are lots of things that you can do to at least help, if not eventually remedy what you're going through...

I understand where Kelly is coming from, and it is very difficult when you feel jealous of a child, a pet, or a friend of your significant other. However, if Enzo was your human-child, I'm sure Kelly would not ever suggest or even think about you "re-homing" him, lol, and that's what Kelly needs to really come to terms with, that Enzo, being a young CAG, really and truly is the equivalent of a 4-5 year-old human child, and as=such, he is going to require much attention and time. So hopefully this little blow-out that you guys all had was an eye-opener for everyone that re-homing Enzo is not at all an option, and that the only way to figure all of this out is to take it slowly, realize this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and that there are many, many things you guys can try that you haven't yet in order to get Kelly and Enzo to better accept one another, and hopefully become friends.

At the same time, you need to realize that Kelly isn't a "parront" or a parrot person, or at least it doesn't sound like she had much experience with parrots prior to dating you, and for people who have never owned a parrot themselves, they often look at a parrot as just that...it's a bird. It's a pet. It's no different than owning a dog or a cat, or a ferret or a rabbit. From Kelly's point of view, at least in the beginning of your relationship, Enzo was just your pet bird, nothing else. And at this point even a year later, Kelly still has not ever in her life formed a close-bond to a bird herself, so she still probably does not have any concept of what that is like. I don't know if Kelly has any human children, but it's important that you impress upon her that there really is no difference between having a human toddler and having a parrot, especially a CAG, who literally has the intelligence of a 4-5 year-old human child. So she needs to learn that Enzo is not a dog, he's not a cat, he's your child, and also that he's a "perpetual child" that is going to live for many decades, just like a human child would. Once Kelly gets a better understanding of your relationship with Enzo she will definitely be more understanding of not only the amount of time that you absolutely must spend with Enzo, but also with the fact that she can't give you ultimatums regarding Enzo...But it's going to be your job to teach Kelly all about parrots, take her places to try to interact with parrots, do reading about them, and most of all, it's your responsibility to ensure that the 3 of you, including Enzo, do things together as a family on a regular basis. I don't know how often you take Enzo out and about or if he's harness-trained, but if he's not I highly suggest that you buy him an Aviator Harness and get working with him on a daily basis so that he learns to accept it, and that the 3 of you start doing things together as a family, even if at first that means simply taking long walks around the neighborhood, hiking, etc. with Enzo on your shoulder, the 2 of them need to start spending family-time together with you (usually when they realize that wearing the Aviator Harness means going bye-byes, outside or in the car, and going places like pet shops, parks, hiking, shopping at stores that allow pets like Lowes, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, Walmart, etc., and they directly-relate the Aviator Harness with outside, they willing accept it)...Kelly obviously hasn't yet formed any type of bond with Enzo, and Enzo may or may not care for Kelly (hard to tell as his jealousy and hormonal behavior regarding you as "his" is currently getting in the way; sometimes birds actually very much like and become attached to people that they see on a regular basis and who don't hurt them, even though they outwardly are aggressive towards them due to jealousy, hormones, etc)...

Getting the 3 of you to spend more and more time together on a regular basis, in situations that are not stressful as they have been so-far could help their relationship quite a bit...Kelly and Enzo don't necessarily need to directly interact with each other, meaning "touch" each other, lol, obviously that isn't something you want to do when it's a safety concern...But with you showing Enzo that it's very possible for Kelly to be included in your time with him, and that Kelly being there with the two of you does not mean "less time for Enzo" with you, the sooner Enzo is going to accept Kelly into his house with his person...And that's on you my friend, instead of playing "mediator" as you have been so-far between Enzo and Kelly, you need to teach Enzo that it's okay for Kelly to be with you, because Kelly being with you does not in any way take you away from him.

You nailed-it right on the head when you stated that it's not Enzo's responsibility to be the "adult" in this situation. CAG's are sooooo intelligent, I'd go out on a limb and say that they are the most intelligent of all parrots (I grew-up with my mom's CAG, who she raised from a 3 month-old baby, and who she still has, he's now 32 years old and he really has been and still is my only sibling, he's my brother, and that guy is fully aware of everything that is going on around him, near him, and with everyone in the house, no doubt about it)...So it's kind of a double-edged-sword with CAG's, especially one who is still a baby at 14 years old, and who has already had multiple homes in his very short life...

Enzo has yet to be given one single, solitary reason to trust any human at all, and that's the fault of the people who have been responsible for him, not his...And the irony of this is of course the fact that none of these people have ever been "responsible" for him at all, even though they were in-fact "responsible" for him...Except for you at this point...However, you've only been his daddy for about a year, and something that you need to keep in-mind is that at this point, Enzo probably doesn't even fully trust you...And I'm emphasizing fully because he obviously does trust you, he's formed an extremely close bond with you, he loves you very much, and he's been able to overcome any of his prior "baggage", his insecurities, his discomfort and anxiety with people, and he's definitely taken a huge step in allowing you to be his "person"...That all being said, after only a year being with you, and after 13 years of being neglected and traded and sold very much like a used car, Enzo may still not entirely be certain in his own head that you are truly going to be his "Forever-Person" or his "Forever-Home"...And who can blame him for that doubt, after all, it's been created by the very people who were supposed to love him and keep him safe, secure, and be his family...Try imagining being 14 years old and already having had 3 "families"...If you really try to imagine that, it's quite unsettling and disturbing.

So what I'm getting at is the fact that you're still building your own very close, special bond with Enzo, and you're still working on earning his full-trust at this point...and it's your responsibility to not only ensure that you keep building this bond with Enzo and earning his trust, and making sure that you don't start to spend much less time with him because of your significant other, but also your responsibility to educate Kelly about just how intelligent, emotional, sensitive, and human-like Enzo actually is, about his prior history up until the point that you brought him into your life, and how absolutely devastating it would be to Enzo's physical, psychological, and emotional health if you were to drastically reduce the amount of attention you give him and the time that you spend with him...let alone if you were to actually re-home him for a 4th time in 14 years; that would be very-literally life-altering for Enzo, meaning the rest of his very long life would be effected in every possible way negatively, and it could very well devastate his overall quality of life forever...I don't think there is any chance of that happening based on what you've already stated, thank God, but you need to make sure that Kelly fully understands the situation, and the dynamics of Enzo and your relationship and time spent with him...Hopefully Kelly moving-in with you and Enzo will be a very positive thing, and actually a help in the not only the 3 of you starting to spend time together, as a family-unit, but also will reduce the amount of time you'll be spending away from Enzo, which will in-turn lessen his jealousy towards Kelly....

LordTriggs 07-16-2018 04:47 AM

Re: stability for parrots.
 
It's good to see Kelly making more of an effort, I'm sure given time and understanding they can at least become acquaintances and interact. Unfortunately Enzo has only really known you so now Kelly is coming to clearly steal you, she needs to figureo ut the new dynamic and accept that there is a new flock member in the house


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