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Old 02-26-2019, 10:29 PM
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Marching down an uncertain road

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I never imagined I could possibly be posting this, But hopefully we’re catching this in time.

I’m profoundly concerned I see the big R word in our distant future, and I don’t know how to stop it, and the thought that I don’t know how to get off this merry go round is really upsetting.

Rehome.

We’re still a long way - couple years - from reaching any crossroads. We’re not there yet. But I feel like I can see it a mile away.

Here’s the situation, which is primarily two fold:

My partner Eddie has been incredibly accommodating of Parker. But I see him becoming somewhat annoyed with Parker. Parker’s been more vocal, but it’s not anything abnormal. Parker’s always been pretty quiet. But the last six months I’d say he’s become more like a normal bird, alarm vocals with something outside, sudden screams when someone enters the room. Just normal parrot noise making. Not at all excessive.

It’s a minor annoyance, but I know Eddie. And I can see his annoyance eventually ballooning up in him. I can ignore it, it’s just Parker being a parrot. Eddie is not a bird person.

The other challenge is the dogs. We dogsit as a side business, which is absolutely necesssary to help pay bills. This business has grown beyond what we ever thought. July through December last year we were nearly booked solid with almost no breaks, save for a few odd days here and there. This will be going on for a number of years, guaranteed.

When we have dogs, Parker doesn’t really get out of cage time for his safety. I want to emphasize he’s still around us. He has two cages: one in his room where he is during the day, and one in the living room with us. When we are home he is in his living room cage with us 5 feet away. Just not out being held much.

We strive to find a balance for him, but the honest truth is he is lucky to get half an hour a day out of cage time. So you can imagine how much time he spent out of cage the second half of last year.

The guilt at the lack of out of cage time is a bit of a weight on my shoulders.

That’s where I am: annoyed partner and Parker not getting much out of cage personal time. It’s manageable, but I have to be intellectually honest: these ingredients don’t point to an outcome that ends well.

Like I said, it’s all still in a very early simmer, we haven’t reached any sort of crossroads, but I feel that I’ve set on a road marching me to a gravity well of inevitability suck us into rehoming.

So I turn to you, dear friends. HOW ON EARTH DO I TURN THIS AROUND BEFORE ITS TOO LATE???

Last edited by chris-md; 02-26-2019 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:37 AM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

A tough choice, Chris. Life has a way of morphing, and your high level of ethics confronts the rather obvious solution many would find satisfactory: Consign Parker to an increasingly caged life and rationalize a few minutes contact daily as acceptable.

Two substantial issues, and one perhaps less obvious:

1- Eddie may have sensitivity issues with Parker's increased vocalizations. I have no idea, but doubt any sort of training or conditioning can alter this progression. Is Eddie willing to explore possible therapies or immersion to improve tolerance?

2- The dogs. Can Parker be out of his cage in the day room while the dogs are in the living room? Sort of a compromise between out time and having direct contact with you. Alternatively, might a much larger cage in the living room give him far more room with more toys?

Lastly, I seem to recall Parker is trending towards less tolerance of handling. Correct me if wrong, may have the wrong situation. Might this have a subliminal corrosive effect on your relationship?
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:27 AM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

I'm so very sorry you are feeling this way Chris. Still it's great that you have the courage and foresight to face this thing now, rather than letting it spiral out of control. You do NOT want to end up feeling backed into a corner and making a decision you may come to regret.

I've always thought that birds, more than pretty much any other companion animal, are far more an emotional investment, and for various reasons they seem to require everyone in the household to be onboard.

Rehoming is not always the "wrong" thing to do, but it is always a very difficult thing to do. I've done it before when I genuinely thought that being with me was not the best thing for the bird and I still feel that way, even though it broke my heart (all over again!) to do it. I do not know the dynamic in your household, and I don't know how long you have had Parker for. Or whether it is possible for you to perhaps downsize the dog-sitting to enable Parker to have more time out with his flock.

Maybe just take some time out to reassess and take stock. You clearly love Parker and want what’s best for him, and are very sensibly taking the long view - I hope you are able to find a solution that enables you to keep your family happy and intact.
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Last edited by LaManuka; 02-27-2019 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:05 AM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

This is a tough situation all around but I have a couple of ideas to toss out there.

-you could try training Parker to use a less offensive sound, or block his view of things outside when Eddie is home. For example Flick whispers for attention instead of screaming.

-I understand that you need that income; finances can be harsh, but is it possible that, since you see this problem coming in a couple of years, that you could find a different way to make that amount? In the meantime maybe we can help you brainstorm ways to get Parker more time when the dogs are there, which would probably help with the other things as well.


But understand this, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!! Whether you find a way to keep Parker or if you have to face the heartbreaking choice to part with him, we are here for you.


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Old 02-27-2019, 07:26 AM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

Awww Chris, I hate to hear you may be faced with a terrible decision to make, I hope it doesn’t come to that. I can definitely relate to the situation you are faced with though. Your dog sitting business is a positive thing both for you and your customers, giving it up isn’t an option. You and Eddie obviously have a busy lifestyle, just not enough minutes in the day. Is it possible to squeeze a little more quality time with Parker in somewhere, sometimes a few extra minutes of one on one time can make a lot of difference. We know parrots are sensitive and don’t care for change, maybe Parker is having trouble adapting to sharing his humans with the constant four legged visitors. I like Scott’s idea of a huge cage in the same room, that way Parker would be safe but still included in family time. I’m also wondering if Parker’s vocalizing could be due to hormones in which case the extra noise could be temporary? I hope some of our members can offer great advice, we can’t lose you and Parker and you can’t lose each other. There must be a beautiful solution somewhere.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:10 AM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

Allee makes a great point on the hormones! A lot of that can be controlled with diet ESPECIALLY with a bird that already eats fresh food well! If you can switch him largely to veggies and off of fruit for the spring that may really help!


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Old 02-27-2019, 12:09 PM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

Is there a correlation between Parker's increased noise level and his lack out of cage time?

My first thought was 'balance'. I don't know anything about your dog business, but can the dogs be treated to their fair share of kennel/treat/chewy time allowing Parker to have a couple hours of freedom?
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:49 PM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

Eddie can take the dogs for a walk and park visit, giving you time to spend with Parker. Also you make your own large dog kennel diy out of fencing, and then the dogs can hang out in the living room kennel while you have bird time. I used to do this with my dog when I couldn't trust her with my bird. The dog was happy took a nap chewed on chrw toy, still felt like she was part of the pack. And I could safely play with my bird. Defy your parrot is getting frustrated by lack of out of cage time, and that definitely leads to screaming or increased vocolization.
I changed my life and gave up pets before for a significant other, and I will never do that again.
If you want to make it work with your parrot you can. A quote I love and live by "decide what you want, and then decide what you are willing to give up to get it"
If instead rehoming is the best for you, then find the best home and go ahead, waiting will just lead to more behavior issues with your Parrot.
I hope all participants envolved make small sacrifices each to make keeping him work.
Thank you for your honest sharing.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:10 PM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

Quote: Originally Posted by SassiBird View Post
Is there a correlation between Parker's increased noise level and his lack out of cage time?

My first thought was 'balance'. I don't know anything about your dog business, but can the dogs be treated to their fair share of kennel/treat/chewy time allowing Parker to have a couple hours of freedom?
In my mind, the above is a perfect evaluation of the required changes.
It sounds like the dogs take-over the home and Parker is pushed to the back-corner of life. To be very honest, you are very lucky that the most you are experiencing with Parker is this very small shift.

We had a family member stay for a couple of months. Our Yellow-Winged Amazon near drove everyone out-of-house with his screaming. As soon as the family member left, life returned to a normal Amazon home. Biggest mistake we made was the visiting family member got front and center and Darby was cut-out of normal household activities.

Sure sounds like poor Parker is getting the short-end of the current deal.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:21 PM
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Re: Marching down an uncertain road

I read everybody's thoughts and I like the range of good ideas.

Two marriages, one boyfriend, and several jobs later (not in that order), I have pretty much begged, borrowed and stolen in order to keep the Rickeybird. Some will say that it's been unfair to various parties, avian and human. I dunno. But as the Sage One said, no matter what, we're here for you.
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