Friday, May 1, 2009

New Beginnings

Spring is naturally a time for new beginnings. Our new beginning arrived as a 10 week old hand-fed, hand-raised baby Cockatiel! Our family has always had a bird, from the week I was married through today. We began with a parakeet (Ruffles) that used to participate with us in relay races down the hall (he always won) and then another one (Frosty) who was THE sweetest bird we had ever had. He'd take a bath in my hands, fluttering his wings and singing to himself -totally vulnerable, total trusting. He was a hard act to follow and none of the birds following his death ever lived up to that standard. Until this new addition! We named him Frosty in honor of the first bird and he is already living up to the name. He's incredibly vocal and spends lots of time practicing whistles and tunes until all of a sudden, he gets the pattern right. It's pretty cute. Kind of reminds me of when my son and daughter began learning their band instruments. At any rate, out 17 year old Cockatiel is also singing a new, happier song these days. They aren't kept in the same cage and haven't had close contact with each other yet but I think they will eventually get along very well. Meanwhile, Frosty seems to be fascinated with Shady, one of our Border Collies. If Shady's in the room, Frosty will take off towards him. He's managed to land on Shady's back a couple of times now while Shady just looks at me, smiling, knowing that if he "leaves the birdie", he'll get a cookie. Once the flea and tick prevention season begins, however, we don't allow birds out when the dogs are in the same room. The prevention medicine could be harmful and probably fatal for a bird since it is absorbed quickly through the skin.