Tuesday, October 28, 2014

So Long, Skipper

Well, our family has just gotten a little smaller. After years of talking about it and months of stressing out about it, we have found a new, much more fitting forever home for Skipper.

We had a feeling this would be the result when Eddy was born. To be honest, we were dreading his reaction to her because normally when he hears a baby cry, squeal, laugh, or make any other noise for that matter, he responds with a pretty ear-piercing scream of his own. But, to our surprise and relief, he seemed to understand that our baby was taken care of and he didn't need to let us know about it.

So we thought maybe we would be able to keep him. Unfortunately, though he is much more pleasant about Eddy than we anticipated, he still has his needs that we don't have the time or energy to attend to.

Caring for Skipper is like caring for a toddler. He needs a lot of our time and attention and will scream if he doesn't get what he wants. What makes it hard is the fact that he hates me. If we would accept any affection, or food from me without attacking me, it might be a different story. But he only wants it from Shawn and Shawn just isn't home enough for it to be fair for Skipper.

We also think Skipper is lonely. He sits by himself for most of the day and screams when he sees our neighbors out the window.

He's a sad little dude, and we needed to do something about it.

The we were informed about Pacific Parrot Placement.

PPP is a local 501(C)(3) that helps people rehome their parrots. Once I heard about them, I filled out their Placement Registration Form and was contacted by them within 5 days with the message that they had a potential match for Skipper. The email included a little information about the possible candidate. It sounded pretty good so I filled out the Release Agreement form which officially switched ownership of Skipper to PPP (they actually retain ownership of him forever, so they have the right to take him back if they feel the new owner is not a good fit.) This agreement can be rescinded by us at any point in the process if we decided to keep him afterall. Once the papers were in from both parties with a donation from us ($50, which we were happy to pay to an organization that does this amazing work,) we got the contact information from Skipper's new daddy.

Then it was up to us to contact him. I emailed him with more info about Skipper and asked for more info about him. Though we were pretty eager to get Skipper out of here, we also felt an obligation to make sure that this new home was right for him. I asked him a few questions, one of them was whether he has any kids of his own or whether any kids may come around once in a while. To be honest, finding a home with kids would have been ideal, but this new home sounds like a winner.

We dropped him off at his new house on Sunday and were super happy with his new digs. He has a nice long hallway to practice his flying and his new Amazon friend named June is already enamored with him. (He also has two African Greys to hang out with.) He will also get periodic weekend visits from two children. His new owner is very experienced with parrots, and sounds like he devotes a lot of his time to caring for his "children." He also seems really chill about the way he cares for them, and just wants his "kids" to be happy. He was talking about how he shares his fries and pizza with the birds, and allows them the freedom to just be birds. We hung out in the house for a while and we drove away feeling happy. Though it's weird to not have him around anymore, we're super happy that he finally has a home that is best suited for his species (second to the wild, or course.)

To conclude, let's reminisce.

Though super annoying more often than not, he provided us as well as all our guests with a ton of entertainment over the years. From his somewhat limited vocabulary, to his extensive sound effects, and ear-peircing screams, he was always making noise. Despite this, and maybe because of this, Skipper's intelligence was always fascinating to me. He just knew things, and you could tell he was thinking and calculating and manipulating. Cool and aggravating at the same time.

He brought many laughs and lots of joy to scores of kids. I took him in to work on at least five different occasions over the years and he made a show out of the whole thing each time. Since he was always happy to see new people he'd never met, he would also put on a show for all of our guests, oftentimes being the life of many a party. The video above is of him putting on one of his shows. He thought he was a pretty good singer. He wasn't. But it was sure funny.

Since we dropped him off, I've been getting occasional picture messages from his new daddy. Here he is with his girlfriend, June. (Though he seems to be more interested in whatever he's eating than in his new friend.)

Skipper's on the left, June on the right :)

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