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Dear Parrots magazine,

The Most Wonderful Gift

Recently I read an article in a local newspaper, about how parents have again given bunnies as gifts to children as Easter presents. The article went on to say what an inappropriate gift an animal was for Easter. A similar article is written each year around Christmas about the gift of puppies and kittens. Ok, I get it, animals as gifts can end up as unwanted and neglected pets.

But then there is the 10 month old Moluccan Cockatoo my Mother gave me as a gift, that she bought on a trip to Hawaii. A couple of years later, I was accompanying my Mother on weekly flights from Syracuse, New York to New York City, for her cancer treatment. She was sitting next to me. She had lost her hair due to chemo, her wig was askew, and I thought she was sleeping. My Mother spoke without opening her eyes, and said “Your bird is spoiled” I said, what? She said “You have spoiled your bird.” I said what does that mean? It means I have treated my bird too kindly. After all, I said, he reminds me of you. My Mother’s eyes flung open wide and she said “what do you mean by that?” I said that he is gentle and funny and downright sweet. She closed her eyes and smiled and said “I’m glad I bought him for you, he will look after you when I’m gone.” On 24 April 1994, my Mother passed away. Max is the most wonderful gift I have ever received.

Yes, many of those pet bunnies, puppies and kittens were misguided gifts from parents. With Mothers’ Day coming up, it’s nice to remember that a pet can sometimes be the perfect gift. They can even become a perfect lifetime gift.

Dr Allen M Dresher, New York



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