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Dear Parrots magazine,

Unexpected ownership

It can be fascinating to hear how parrot owners come to have a parrot. I suspect many buy them like any other animal, but how I came to be the owner of an African Grey was quite unexpected.

It was just over eight years ago when a friend of a friend, who had a parrot, became unwell. She was only in her fifties, but had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My friend, who was her friend, told me how her health was deteriorating and what was going to happen to her African Grey parrot. Sadly she passed away and my friend was going into her house to feed the parrot until its future would be determined. This went on for a few weeks until a family member appeared to take control, and to everyone’s horror, she said she would have the Grey put down.

This story got out to the community and everyone was aghast to think this perfectly healthy bird would be destroyed. Like many others, I was becoming quite upset about this and offered to take Barney, as he was called, into my care until a permanent home could be found. Well, he never left me and that’s how I became a parrot owner. However, and as what inevitably happens, I was completely won over and couldn’t believe why I had never considered having a parrot before.

Barney has turned out to be a dream, he is affectionate to me and will sit on a stand by my desk as I work for most of the day. He just loves my company. I am completely converted and cannot for the life of me, wonder how the relative of his previous owner could possibly have him put to sleep. Just unbelievable.

Shirley Acton, by email




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