Everyday is a battle

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All days start the same, the moment I awake and hesitate moving for fear of the pain. By now I should know that it is always there waiting. Slowly I move my legs and try to sit up. This takes a few tries and then finally I am in a sitting position. After a few moments then I try to stand up, this again takes a few attempts. Then I stagger my way down the hallway, praying I make it to the bathroom in time. Then my coffee, cup full of pills and my insulin. I sit thinking what my day will be like, moving my legs and arms a bit to see if they have loosened up at all. Holding my cup of coffee with both hands for fear I will drop it. Also taking check on my emotions and if today will be a happy day or one that grief, despair and depression will rule. I always have high hopes the night before and make my To-Do list for the following day. In the mornings as I look at my list, I automatically start checking things off that I know will not get done today.

I finally make myself get up and start moving, dressing and preparing to feed and clean the birds. So I gather bowls for washing, and begin to prepare all the fresh foods. I fill all the bowls the night before with their dry foods to help save time in the mornings. Some days just doing birdie breakfast can take me a couple of hours. This may or may not include changing some of their papers as I go along. Once their breakfast/brunch is complete, I have to sit and rest my joints for a bit. During this time I am now fully aware of where my body is for the day and so I can then check my To-Do list again to see what I will truly be able to accomplish. If it is a bad day then there are tears, tears for what I have lost and tears for who I was.

My greatest fear is for what is to come. Not for myself but for my precious angels. I already know that I will not be able to continue caring for them as long as I had originally planned for. I will have to say goodbyes to them sooner than I ever expected. Just the thought of this brings me so much sadness. My human children are grown but I also worry how much of a burden I might become for them. I look at my precious grandson and so wish I could run and play with him. He and I have a special bond that I feel so blessed to have, but I know the older he gets the more I will become the old Nana that can’t play and have fun with him.

No matter if it is a good morning or an extremely painful one, these are the thoughts that run through my mind each morning. I am glad that my mornings are alone, so that I can get most of these tears and thoughts out of my head before I have to see or talk to anyone. I call them mornings, but this whole process takes me until noon or 1pm to finally just get the morning things done for the birds and my mental and physical checklists done.

Then I move forward with the rest of my day. I use to have my house cleaned, birds all taken care of and dinner planned out and prepped by noon. Now I am happy to just have the birds taken care of by noon. The rest of my day is still many disappointments of all the things I cannot do. I try to be positive and happy with the things I can accomplish….but that other person I use to be is always there lurking in the quiet corners of my yesterdays. I miss her very much.

Deborah

Memories on a Breeze

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It was a warm and sunny afternoon,  a lovely breeze blew through open  windows and the tinkling of wind chimes faintly played their lullaby.  Her little eyes began to shut as the warm summer air ruffled her feathers ever so slightly. All the sounds of her home began to fade as she drifted into a little summer nap. She was so warm and cozy and began to feel a memory of something….maybe from long ago. Maybe this was just another dream or a memory that was not hers. It came from a place so very far away and while it seemed so familiar, she knew she had never seen this place before.  The air had such wonderful aromas and she could almost remember tasting the tropical plants and berries that she saw. She watched as many birds were playing in a nearby pool of water, while others seem to play a game of tag flying up and down and above the trees. It was so beautiful here and the birds flew so high, there were no ceilings to stop them or doors too keep them in. She had never flown so high before herself, and that thought of doing so, made her a little frightened. How would they get back down, who would be there to help them.  But as she watched these other birds flying, she saw how very happy they were, they had no fear as they flew and manipulated their way between the trees, it was as though it was something they had done all their lives.

She began to wonder where the humans were, Could it be that these birds were all by themselves. There were no cages for them to go back into. There were no food bowls, swings or perches. She became frightened for a minute, who would bring her food and make sure she was safe, how could she survive out here with no humans to care for her in this wild place. As she watched on though, she saw that none of the birds were afraid. She could feel their happiness and that this was their home. They were allowed to live freely and fly about as much as they wanted. That brought on another thought, she wondered who chose? Who decided, who would remain free and who would be in cages? The thought was perplexing and a bit sad. Why had it been decided she would live in a humans home, was she too weak to live in this wonderful place? Was she not like these other birds in some way. The thought only made her more sad and confused.

Another little breeze blew through her open window and she wakened from her little sleepy nap. She was once again in her safe home with her loving human, who took such good care of her.  She loved this person, they gave her good food and loving little snuggles and scritches. They made sure she was safe and healthy. They gave her everything she needed. However the memory of that other place lingered for a few minutes longer….. what a wonderful place that had been, she wished she could visit there again. She secretly wished she could live in such a place and fly as free and high as all those other birds.

Deborah
Feathered Angels 2017

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE GETTING CHEMO & PETS by Rebecca, Oncologist RN

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FROM African Grey Parrot Lovers & Oliver’s Eclectus Page

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE GETTING CHEMO & PETS by Rebecca, Oncologist RN

DISCLAIMER: We cannot diagnose any illness here on the page. ALWAYS consult your own medical specialist with any health related questions. Content published on this page is commentary or opinion, and is protected under Free Speech. It is only provided for educational and entertainment purposes and is in no way intended as a substitute for professional advice. The administrators and page and the author assume no responsibility for the use or misuse of any of the published material. Your use of this page and information indicates your agreement to these terms.

*This information is for educational purpose and NOT intended to replace the advice of your personal oncologist. Always follow the advice of your oncologist.

***This is not an exhaustive list, but basic info to help you during a difficult time in your life.***
The following is important information for anyone receiving chemotherapy for cancer and tips for caring for parrots and other pets during treatments. The chemo is excreted in your urine and other body fluids for 48 hours to several days after you have your chemo, so be sure your pets don’t drink from the toilet to prevent exposure to toxins of the chemo and clean up any spills. Protect your pets and family members from any body fluids, including your saliva for 7 days after chemo. Hand washing is very important not only for you but to protect your birds and other pets.
Depending on the chemo you are given, approximately 5-14 days after your chemo you reach what is called your “nadir”, which is the lowest point that an individual’s blood cell count will reach as a side effect of the chemotherapy. I will discuss 3 blood counts that are affected by chemo; the White blood count (WBC) which is your first line of defense against infection, red blood count (RBC) which carry oxygen throughout your body,and platelets, which help the blood to clot, leaving the patient open for infection, anemia which causes fatigue, and bleeding.The nadir for each blood cell type occurs at different times.The white blood count (WBC) is usually 7-14 days following the last day of chemo, and it depends on your treatment regime. Your oncologist will probably check your blood counts one week after your chemo. WBC fight bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders that can cause infection, so you should avoid situations which could lead to increased risk of infection.
A temperature 100.4-5 or higher is the FIRST sign of infection and requires a call to the doctor or trip to ER. During the 5-14 days (nadir) it is best to take your temperature twice a day. The nadir usually resolves and counts slowly return to normal in about 3-4 weeks, just in time for your next treatment, so, the entire time you receive treatment, you must be very careful. If you look up the definition of nadir in the dictionary it is “the lowest point; of greatest adversity or despair.” Sounds scary, huh? It’s not just a simple warning, but a very serious one. If your WBC is low, and some get extremely low, you are susceptible to any infections, which includes bacteria, viruses, and any foreign invaders, and if your platelets are low, you can experience serious bleeding.
The best way to prevent bleeding during chemo, as far as our pets are concerned, is to avoid any scratches or cuts by keeping their nails trimmed. Also, avoid any bites. If your parrot acts agitated do not push your luck. A bite could lead to serious bleeding and infection.
If you have cats, you know that a cat bite is dangerous even if you aren’t getting chemo, but during this time the bite or scratch could land you in the hospital. If your parrot’s nails are sharp, trim them and/or put a towel or cloth over your hand before picking him up. Even minor scratches can lead to severe bleeding if you don’t have platelets to clot your blood.
After holding your parrot or playing with other pets, wash your hands well to prevent transmission of bacteria etc., it would be best to wear a mask and gloves when handling your exotic bird and other pets during the Nadir, but hand washing is also very important. Even if you wear gloves, you must be very vigilant during this time, it is extremely important to avoid infections and bleeding at all costs. Infections usually occur in the lungs, mouth, throat, sinuses and skin. If you get a scratch or cut watch carefully for redness or swelling and temperature. Sometimes your temp will go up before you see any redness.
Do not handle animal waste such as cat litter, bird cages/waste, and fish tanks, but if you MUST clean them, wear a good mask and rubber gloves. The normal masks may not protect you completely. Wash hands well afterward. Warm soapy water is fine, but be sure you wash every part of your hands, front, back, wrists etc and nails..the best way to know if you have washed long enough is to sing ‘happy birthday to you’, twice. It’s not enough to just run your hands under the water.
If you have someone who can clean your bird’s cage, and cat litter box, that would be best. Even folding up a newspaper with bird waste on it or the dust from litter boxes while scooping can be inhaled. Spray down the bird papers with water and with several drops of GSE (grapefruit seed extract) in the bottle before removing them to keep the dust from going airborne. GSE in the bottle will help keep mold and bacteria from growing. Dust free cat litter is available.
Cats can get toxoplasmosis from eating mice, so, watch your cats, especially if they go outdoors. If your pet gets sick with vomiting, diarrhea etc, do not clean it up yourself, have someone on-call who can help you. Take them to the vet to be sure you know what is causing the sickness. DO NOT be afraid to ask for help. These are not things to scare you but to let you that your health and wellness during chemo is extremely important. You don’t have to get rid of your pets, but just be very careful. Our pets bring us comfort and can be beneficial to our well-being and healing.
ALWAYS ask your oncologist about caring for pets during chemo as your situation could be different. Be sure they know you have an exotic bird and last but not least, be sure you have emergency plans in place in case you have to be hospitalized during your treatment. Do you have someone who can care for your pets? It’s best to make these plans before you start your treatments.

My Journey with Chronic Illness

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First off I want to make sure everyone understands that I feel so very blessed. This is in no way a plea for sympathy. Oh I have had those moments and many tears shed but now I realize that was not going to help me in anyway. I had kept all my pain private until just recently and by sharing I was overwhelmed with such an out pour of love and understanding. I also was surprised by how many others were suffering with their own private battles with illness and pain and they also felt so alone. This broke my heart to know so many lovely people were in pain and keeping it all to themselves, as if it was an embarrassment or something we caused or did to ourselves.

I know personally I felt like there was so much happening all at once to me that it sounded preposterous. I also felt like a whiner should I mention any of it to anyone. I have always been one to want to help others, keep a brave front and smile no matter what! When all of my illnesses began to show up, I thought I could just control them all and it wouldn’t be an issue. That my life could carry on just the same and nobody need ever know. Quickly I began to realize that was going to be impossible to do. For one my body was fighting against me completely. I was not resting or slowing down as I should have. I was trying to cover up the pain and work through it in hopes it would just go away.

Sadly all my fighting through the pain was actually making it worse. I felt as if my whole life was going in a very dark direction and the depression began to set in. I closed myself off from all the outside world. I was having issues getting my own doctor to listen to me, and I allowed it. I asked for referral to specialists, and he declined the need. I complained about weight gain even though I was eating practically nothing and again he just told me to eat less rather than explore what might be happening instead.  I accepted whatever he said, even when I knew it was wrong. But I just didn’t want to fight and he was my doctor so I allowed him to tell me that a lot of it was in my head. I was hurting so bad and felt so alone that I was actually fearing how quickly my body was deteriorating and how very limited my time might be. I was giving up….and that is not me. One final visit to my doctor shocked me completely out of this downward spiral. His total lack of caring was so evident that I knew this man could not be in charge of my life any longer. This gave me the kick I needed to take back my life and all decisions regarding my body and illnesses.

Once I allowed my friends and family to know what was happening, it felt like such a relief and to finally have those who cared about me, giving me positive feed back, ideas and input. I was no longer alone and the dark place I had been headed was immediately a thing of my past. I am still going through doctors and trying to find just the right ones. I implore all of you who might be having the same issues to please do not give up and if your own physician is not listening to you…..please please please go get a second and third or however many opinions it takes, until you feel like they are hearing you and caring for you. We are paying their bills and they work for us, not the other way around!

Educate yourself on whatever illness you may have. Join boards or social media groups, it can not only help to educate you, but also keep you from feeling isolated. Study all your medications and ask questions of not only your doctors but others who have taken these meds. Make sure you are fully aware of the side affects, long term conditions etc. You make the choices and decisions on what is going to be best for you!

My own battles are:
Severe Rheumatoid Disease also known as Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is a progressive destructive disease where the immune cells attack the joints and organs, and they degenerate. It cause deformity and pain to the joints especially in the hands and feet but not limited to.  RA also attacks the heart and lungs.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to “run the body’s metabolism,” People with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism. Fatigue, weakness, cold sensitivity, weight gain, depression, memory loss etc.

I am also now a diabetic and I am type 1. Most people who are diagnosed later in life are type 2 however in my case it has been discovered that I am type 1. From my diabetes going unchecked for so long,  I have also developed diabetic neuropathy,  which damages the nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. It causes numbness and tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Another symptom is a burning, sharp, or aching pain (diabetic nerve pain). My fingers are almost completely numb now and I am not sure if this can be reversed or at least improved on but I am hoping.

I have degenerative disc disease and have already had two back surgeries to shave down the herniated portions on different discs.

I have recurring kidney stones, one I had to have surgically removed due to the size. Since then the others have been smaller and while still painful not nearly like the first one that was 6mm

Most of my illnesses are autoimmune disorders and it becomes very complicated to treat each one as the medications needed for one, can counteract medications for another.

Every day has pain, each step I take feels like I am walking on sharp little stones. Mornings are my worst and it takes me an hour or longer to move without holding onto things as I go. Just getting out of bed became a struggle, not because I didn’t want to get up, but actually being able to move and get up took a great deal of effort and pain to get moving. I have to set up all my med cups the night before as it takes far too long in the mornings to get them done. Sometimes giving my insulin shots to myself is difficult as my fingers and hands are so stiff. Picking up the smallest of items can feel like 50 lbs to me. Holding my larger birds is almost impossible some days. I can no longer feel the soft feathers of my birds or even the tender skin of my grandson. While I plan out my daily routines, there are some days I can barely feed birds and do the basics around the house. I cannot walk long distances and definitely not without someone with me as my knees can give out without any warning. A shopping trip means the next day is full of pain and very little done. I am a little OCD when it comes to cleaning so I just clean every moment I can in order to keep it all done, but this consumes so much time that I don’t have time for the things I enjoy to do most days. This is just a very small portion of the changes I am going through but I want to share this so that others reading might want to open up and share as well. If not here at least with your family and friends.

Going forward I will be devoting a section here in my blog for anyone who would like to chime in on their own struggles. I will also try to share new ways of doing things that might be easier for anyone with chronic pain. Most importantly I want to make sure that nobody feels alone. We are all going to have less than perfect moments but we do NOT need to suffer alone!

deborah

“Actions Speak Louder than Words”

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I am their voice 3 for Paula

When we support a group, cause, organization or mission…we need to realize that our actions are a direct reflection on the very causes we are trying to promote. We here in the avian community represent many organizations, causes or missions. We strive to present our cause on behalf of all the birds who are in need. Rather it be educational, ethics, health, or raising awareness and funds for the large number of Rescues, Re-homing Organizations, and Shelters that are in desperate need. We are here trying to bring about awareness for our particular causes and in hopes of helping birds everywhere.

In being part of any of the wonderful groups out there, comes a bit of responsibility on our part. If we truly want to do everything we can to help share and promote then we also need to make sure that we are representing these organizations in a fashion that will draw in favorable attention. We need to be accountable for not only our Words but also our Actions. If we are hoping to share and receive empathy for these precious birds, then should we not also be conducting ourselves in a way that will shed a favorable light onto the very causes in which we represent?

We are All accountable. If we represent or support a group and then go about in other places spreading hateful agenda, then we are hurting the very causes that we profess to be wanting to help. Our actions speak volumes on the type of people we are. If we are going about gossiping and trying to hurt the reputations of others who might be in a different group or organization, how is that going to be perceived by others. Will they feel that your cause is something they want to support or be a part of? In most instances the answer will be no.

Our own actions have a direct effect on whatever cause we work for. If we are viewed as gossipy and trouble making then that is the kind of people we are going to be attracting to the groups and this will not help in the least. So in conclusion, if you wish to be respected and thought of well and expect others to follow your causes,Then you must practice a code of ethics that include morals, dignity and honesty. Be accountable for your words and actions… The old saying is still true today “Actions Speak Louder than Words”. What you do is watched far more closely than what you say, because your actions speak your true intentions and feelings.

Your Language Highway

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by Kathy LaFollett from Flockcall

Original article Your Language Highway

kermit

I learned two important lessons with my first companion, a budgie named Charlie.  Charlie was a gift through my Dad. Mom wasn’t too keen on the idea of a bird in her new home. But Dad looked into my adorable 11 year old eyes and melted like butter. Which was one of my best skills back then.  Charlie lived in my bedroom with me. Ground rules were set upon arrival. The first ground rule never made it to practice though.  Charlie was to stay in his cage. I believed that ground rule was made simply because Mom didn’t understand the magic of a Charlie.

I would help her understand the magic.

And so for 6 and some years she and I danced around issues with her biting her tongue and me not paying attention. Charlie and I built a fast and wonderful relationship. I let him out every day after school to be Charlie as Charlie saw fit. Eventually Charlie would stop perching on curtains and running around on my bed to be with me at my desk or art table. I just loved Charlie for Charlie. I never expected him to be anything more than himself.

My bedroom had 3 inch orange shag carpeting.  And that carpeting had millet seed. And that was my very first lesson taught to me through Mom. Unreasonable Expectations. You had to expect millet seed in the shag carpeting. Mom did not.

Charlie taught me a language.  A deep path of communication that created a language highway based on trust. Not the word trust, but the acronym. You see, trust as defined in the dictionary isn’t a real thing. It’s a nice idea, but impossible for humans to practice sincerely. We aren’t built for it. We think we trust, but we always have reservations to it. And when you make something conditional, even in your heart privately, then you aren’t trusting at all.

I’m talking about the acronym T.R.U.S.T. Which when applied to your companion relationship will create a deeper communication that results in a powerful language highway.

T. stands for TIME. 

I get one question more than any other during my day; How long will it take for my bird to “XYZ”?  I always answer, “I don’t know, have you asked your bird?”

Parrot Time is not Human Time.  Parrots live in the now. They are here, right now, doing that which they can and want to do, now. There’s no later, tomorrow or next week. There’s only now.

Humans qualify, store, section, collect, label, and spend time through measurements. We use seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years to store our time. We section off time through work, goals, projects and people. We view time in sections, and most of the time we aren’t looking at the section we are in, we are worrying about a section that isn’t here yet.

Somewhere we humans forgot the real value of time. In some cultures the elders of family and community were revered and respected simply for being old and full of wisdom. Now we put old people in buildings so they can live out the rest of their days quietly. We revered master craftsmen, scholars, teachers, preachers and those that spend a lifetime to become deep and wide in their knowledge and experiences.

The best relationships require time. Celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary means so much. You don’t marry the first person you date, and you don’t hand your house keys to a person you meet on the street.

We can only do three different actions with time. We can invest it, waste it or save it. That’s it. Investing our time pays off in more time or a better life quality. Wasting time is never to be seen again and brings no value add. Saved time creates more time to invest or save.  The term “spending time” expresses no real action for your time. Looking at time in this manner it’s easy to decide where our time went. By investing time with our companion parrots we will create understanding and communication.

Parrots are simple. They are yes/no, up/down, yin/yang.  So you are either investing or wasting in their eyes.

Consider your time, and invest it wisely with your flock and family to create clear communication and understanding. Those are the bedrocks of your personal language highway.

R. is for RESPECT

Not just respect for your parrot, but for the sincere truth inside your lifestyle and it’s communication.  It is imperative we respect the truth that time will need to be invested sincerely with no expectations to create a personal language highway.

Easier said than done for a human.  The world has become an impatient place. Our days are filled with impatient people and work demands. We want what we want when we want it. And we are so busy wanting we forget why we really wanted in the first place. Expediency has wiped out our realities. That’s why I rarely fix parrots. I’m always fixing humans.

The real question we need to ask every morning is this; What do we want WITH our parrot, not FROM our parrot.

When we share our world with a companion parrot, they are not bystanders. They are participants. They need and want to be part of all we do as a flock. We need to respect the truth of this matter.

I recently helped a flock when the mom contacted me in a very frustrated mood.  She began simply; she was thoroughly frustrated and had been for weeks, and it had been building for months.  I asked her to explain. She put together a grocery list of wants from her bird. A grocery list of reasons why she wanted what she wanted, and a third list as to why her bird just could not be tolerated one more minute in her life.  This was the last stand.  Which caught me completely off guard. This flock had been together for years. This flock had grown and prospered and been shared with friends and family for years. This flock, I thought, was one of the most stable I had ever met.  But then, aren’t we all very good at showing others what we want them to see, rather than what is the daily truth of it all?

I asked her to tell me what the most pressing problem to her, and to tell me what she wanted most.

“I want my bird to stop screaming”, she said so very frustrated.  I asked why.  That did not help her frustration. But, it had to be answered.

“I want my bird to stop screaming so I can think!”
I asked why. That didn’t help her frustration either. But, it had to be answered.

“I want my bird to stop screaming, so I can think and work!”
I asked why. Again, this had to be answered no matter her growling.

“I want my bird to stop screaming, so I can think and work because I have an electric bill I didn’t expect!”

And THAT was the real why. Her frustration has nothing to do with her bird. It had everything to do with money.  I suggested calling the Electric Company and working out a payment plan.  She recommended I do something with my head that sounded uncomfortable.

I reminded her we couldn’t work on her bird, until she could think.  She agreed to try. She called the Electric Company and then called me back after about 40 minutes.  Her stress and frustration was totally missing. I could here a smile in her voice. I couldn’t hear her bird screaming.

Where’s Pickles?” I asked directly.

“Oh, he’s eating his 4 o’clock grapes.” she explained.

Not having to work late, she was able to go back to her normal routines rather than going straight back into working after getting home. Because she handled the real problem she returned to the routines of communication her companion had missed so much. Their personal language highway once broken, had been restored.

We must respect the core truths of our motivations or we will waste time on the wrong problem. And wasted time can not contribute to communication and our language highway. Identify the real stressor. Then stop. Disconnect.

Unless you are standing in the middle of a burning building, you can stop and disconnect to reconnect to the real problem. I also suggest seeking medical help. You’ve a great caregiver in your home. You have a parrot. Consider your companion a house call. Play with a parrot and try to stay stressed. It’s not possible.

Respect their gift of being the reminder that life isn’t that complicated. By simply doing that we are allowing our companion to participate in our solution. And they will identify with that roll! That is a powerful communication moment. Have you ever offered comfort to a friend or family member in need. Just hugging them and being with them during a hard time. Do you remember feeling them relax in your arms and “let go” for that moment?  That release between the two of you was powerful.  Your parrot can feel that same powerful moment offering you comfort. Companions affect biology positively. They lower blood pressure, respiration and heart rate. They raise endorphins and calming brain waves. They are powerful medicine. I self-medicate with my parrots every day!

Inclusion is a form of language. It tells our companion they belong, they are part of a flock and they are integral.

U. is for UNDERSTANDING

They are exotic parrots. They can not be trained out of that truth. We have to wipe away unreasonable expectations. We are the humans, they are the exotics, but we are both intelligent, emotional, empathetic and cognitive. There is middle ground to be sown with language and understanding.

A parrot will always act like a parrot first. A reasonable expectation for a parrot is generally unreasonable for a human. Understand that truth.

When our parrots are behaving well to our expectations, they have chosen to modify natural instincts. Creating a language highway offers an active and constant communication, as parrots prefer.  Inside a parrot flock communication is a constant item. Unlike a human, parrots communication is never ending. By building that busy and consistent language we have created a Flock Mechanism.

Once inside a strong and communicating flock a parrot will choose to meet the flock’s (your) expectations before their own, for the benefit of the flock’s health and happiness. That truth is a natural instinct.  By creating an active, participating, respectful flock we literally build in a natural instinct to choose our expected behaviors over their own instinctive ideas.

That truth is the core to communication and a Successful Companion Parrot Lifestyle.  A flock driven by a strong language highway. Your communication creates the need for your companion to do what’s best for the flock’s health and happiness, which tends toward the human’s needs inside a human dynamic.  We forget, by joining a parrot with a human we have created a hybrid flocking mechanism. It is still a flock mechanism and our companions will look within it for truths.

In the wild a parrot can do anything. Anything they choose in flight or perch or ground. They have superpowers and with those powers they have full choice. Choices made are communication.  One way to build your personal language highway with your companion is by offering Immersive Choice.  Creating multiple options that offer multiple choice answers will give them the opportunity to communicate with you through choice patterns.  Because every action choice is communication inside a flock.

Immersive Communication requires inclusion, participation and your involvement. You are part of the hybrid flock.

By utilizing immersive choice and communication we offer a wider format of options that meet our parrot halfway between human need and parrot expectation.

S. is for SINCERITY

Sincerity is the only state of mind for a companion parrot. They are in the here and now and sincerely mean everything they do. Humans, not so much.  We tend to slide a few steps back from sincere. Sincerity requires full attention and participation. That’s what gets a human off track. To sincerely communicate and build a personal language path and understanding with our companions this requires our full attention while we are investing that time. Sincerity is being fully aware. Fully focused in the moment and participating. We should focus on them because they are focused on you.

Consider the sincerity of that invested time and remember we are creating a memory for us AND them.  They build on sincerity, they will seek our soft, kind voice. They will appreciate slower movements with new ideas and a patient approach during new flock transitions.

Two ways to offer sincere invested time with our companions is through Layering Interactions and Observing Interactions.

Layering interactions will make a short amount of available time, a high quality moment. Parrots don’t judge time by quantity, but by quality.  When interacting with your companion bring more than one activity to the moment. For example, when I share a meal with Snickers our macaw I also bring a spoon, small cup, a bowl of water and a block of wood in his favorite shape.  He’ll eat, play with his spoon, try to use the spoon on the food, dip his cup in the water to drink, and use the wood as an anvil when eating.  That last bit has been a Snickers signature move all his life.  I’ve layered a 30 minute experience with so much depth and conversation there wasn’t a moment left to idleness.

Observing interactions is simply waiting for our parrots to decide what the game is and how they want to spend time together.  By following rather than leading we can pick up on body language and the nuances we may have never noticed had we not allowed our parrots to lead the way in play and invested time together. A parrot’s body language is a powerful language path. Learn theirs, they are always learning yours.

T. stands for TRUTH

Sincerity and Truth are mutually exclusive.  But you need them both to create communication that builds your language path.  You can be sincere and not truthful.  I can ask what color the sky is and your reply will be, blue.
Which is a sincere answer, but not telling me of the impending black clouds of storm there lacked truth. Truth is tricky for humans as we rationalize ourselves into corners. Building your language path needs a truth established between you and your bird. The simplest of all truths. Unconditional love.

That dedicated heart and mind where a promise is made and always kept no matter the challenges.  A state of being that stands solid in flock commitment and promise.  When we make our marriage vows we state “till death do us part”.  It’s a serious lifelong commitment.  No one is leaving until they are dead. Living inside a relationship with that unspoken truth creates a safe haven for mistakes, apologies, trying, failing and trying again.

And if we have build that strong Hybrid Flock Mechanism, your flock as a whole can survive the hardest of times to come out the other side stronger and still intact.  That’s the whole point of creating a constant language highway with your parrot inside a strong flock. To get through, together.  Parrots are amazingly resilient inside a strong and loving flock.

It’s important not to judge another’s flock too harshly. You do not know what they have or are going through at that moment. You can’t judge their dedication inside their love. You can not weigh their current context and deem it “not good enough”.  You can ask if everything is okay though. You can offer help as well.

I have seen the most challenging and painful experiences happen around very strong flocks. Situations that do not need explanation other than to say, they were shocking to watch, and an honor to help them go through. And when the storm passed, that flock stood strong, and still together.

And isn’t that what we all seek in our lives? A bond inside a family/flock unit that helps us navigate this confusing thing we call life?

Unconditional Love is the truth of the core that will yield an immovable force called Your Flock.

The truth is, no matter how long all this takes, this is a forever companionship.  The other truth is, if we see each other in that light and help when the forever gets harder, all flocks benefit. Which is simply us, together, giving every parrot, everywhere, a happy home.