Pet of the Day

October 15, 1998

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Syd, the Pet of the Day
Name: Syd
Age: Three years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Maximillian Pionus Parrot
Home: Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA
   Syd has forever changed my life. Living with Syd is like having a perpetual two-year-old child in the house. He has turned my husband and I into homebodies. I get the guilts when I am out past ten o'clock at night. Do you know why? Because he sits up in his cage waiting for me to sing his nightly lullaby. Once he gets it, he will then tuck himself in for the night. If he is uncovered before he is ready to get up, he wakes up on the wrong side of the perch. He will not let me sleep past eight A.M. on the weekend. He rattles his whole cage and makes a lot of racket to be uncovered.

    We share our meals. He eats essentially everything we eat. His favorites are mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots (which must be cooked) and pizza. He seeks me out when I am in the kitchen and stands in front of the fridge and begs for his shot glass of cranberry juice. He will eat from his dinner crock but loves to be spoon fed. Seeing as Syd is a rain forest species which originates from Paraguay and Costa Rica, he is addicted to the shower. We shower together every weekend. He will spread his wings wide open and bow down to get every drop of water on his back. Afterwards, he is blown dry with a hair dryer and his nails are filed with an emery board. He loves to cuddle with me nightly in front of the television before he goes to bed.

    Pionus are the most quiet-natured birds of the parrot world. Because of this innate trait, he is not a talker. He makes up for this with his huge personality. He has his come here whistle that he does continuously when I leave the room. He also has his woooo call he does when he hears me come home.

    I hope that I have informed many of the joys of bird ownership. They aren't "just birds." They are loving, devoted companions that can bond with you in a very long-term relationship, perhaps a lifetime. Syd and I could possibly have four-plus decades of fun ahead of us.

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