“Second hand – Second chance”

Almost a year ago, I started this article and never got around to finishing it.  No real reason I guess – time – or lack of it – when I have an hour of free time, I prefer to spend it with a bird or two or making toys – everyone who knows me, knows that I detest sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time.

The reason for this post was based on multiple conversations with potential adopters.

“I am looking for a bird, what do you have and how much are they”

I’ve lost count how many emails we have received with this as the opening line and I’ve lost count how many times my patience has been tested once we actually have a conversation.  While we are all about educating people, sharing parrot knowledge, training tips, behavior etc etc, sometimes there is just no excuse for ignorance, or as others like to say, no excuse for stupid.

“I want a bird that talks, and isn’t to messy and I don’t want to pay alot. Why should I pay more than a couple hundred bucks for a USED bird”

The one time, if I could have reached through the phone……

This person went on to share with me their opinion of what a perfect bird is, and that because rescue birds are damaged, used and second hand, that their value or worth is less than what he believes they are worth.

I tried to remain as calm and level headed as I could through this conversation,  we want to be able to educate others in misconceptions and untruths and share with them how incredible a rescue bird can truly be.

After 30 minutes, which was 29 more than he deserved, it became very apparent that he wanted a perfect specimen and nothing we said was going to change his mind.

Used, second hand, damaged, baggage, unwanted…terms we hear so often in regards to parrots that it does’t really shock us anymore.

What does shock me, is that no one can actually tell me what a perfect parrot is or where it can be found!  Its not found in pet stores – we have 1/2 a dozen of those “perfect” pet store birds.  Its not found from a breeder – about another 1/3 to 1/2 of our flock are from those “perfect” breeders. Its not found on any online venue or auction sale, another small grouping of our birds are from those “perfect” places.  So where is that perfect parrot?

Just imagine if there really “was” a perfect parrot!

A used and damaged parrot only became that way because of..a human. That parrot did not ask to be hatched, but once he was, he became a profit to someone, a means to replenish their stock, draw people into a pet store, or be used to further the population of his species by being turned into a breeder.

WE as a society are responsible for the damage and baggage that these parrots have. WE as a society want those exotic birds in our homes because they are different and unique and I just have to have one.  And when those very parrots become less than what is perceived to be perfect, we don’t want them anymore, we want to trade it in for something better and more perfect.

Added to this,  people claim that because they paid a higher price – ie: Pet store African grey 1500.00 vs a rescue grey for 500.00, that it will be a perfect bird, with no issues, because they paid more money for it, its only value becomes what they paid for it.( That in itself is a whole other post – watch for that one in the coming days.)

Perfection – what is it, how do you define it.

Wikpedia: Perfection is, broadly, a state of completeness and flawlessness.

I think based on that, that people have a warped sense of what perfect means, and the belief that a brand new parrot has such a quality of perfection.

When did it become acceptable to put “life” into the same throwaway category as everything else that is so easily disposed of.

Second hand – second chance – for so many unwanted parrots. Many  parrots who have been through horrible situations and DO carry some excess baggage, can be some of the most loving and attentive birds you will ever meet!

These birds have been worked with and studied and cared for by the rescues/shelters they reside in(most, but not all)and any little quirks/dislikes are already known before you take them home. The rescue/shelter will work with you as long as you need – to help both of you have a smooth transition.

In many cases, these birds are older – they are more mature (I say that lightly haha)more acceptable of change – and at times  more tolerable and not always gender specific in their bonds. Their health is usually cleared by the rescue/shelter vets, and any medical issues are already known.

They deserve a second chance – and if you truly want to add a parrot to your life – that little bit of baggage shouldn’t make a difference..your willingness to learn, love and share your life with a parrot in NEED is what will help them empty that suitcase…

The Suitcase

My suitcase was filled to full
It became too heavy for me,
I’m waiting for someone to take a chance
And open it with their key.

Inside my bag I’ve packed it all
Tears on my feathers stain
I hope you will turn that key
And release me from that pain

I don’t understand noise or mess
Or biting or hormone season
But those are terms so often used
Sold over and over the reason.

I want to be rid of the bag
And to find my rightful place
I want you to give me a chance
And help empty my suitcase.

I don’t promise to be perfect
But I will be the best that I can be
Wont you take that chance
And please turn the key…

author: A.Lawrence

4 thoughts on ““Second hand – Second chance”

  • November 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I own a parrot , and I don’t understand how people can just toss it aside because they don’t want it any more.
    They are a handful , but I love the little devel

  • November 22, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Thanks for your insightful and passionate expose, Anna. Your poem brought tears to my eyes…

    What we forget is that the quality of relationships, whether between humans or between humans and parrots, are a direct result of the time, effort and understanding that we put into those partnerships. Some of our perfect cockatiels are missing feet or wings, pluck their feathers or scream, but they are the most beautiful, giving creatures with whom you could ever hope to share your life.

  • November 23, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Beautiful poem, every animal deserves a loving home no
    Matter how great their baggage may be. I truly believe people should rescue more animals before buying a new one. Too many animals get euthanized because their isn’t “room” for them, and it’s not fair!

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