I have enjoyed having small pet birds for many years now. After years of research and experience with smaller birds, I was ready to purchase a larger parrot. I bought a baby Senegal parrot from a breeder. I was hoping to form a lasting bond with this bird. However, he or she has decided that my husband is the center of his universe.A good friend of mine works for a bird hospital in my city. She was aware of my situation. She contacted me about a seven year old Timneh named "Gracie" that was a patient at the hospital. Gracie had been through a very traumatic experience. The owners had a small child that did not get along with the Gracie so it was kept outside on a patio most of the time. I don't believe she ever had time out of her cage. Somehow, a wild raccoon got her out of her cage and carried it across the yard until someone threw something and the raccoon released her. That resulted in many injuries and months of treatment and recovery at the bird hospital. Gracie became very frightened of towels and people from the constant handling from the staff who were treating her. Gracie was not expected to live. After that incident the owners felt like they could no longer care for the bird.When I heard the story, my heart went out to this bird. I was told that she would probably never be able to be tame or trust anyone again. My husband and I agreed that we could at least give her a safe home. Gracie was very angry and upset when she was put in a carrier to come home with us. She was silent for the first few days. We soon discovered that she did speak a few words. She called the dogs and mimicked some outdoor sounds. Each day we would open her cage door and let her come out on her own. She seemed to love that. I would sit on the couch (not too close) and speak softly to her. After just a week she began to take treats out of my hand. She soon began to trust my husband and I, enough to let us get close. This progressed into stepping up on a stick. Each week we would accomplish new things. Now, after 4 mos. of having her, she steps up on our hands and loves to get a head scratch. She has learned many phrases and words. She talks up a storm. I can't imagine life without her now. I've learned to have patience and to never give up.
By Lisa Johnson