A year into parrot ownership, and goddamn, this sun conure, Roxy, has transformed our lives. We purchased Roxy from Petco in Waldorf, MD, in late April of 2009. I happened upon there, not because I was in the market for a parrot necessarily, but because I was feeling sick that day and I needed a pick-me-up. Crazy little birds to improve my mood. This was the first time I realized that and took advantage, at a pet store.
While I was in there, this sun conure, Roxy, really took a liking to me, and me to her. MFM and I had actually kicked around the idea of getting a parakeet once we moved into our house... but then this true-on parrot grabbed my heartstrings. A parrot is a bigger commitment than a parakeet. Not only does it expect to be an integral part of your life, but a sun conure, like Roxy, lives for 20+ years. To MFM, who hadn't had a pet besides a rabbit (due to allergies) since childhood, this was unheard of territory in our relationship and in her life in general. A huge commitment...
After meeting Roxy, I found myself leaving the house early just to sneak some time looking at her on my way to work. MFM couldn't help but notice the change in me. When I saw Roxy at Petco, she'd get all excited and regurgitate, which is a sign of sexual affection among birds. Clearly she liked me, too. After a couple weeks of planning and organizing, MFM and I purchased her and brought her home. We were sure to bring her home at a time where we could spend a few solid days getting her acquainted. (Bonus: my allergies at the time made me so sick I ended up missing three days of work afterwards, which gave me more time to welcome Miss Roxy into our home.)
Having a sun conure is like having a puppy, or a two-year-old... for 20 - 35 years. I am ready for that commitment. We bought the right-sized cage, and Roxy has become the little baby of our household ever since. If it weren't for Roxy, getting out of bed in the morning wouldn't be nearly as fun. There's nothing like the unconditional love of a pet in the morning... someone who's so excited to see you, bags under your eyes and all.
Conures, like all birds, are extremely fragile. When they get sick, it's not like a 100+ lb. dog getting ill... this is a very small animal weighed in grams, whose medicine is measured in milliliters. Roxy got sick in February (with a cold which turns bad fast with these small animals), and we came so close to losing her that we mourned her loss... (and were relieved to find her alive and kicking at Eastern Exotics Animal Hospital the next morning. The vets and their assistants seemed just as pleased and surprised that Roxy had made a turnaround towards the living.) I cannot explain the scar that this episode cut across my heart, and I know MFM hasn't experienced anything like it before. The good news is that Roxy is now at full health, thanks to Eastern Exotics, and each morning she wakes us by whispering, "Hey, baby" from her spacious habitat.
I write all this because yesterday I was shopping for different toys for Roxy at PetSmart in Waldorf, and was terribly saddened when I saw a sun conure for sale. Unlike at Petco in Waldorf, this beautiful sun conure was housed in a miniscule cage, the kind you would put a couple finches in. I almost wanted to buy this conure just to save her from mistreatment. The man who was feeding her did not speak to her or any of the other birds that I saw. His job seemed to be to feed the birds, and that was it.
If you're in the market for a hand-fed conure or bird and live in the D.C. area, I highly recommend the live animal department at Petco in Waldorf, Maryland. Kym is the live animals manager, and gives her whole heart to those animals. Her co-workers do the same. I hope you find the same love in your heart that MFM and I did when we got Roxy.
Labels: conures, love, MFM, parrots, Petco, pets