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Used to run a stable and live on a farm, now I am back into banking for awhile. Still have horses and love animals.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lokie, my parrot

Lokie is a Piounus, that is they type of parrot he is, they are very laid back and quiet unlike more active and big personality parrots. I found him about 4 years ago with a woman who bred different kinds of parrots but somehow inherited Lokie and didn't have a female to mate him with in order to make money. She was afraid of him and he hadn't been out of his cage in a couple of years. I walked in and looked at him then I asked if I could open the cage door, she said fine but looked terrified. Lokie didn't come out because he didn't know what to do really but he took a couple of steps in my direction, I praised him and he would do it again, we kind of connected on the spot.

I packed up Lokie's cage with him in it and put it in the back of my SUV and home we went. When we got him in the house I opened the cage door and sat there and watched him from the couch, he didn't come out which of course it was a new environment, he still responded to my voice though.

Several days passed before Lokie came out of his cage to investigate, he really stunk at climbing, he tripped  a lot because all he had to climb on in his cage was just a rope perch, nothing else to challenge him.

It turned out that after Lokie got to moving around we noticed that when displayed his wings that he had at some point had his wing broke, he can't fly more than a glide and he won't step up. If you even say the words he attacks you or anything he can very aggressively.

Fast forward, Lokie is a very good climber, he has things he can climb and get places if he wants. Lokie will not step up, he will allow you to cup your hands and pick him up sometimes but that is it, no matter what you do to reward him, nothing doing. I respect that because I know he has suffered cruelty and trauma, sometimes you can work through things like that and sometimes you can't. Lokie was forced that is the issue so I have always with few exceptions let him make a choice and respected it.

Lokie loves to be scratched and talked to and he will call to me with a whistle, he will take food from my hand and he has even tried new foods, his choices were very limited with food as well. He comes to his name and if I tap a perch he will immediately come down and sit there letting me pet him but that is it, no step ups no rides to the couch for snuggling, nada.

That was until last night, Nana my Cockatoo had a little night fright and randomly screamed and flapped her wings, this happens occasionally with parrots, I checked her she was okay, looked over at Lockie's cage he was okay, turned the light off and suddenly a flurry of wings and Lockie on the floor in front of me standing and waiting to be scooped up in my hands. I know this because usually he scurries back to his cage and climbs up it's legs and back to the top.

I picked him up, he did not attempt to go to my shoulder as he normally would when I pick him up, he stayed on my chest, weird I thought. I took him down to the couch with me, typically he would get on my shoulder or the back of the couch, he didn't, again not the usual. He wattled over my chest and stood right in front of my face with a very serious expression on his face, yes parrots have expressions you just need to know how to look for them, they are very subtle.

Lokie stayed put right in my face and enjoyed cuddling and scratching for a long time. Finally he started moving to the right side of my chest and started looking towards the direction to get back to his cage. It was a cue he was ready to go back, I went to stand up and he finally hopped up on the back of the couch, he perched there for awhile and then I got up and walked to the end of the couch, I knew he wanted to back but I wasn't going to just grab him and take him, I called him over and he wattled to me and stood there, I bent over him and put my arms in a circle around him, he of his own choosing grabbed my sweatshirt with his beak and climbed aboard. I put my hand over him very loosely and walked towards his cage. Lokie sat quietly attached to my sweatshirt for the ride.

When we got to his cage, I leaned over to the rope perch, he waited a moment and very casually latched onto it and that completed his trip back to his cage. In the past he would have tried flying to it when we got close and he would have been in a hurry. Lokie made a lot of choices last night, after several years and without me forcing, coercing or bribing.

This morning I did my usual thing, I give everyone a piece of avicake for breakfast. I gave Nana her cake and the bunnies get a little piece each and I broke off a piece to give to Lokie who was on top of his cage. I held it out and he walked over to my hand lowered his head and bumped my hand with the top of his head, a cue for me to pet him. Lokie loves food as all parrots do but he clearly wanted to be touched first. I was so surprised, and humbled. Lokie chose love, my love,

I pet Lokie and then I watched him scurry down to his dish and eat his piece of very highly prized food. It was a very special moment for me, I don't know why Lokie decided now was the time to up our relationship, he is cared for, pet fed and all but it seems he wanted a closer relationship. He made a choice which is so important, on many levels, trust, healing all of those things.    

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