Who knew that rescuing a particular bird would make such an impact?: Jasper, Amazon Parrot

This week it has been 20 years since we adopted and rescued a young five year old Yellow Cheek Amazon by the name of Jasper. While we don’t know his actual birthday we celebrate in October.

I’ve tried to imagine the time prior to not having Jasper in our lives. I started rescuing birds in the spring of 1998 and the fever caught on quickly and it has been maintained to this day.

Being around birds is different then the average pets- dog, cat, fish. We have one that talks back. And before someone says he is just mimicking you I politely disagree. He has learned our mannerism, our vocabulary, to an extent, and knows when and how to respond. It does make being home alone during the day unique. So, before you say how a bird can not be in away a pet I suggest you hang out with one. They are amazing animals and will love you as their own. But when I think about it Jasper, and my other birds, are not pets. They are more than that.

He loves my husband. No, wait. That is not the right word. He feels my husband is his mate and they are a bonded pair of birds. He tolerates me to an extent. It does not matter that I am his caretaker. Not one bit does it matter. LOL But let someone try to hurt me than he is all on team mom.

But his presence in our household and lives has changed us for the better. My first children’s book is based on him. His personality shines inside the pages and it is accurate to how he is in real life.

So, “Happy, we are so glad you are in our lives, how could anyone hurt you for five years, I would give your former owner a tongue whipping, you are in your forever home where you are safe and no one will ever, and I mean ever hurt, you again, we love you, and you are part of our family, Birthday.”

P.S. I am horrible with commas. They are definitely one of my Kryptonites as an author.

I live with my main character to my children’s series

 

It is this big guy’s anniversary of coming home to his forever home. Well, actually it was in October 18 years ago when our youngest child came to his forever home. In 1999 we rescued/adopted a five-year old yellow cheek Amazon parrot and life has never been the same.

His first owner was an Army soldier. She either didn’t do the research, thought it was cute to have an exotic animal or she was casual about the whole thing for she had him in a cage made for a cockatiel. Jasper could not stretch out his wings for the first five years of his life.

Upon coming home to our small apartment he would not come out of his open cage for the first six months with us. Nothing I could do to entice him worked. I also know to this day anytime I use a broom or mop around him he gets very skittish and very upset. I can only speculate what that means.

Jasper is an amazing animal who is smarter than some people I personally know. He shows us love and compassion and a lot of laughs. To those who have told me birds can’t be pets I say two things. First of all if you can say that then you have never had the privilege of having one in your home. Second you are right for Jasper is not our pet he is our family. He is now 23 years old and in bird years he is still considered young. He hates and loves me sometimes at the same time. But he knows he is loved and cared for and knows, and this is the important part, that he will never be harmed while he is with us. This is his forever home, period. We wouldn’t want it any other way. I still to this day would slap the woman who thought this was okay.

I have had many different kind of pets over the years and have always enjoyed the bond formed with them. But rescuing birds since 1998 has been one of the best experiences I have enjoyed. Especially one who talks back, knows what he is saying, knows when to use it and is constantly learning and improving himself.

And by observing him all these years he has become my main character to my children’s series. A majority of the mannerisms that one reads I have seen him do.

So Happy Anniversary Jasper, may we enjoy many more years with you.

Release day: Celebration

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This past Saturday I had a celebration. It was the release of my first book, “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure” and it was time to enjoy that. I decided to eat out at a local restaurant in town and raise a glass of wine in the air. I could have done this alone and still enjoy the day.

But instead I sent the word out to some friends and writers I knew. What occurred was a gathering of 12 people snuggled close together enjoying and supporting my accomplishment. My friend Robin started it well by sprinkling the table with green stars in Jasper’s honor. That was awesome. She included a gift basket that had a bag of millet sprays for Jasper so he could be included.

Four hours of chatter, laughter and just enjoyment by people who get what I have done. It went by fast as food was eaten, wine was drunk and the day went on by. My book signings won’t be coming for a few weeks so this was the next best thing.

I am proud of myself. This was my goal three years ago when I started this project. I was not going to settle for writing a book to read to my grandchildren down the road. I did not let road bumps deter me. I learned from my mistakes, listened to good advice, and with a lot of time and effort it is now here.

Jasper is oblivious to all of this. He just knows mom gives him shelled almonds and goes on and on how he will be big. So long I pat him on his back, belly,wings, and head he is good.

Life is good right now for my bird and me.