I grew up with animals. At various times we had a cat, various dogs (the only one we had more than a year was our beloved Cockapoo), parakeets, and a hamster. Josh had rabbits for a time and a cat, though those were for a less significant portion of his childhood than mine was.
Which is probably why I start eyeing the dogs at the local shelter every few months. I won’t act on it now that we’re in a fence-free house, but I really do love having a dog in the house, in spite of how much it would put a crimp in our day-trips to Disney and Universal.
(Rebekah with the dog I grew up with, the last time we saw him before he crossed the rainbow bridge)
We got a dog a couple years ago. Absolutely adored him. He wasn’t perfect, but we turned a blind eye to his weaknesses (like his barking at everyone who walked on the sidewalk behind our yard). But after a few months, we had to say goodbye, thanks to heartworm that made him extremely sick. It was heart-wrenching.
Then we got Meshach.
A rebound dog if there ever was one.
After about 2 months, it was clear that we were not the family for him, so we found him a new home and decided we were done with dogs.
(We couldn’t leave the “Shadrach/Meshach” thing hanging, though, so we picked up a husky stuffed toy from IKEA and named him Abednego)
(same kid, same couch, different dog)
When we chose this house and saw the covered lanai (back porch), we knew a parakeet would be happy to spend time outside listening to the neighborhood birds.
So when we got “Superhost” status on Airbnb, we decided to reward ourselves with getting the feathered friend we’d planned.
We semi-trained our parakeets growing up. The best-trained one, Sebastian, had been trained by mom’s friend, and he could free-fly and talk up a storm. I knew males were easier to train to talk (some people insist females can talk too, but it’s harder), and I really hoped he would learn to really trust us.
I started spending 10-15 minutes with him each day, teaching him to trust me and to step onto my finger. When he got comfortable with me, I added Rebekah to the mix and had him step onto her hand too.
Then the scary day when we let him fly in the main room of the house!
Of course he found the highest window to perch on…which then involved standing on a bar stool to get him back down.
But the second day, he landed on my shoulder!
And since then, he’s gotten completely trusting and fun! He flies from finger to finger, occasionally landing on our shoulders. He loves to get treats for doing it but enjoys the freedom even without getting spray millet when he does something cute.
He officially feels like a friend! He’s not talking yet, but hopefully that will come in time.