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Thursday, February 18, 2010
A Happy Valentine’s Day For Bubu The Macaw

By Amy Baggs
Follow Amy's adventures in A Day In The Pet Bird Store.

Bubu has disjointed legs and likes to lie down on blankets.

Bubu is in his fourth and final home.

People love their animals! There are super pet stores, small pet stores, canine and feline bakeries, reptile stores and shops catering to fish enthusiasts.

Unfortunately, some pets get stuck in the middle of sticky situations. For example, the pet might get between marriages or might get jealous of a new baby. Life happens and circumstances change all the time.

Many animals get rehomed. I know of this first hand. My 20-year-old pet harlequin macaw, Bubu, is on his fourth and last home. His first owners bought him to do shows. Once during a trick, they flipped him and his legs became dislocated. He was not taken to the vet and his legs healed out of joint. He had been skinny from malnutrition early on and from being kept in a cage for seven years.

When I took him home seven years ago on Valentine’s Day, I was unaware of what an awesome pet parrot I was rehoming! His third owner traveled a lot nationwide and knew that Bubu got the short end of the deal. When he and Bubu came into the store, Bubu would light up like Rudolph’s nose; his owner knew I was the right “mom.”

I was prepared for screamingbiting and all the other behavior issues I knew of. I was not ready for all the hysterical things he does! The first night home, we cuddled on the sofa and watched TV. Bubu noticed my older pet Amazon, Floyd, crawled down the couch and scooted across the living room. You know the pet parrot pigeon-toed walk? Bubu’s is not like that (because of his legs) – it’s more like a penguin waddle, but faster. His long tail moved a lot because of the waddle. It looked so funny! I laughed so much. This crazy pet macaw got under Floyd’s cage and the parrots began to laugh at each other.

Another night soon after bringing him home, I sat down to have dinner. Not thinking, I started eating. “Where’s my cracker?” Bubu said. At first, I didn’t think I heard correctly and continued with my food. Again, “Where’s my cracker?”  I could not ignore it this time and carried my plate over to Bu’s cage. “Where’s my cracker?”

I laughed and said “Ok, ok, here.”  To this day, I have to give the parrots some of whatever I eat before I sit down or I will be asked repeatedly until I give them some. Bubu has also been a teacher; my pet military macaw, Tink, calls everything I feed him a cracker! [Editor's Note: Check out some great table foods to feed your bird here.]

Because of Bubu’s disjointed legs, he likes to lie down. His cage has many blankets and plush animals. In the mornings, when I get to Bu’s cage, he rolls over on his duck blanket for me to rub his belly just like a puppy. He also loves my bed and loves to lie on the pillows. I have broken down and let him sleep there once or twice. Trust me – I did not sleep well because I was so aware of him. When I awoke after the first night that he slept on the pillows, I found him lying on my back with his head on my shoulder. What a way to wake up!

Bubu loves children. When I do events for the store, I take him. He waves to the kids when I hold his beak for extra support. The kids love all his colors. He will scream when the kids are encouraged to make noise. They laugh and love him.

Bubu is such a momma’s boy. I took him on a visit to the pet bird store one day and had a great time visiting the other birds. As I sat down on the floor and played with him in my lap, I talked with the store manager. Bubu got very puffy and crawled out of my lap and started scooting after the manager in his waddling way, switching his tail back and forth. She told him “No, no Bubu,” and evaded his lunges at her ankles. I laughed, which I knew I should not have done. Bubu figured he had chased her away, started laughing, and crawled back into my lap. The manager laughed and said, “He knows who his mom is!”

I think I spoil him because of his tough beginning. I think most people spoil their pets because the unconditional love that they get back is so wonderful. I will always look on Valentine’s Day fondly. I hope you had a lovely day too!

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Reader Comments
What a heart-warming story! Thank you for sharing this with us. I love your blog and will be checking back often to read more of your adventures with these lovely creatures.
Amanda Miller, Prescott, AZ
Posted: 4/27/2010 11:36:58 PM
Very nice story. I am truly happy that there are good people out there that are willing to help birds. Your Macaw is so beautiful.
Jerry A. Williams, Milton, FL
Posted: 4/6/2010 4:36:06 PM
Nice story. :)
Posted: 3/25/2010 7:46:50 AM
WOW! What a great story! It was sort of sad with a very happy ending. Bubu is a beautiful Bird and Its so nice to hear about how well he is doing. Thank you for sharing your story. ;)
Jill, Boynton beach, FL
Posted: 3/23/2010 8:31:43 AM
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