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The extended BT Family, from left to right: assistant editor Connie Cho, production coordinator Ann Richmond, associate art director Matt Hennings, associate editor Rose Gordon, assistant web editor Crystal Apilado, art director Véronique Bos, managing editor Laura Doering and editor Melissa Kauffman.
My hair stylist of the past 10 years just moved from California to Colorado. It was quite depressing. She knew what I liked, what I didn’t like. She knew what cuts and colors I’ve tried in the past; she knew me well enough to tell me when she thought my latest hairstyle idea was a bad one. I knew what was going on in her life, and she knew all about mine. And now, I have to start all over. I hate having to get new service providers. Whether a doctor, dentist or hairstylist, I dislike the process of finding someone new — one who I like and trust.
When it comes to my darling feathered angels, I like to know my service providers and feel comfortable with them. I like my avian vet, store, website and magazine to be helpful and easy to get along with or access. My vet is great — although I am overdue for taking the birds in. I’ve had less luck with our dog and guinea pigs. I can’t seem to find a vet who really bowls me over with his or her knowledge and personality. Let me tell you, this does not make any of our lives easier not having a vet we know and trust being just a phone call away.
Part of the reason we are doing BIRD TALK readers’ favorite things this year is to help bird owners who haven’t found the right avian store or vet, and to check out what other bird owners have found as the knowledgeable, comfortable place they love. I hope you get a chance to participate, and if you are still looking for that special someone or some place, I hope our lists help end your search. We’ll publish nominated stores and vets later this year.
I’ve been the BIRD TALK editor for more than 10 years. Almost every few months through all those years, I’ll receive a letter from a reader commenting on how we changed the editorial focus. I find this fascinating. BT has always covered the same important issues: medical, behavior, research, training and species-specific information. As time goes by, there are changes in each of these areas as interest increases or decreases. However, BT does stick to the topics that help people take better care of their birds — so the birds are happier and healthier, and the bird owners are happier, too. BT is a service provider, and it is important to us that we continue to make you and your bird happier. Although we do touch a little bit on proper bird breeding and avian shelters (both topics people have passionate feelings about), our main focus is on the pet bird owner and the bird. We just like to occasionally touch on topics affecting the avian community.
So, to get back to the sad goodbye to my hair stylist before I went on a service-provider tangent, saying goodbye to Diana was quite sad, but she and her husband and child moved to Colorado to have a better quality of life — away from the crowded, expensive world of Orange County, California. I understood, and I also understood and felt quite sad, when BT associate editor Rose Gordon told the team she was leaving California for New York to be closer to her family. Rose has been with us for several years and is a favorite with many readers, contributors, photographers and avian product manufacturers. She has been a big part of our magazine and the avian community and we will truly miss her. Rose, we can’t thank you enough for being part of the BT flock.
And readers, please let us know if there was someone in your life who made you and your bird’s world better for the time that he or she was in it. Now that Rose is a reader and not an editor, I'm sure she — and we — would love to read about it. — MLK