Pet of the Day

August 12, 2002

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Pasquale, the Pet of the Day
Name: Pasquale
Age: Eight months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Congo African Grey parrot
Home: Mount Prospect, Illinois, USA
   This is Pasquale, a Congo African Grey parrot. He's about eight months old and a real character! He loves me, but he's truly bonded to my husband, his "Daddy", and will give a plaintive little "reeep!" call whenever he goes out of Pasquale's sight.

    Greys are known for being extremely intelligent and good talkers, but like any animal, ability varies from individual to individual. Pasquale doesn't "say" anything yet, but he will imitate my husband's chuckle, our microwave's beep, and the vocal intonations of the phrase "I love you." I sometimes wonder if he didn't learn that last one just to counteract the annoyance caused by the microwave impression!

    Not many people are aware that greys are smart enough to be potty-trained, but they are. We are training Pasquale to hold it until we get him to a safe place and use the phrase, "Do your thing", and it's been going really well. Patience and praise seem to be doing the trick.

    Some of Squally's favorite treats include potatoes of any sort, pasta, and unshelled peanuts... but probably his number-one thrill is to get popcorn! He'll fight with Daddy over the kernels, ducking his head as if he's going to bite, but he never really does.

    He's unusual for his breed in that he also enjoys being snuggled and petted; most Greys are known for being a little standoffish, but apparently no one ever told Pasquale that. Very often I'll come into our rec room and find him wrapped in a blanket with Daddy, watching a movie and getting a nice head-scratch.

    Birds aren't for everyone, I know. They make messes, they can be noisy, and sometimes they can be as frustrating as a two year old! But my husband's gotten me hooked, and I can't imagine doing without Pasquale now!

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