Pet of the Day

December 3, 2003

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Simon, the Pet of the Day
Name: Simon
Age: One and a half years old
Gender: Male
Kind: African Grey
Home: Lancaster, California, USA
   This is Simon. Anyone who owns or has owned an African Grey will have to agree, it is like bringing home a two-year-old toddler. He has brought so much joy and fun to our house, along with a lot of extra work and worry!!! (He gets into everything) He was three months old when I got him and I knew they were very intelligent and active birds!!! But he has surpassed even what I knew of them!!! He loves to swing, hang upside down, pull my glasses off which he knows is a no no!!, chase after the dogs, sit by an open window and watch the "creatures" outside, play with empty soda cans, open old (clean) medicine bottles and find a "treat" inside, and laying on his back playing with a piece of paper or toy. But I think his two favorite things are helping me do dishes, by throwing them on the floor as I put them into the dishwasher, as you can see in the picture above, and just hang out with "his" flock, us!

    But the thing we have most enjoyed is listening to him talk!!! or make the sounds of stuff. All the books I read on African Greys said that if they were talkers, they would retain a lot the first couple of years before they actually would say them. But Simon, at 6 months old, was already making the sound of a bomb being dropped and it exploding on impact. And it just took off from there!! Now he does the sliding screen door, and the telephone ringing, the microwave (beep, beep, beep, beep), sneezes like me and coughs like our daughter. Plus, he says "Maxie" (our dog) "want to go outside??" - along with the sliding screen door sound, "wanta go out front?" "Here dawgie, dawgie, dawgies," "come here, come here" "stupid bird" (thanks to my husband) "one, two, three" for when we throw the ball for the dog, "love you," and "mama" when I'm out of sight!!! And it seems every day he throws something else out that he has heard. It seems endless!!! He keeps us guessing!!!

    Simon not only has us, his "flock", he shares his "space" with two dogs, four cockatiels, and two aquariums. And even though he demands a lot more attention and care than the others, he gives back so much more!!! And yes! he does spend time in a cage!!! Especially if I need a break, or for (yes) "time out!!!" And of course, "night-night." I just love him to pieces, and we all get a big kick out of his antics, even my husband who in not an animal lover, but gets a kick out of all Simon does!

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