Pet of the Day

June 3, 2004

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Taco, the Pet of the Day
Name: Taco
Age: Six years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Congo African Gray Parrot
Home: Mill Creek, Washington, USA
   May I present the amazing Taco. This chunky guy has been with our family for about one year now. What makes Taco's story interesting is that he was hand raised by a very loving family and became entirely bonded to the father in the family. Tragically, the father was diagnosed with a terminal illness and the family had to put Taco up for adoption due to the fact that he would rather not put up with anyone else in their family. By a twist of amazing fate, I met Taco just about a month after my Lilac Crowned Amazon passed away. I was talking to an amazon at my local bird shop, and in the next cage, up comes this stocky gray dude and immediately puts his head down for some serious scratching. It was love at first sight.

    African Grays are shockingly intelligent, and Taco is no exception. His vocabulary includes about 200 actual words (eight naughty ones) and an endless amounts of day-to-day sounds. What is amazing is that Taco (along with many other parrots) can use his vocabulary in context. For example he'll say "Gotta go potty!" and sure enough, he does his little potty squat and lets it loose! If he does not get what he wants he'll let you know, often including one or two of those eight naughty words he knows.

    Taco is treated with the same respect that I would treat a three- or four-year-old child. When he is good, I give him all the love and attention he craves. When he is bad (trust me, you don't know bad until you have met a cranky parrot) he is put in time out, which is basically sitting on his stand, eating a treat. We love Taco in this house. Hopefully, he'll outlive us, and my kids will get many enjoyable years with this guy, too!

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