Pet of the Day

December 1, 2005

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Nikki, the Pet of the Day
Name: Nikki
Age: Sixteen months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Quaker Parrot
Home: New York, USA
   I was never much of a bird lover until I discovered the joy of the Quaker Parrot. Growing up my family and I owned a pair of Budgies, but they always remained inside their cage, so I never bonded closely to them because there wasn't much interaction among us.

    Then about ten years later, I was in Petland Discounts with my mother buying some dog food for our miniature poodle. My mother noticed one of the workers walking around with a green bird on her arm. When we asked what type of bird it was, the girl replied that it was a Quaker Parrot. My mother was impressed with how nicely the bird sat on her arm. I was impressed with that too, but immediately fell in love at first sight. From that moment on, I wanted to have a bird that could come out of his cage and be a great companion.

    I spent the next year researching bid care and the Quaker Parrot. I also read about other parrots such as the Australian Cockatiel, the Caique, and others among that size. I knew I didn't want to have a larger bird like a Cockatoo or African Grey. I also realized that I really wanted a talking bird and the Quaker Parrot fit that description perfectly.

    A couple months after I graduated from College, I was the proud companion of a Quaker Parrot. My mother wanted to name him Regis because she claimed that he liked the show Regis and Kelly, but I decided to go in a different direction. I wanted a name that was easier to pronounce and that is how I chose Nikki. The unusual spelling is due to the fact that he is a unique parrot.

    Nikki is everything that one could ask in a great companion. He is kind, affectionate, loyal, funny, and very talkative. I was amazed with the clarity of his speech and tone of his voice. He began talking at four months and hasn't stopped since. He says hello, hi buddy, uh oh, step up, gimme a kiss, and Nikki is a pretty bird.

    Nikki also is a master at mimicking sounds. He barks like a dog, makes kissy noises, mimics the sound I make when I chew soft foods, and he even mimics burps. When it comes to tricks, he is the king at chirping on cue. All one has to do is clap his or her hands together and he immediately lets out a chirp. He also bows his head forward, as if he had just finished a raving performance at Carnegie Hall.

    Nikki enjoys watching television. His favorite commercial is the Empire Carpeting commercial with its catchy jingle. He always chirps happily when he hears it. His favorite type of music to listen to is either Mozart or Dean Martin.

    Nikki is a great parrot, and I wouldn't trade our friendship for anything in the world. Sometimes it is hard to believe that his a bird. Not only can he talk and do great and entertaining things, but he has proven himself again and again that he is a wonderful and loyal companion. He never ceases to amaze me with his unique charm and wit, and I never get tired of those sweet kisses. I have never shared such a strong bond with a pet before. Maybe that is why I call him my companion instead of my pet. On the day we brought him to our home, I knew that I had made a great friend for life.

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