Pet of the Day

March 20, 2008

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Sammy, the Pet of the Day
Name: Sammy
Age: Two years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Cockatiel
Home: Rocky River, Ohio, USA
   This is my cockatiel Sammy. He will be three years old on April 16th. His life had an interesting start...

    When I used to work at a pet store, Sammy came in as a hand-fed tiel. I helped hand feed him often, but he would spit up all the time and had trouble gaining weight. After a few weeks he developed a sore on his lower chest. He couldn't be put up for sale with the sore, and he stayed in a separate room for months while he healed. The vet said his out-look wasn't good, but I never gave up on him. Unfortunately, there is so much to do at a pet store and sometimes the amount of interaction and time isn't able to be given. I was the only employee who took extra care of this baby bird, who at the time had pearl markings. (Males lose these markings after their first molt.)

    Every night after we closed and spent an hour cleaning and straightening up the store, I would take Sammy out. He would sit on my shoulder and I'd whistle to him and talk for that whole hour. Our routine went on for months and when he finally got better, I decided I had formed too close of a bond with him and had to take him home!

    Today Sammy is a happy, healthy, virile (haha), and sometimes bratty bird. My mom has to be one of Sammy's favorite people, and goes crazy whenever grandma is around. She taught him how to say "hi Sammy" and he repeats it to her constantly! My dad and I also taught him how to whistle "take me out to the ball game." He loves to admire the "other bird" in the mirror, serenade people's bare toes, and take showers with me.

    He refuses to try most fresh fruits and veggies, so sometimes it's hard to sneak them into his food. But he loves pasta and cereal. He turns up his beak at broccoli but devours spaghetti and buryani. Another adorable quirk of his: his diet is mainly Zupreem cockatiel pellets, which have orange, red, and green round pellets, as well as yellow ones shaped like bananas. He hates the banana ones. So when you look in his bowl, all you see is bananas!

   I love Sammy so much, I don't know what I'd do without him!

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