Pet of the Day

August 19, 2010

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Rainbow, the Pet of the Day
Name: Rainbow
Age: Fourteen years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Harlequin Macaw
Home: Monmouth, Illinois, USA
   Meet Rainbow! With the big beak comes a big personality, one that charmed its way into my heart the moment I met him. Rainbow was living in the foster home where I was visiting an African Grey that needed a new family. He greeted me and my group with a hardy "Hello!" and a wave of a big foot. All the while we interviewed about the Grey bird, he kept an eye on the proceedings, maybe hoping they were all about him. Alas, he was left behind when we departed with the Grey, a bird, it turns out, that had been his flockmate of the past eight years. When Sheba began asking "Where's Rainbow?" and saying "Come here, Rainbow", I felt so bad about them being separated, I proposed to my family that we also adopt the gregarious macaw. With little preparation or insight into parenting a big bird, this gorgeous creature became my fourth bird.

    It didn't take long to figure out that Rainbow had spent little time being handled or guided in proper behavior. He had apparently intimidated his former family, an elderly couple, I was told, and so had ended up spending years inside his cage, a decision that led to permanent joint damage in his left wing. Because it is unable to fully extend, Rainbow will never fly which is why a harness or clipped flight feathers are not necessary when he's outdoors. Through great patience (and lots of band aids), this big beauty became a big baby and is now a "velcro bird" as we bird people like to call our feathered friends who prefer to be ON us rather than just beside us. He chose me, his mom, as his special person, the only one who is granted the privilege of handling him without fear of that big beak. While he makes sport of pestering the husband and the sons (thankfully they continue to find the humor in this), he seeks me out for kisses, 'scritches' and hugs. Those who know me and this bird will attest that he and I have a very special bond, one I feel quite honored to share. Rainbow is proof to me that love and perseverance can bring a tempestuous spirit (and beak) around for he is now a trust-worthy friend. My life is all the more colorful with this big bird in it.

Rainbow, the Pet of the Day
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Rainbow, the Pet of the Day
Rainbow, the Pet of the Day

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