One Dog and Two Birds

Bringing more joy to our lives

Introducing Pepper – the Baby @ home May 31, 2007

Filed under: Nanday Conure,PEPPER — Bala @ 7:23 am

We have pet names for all our pets. Amy is ‘My Girl’, Nikko is the ‘Sweety Pie’ and Pepper is ‘My Baby’. During the holiday breaks of last year, I came across Ollie’s Parrot Perch when searching for bird boarding places. I was impressed by her Parrot Rescue – A Place to Call Home and wanted to help. By this point, Nikko had been with us for about 4 months, and we have been working with him pretty well, doing clicker-training with him and gotten very comfortable handling and living with a bird. We were thinking about adopting another Conure, especially one needs to be rehabilitated. As we browsed through the site, Miko, caught our attention. Miko was a male blue crowned conure who has cage aggression issues and needed someone to work with him outside his cage. He was pretty much naked and will remain so, due to the continuous feather destruction.

When we went to check him out however, Sandi, was holding Pepper, a 11-year old Nanday Conure on her hand and he was all too excited. Though he had his wings clipped, he was so full of energy and fluttered around. He was also mostly naked, from plucking out his feathers due to separation anxiety and had been at the center for about a month. We fell in love with him immediately and decided to bring him home. We had already spoken to Sandi and since we did not want to spend a lot of money in adopting the bird, Sandi allowed us to ‘foster’ Pepper for a lot less. For all purposes, he is our Baby now. Though we weren’t sure we always thought that Pepper was a boy. Well, we recently found out that Pepper is a baby girl, and she started to lay eggs. We have been working on her and she is not plucking out her feathers anymore. She has two new tail feathers and a few more on her shoulders and the back. Pepper is easy to work with, sweet and is sooo adorable. She is not as needy as Nikko, but enjoys our company a lot. We can’t wait for the day to see her covered in feathers!

The above picture was taken when we brought her home – she was not happy that only I was typing on the keyboard and wanted to join in the fun! It is so hard to get pictures of her, as she thinks that the Camera is a ‘Pepper-eating-monster’ and attacks it with all her might!


Tagged!!! May 30, 2007

Filed under: Dogs,Jenday Conure,Nanday Conure,NIKKO,PEPPER,Pets — Bala @ 10:35 am

Thanks to Gomer & Opie at Dogs Aye View, we got tagged to write about 8 unusual / funny / secret things about our kids – Amy, Nikko and Pepper!

Since we haven’t introduced Pepper yet, the list starts with her. Pepper is a 11-year old Nanday Conure. Here are some tit bits about her and Nikko.

  • We always thought Pepper was a boy since we got her – till two weeks back, when she started laying eggs. She is now sitting on two (dead) eggs.

  • Pepper doesn’t like to take a bath – she freezes when wet. However, she likes to put her beak in the water cup and stir it and play. Nikko on the other hand, will jump into a pie plate with water!

  • Pepper is good with mimicking. She makes the sound of running water, when she sees us drink water from a glass. Pepper also imitates the sound of our laughs and laughs with us!

  • Pepper is also a fearless climber – she figured out to walk on the window sill, climb down the curtain to the recliner and get to us on the couch. She is glad that Nikko cant make it farther that the window sill.

  • Pepper likes to shred – we cover her cage bottom with shredded paper and her sleep cage with newspaper, and she is content to be busy for hours with them.

  • Nikko is so protective of us (mostly Shankar) and has attacked me when I got too close to my husband! He has dive-bombed Amy and attacks almost all of her toys. He doesn’t like stuffed animals especially.

  • Nikko loves our bed. He gets sooo excited when he comes into the bedroom, and runs around / inside the sheets, making these cute sounds, like talking to himself.

  • Nikko knows when Shankar comes home from work. He will sit on top of the cage or inside and watch the road for Shankar. The moment he sees him on the other side of the road, he will start his joyous screaming and run to the spot on the top of his cage closest to the door. He secretly thinks he is a dog 🙂

We are tagging Spencer at The Adventures of Spencer blog. We will soon write on 8 unusual things about Amy! Thanks Gomer & Opie!


Amy’s first friend May 29, 2007

Filed under: AMY,Dogs,Pets,Play — Bala @ 8:15 am

The first dog we took Amy to play with is Gavin – he is Shankar’s colleague’s pet. Till then, we have seen Amy run to other dogs that are walked on the street in front of our house, and know she wants to play with them, but didn’t know how she would get along. The first time we took her to play with Gavin, they played for the whole day..non-stop.

Even if Gavin did not want to play, Amy was not ready to leave him alone. It was more than a month since we brought her home and she had been deprived of canine friends. And seeing Gavin was her chance to socialize and she was not ready to cut it short. Needless to say, she slept so well that night!


Feeding Frenzy May 28, 2007

Filed under: AMY,Cats,Dogs,Pets,Sephora — Bala @ 2:55 pm

It is no surprise that feeding 5 animals around the same time is a challenge. Especially when the cats compete to finish their food and go after the other food bowls. The one good thing was that though the cats had to be fed multiple times (4, to be exact) a day, the dogs were fed only twice. This made things a little less complicated. This is how I start: When I wake up in the morning, I first feed Sephora in my room, while Amy waits her turn. She at least knows not to go after another dog’s food, and that is very good. Then I go up, and feed Amy. Usually by the time Amy starts eating, Sephora is already there. She too doesn’t try to eat Amy’s food. I suppose there is more discipline among dogs than in the cat world.

By this time, Oreo is already circling my legs and meowing for food. I first feed him on the dining table. Then I make a dash to the bedroom and feed Snuffy. Scooter is usually on his bed these days, making it easy for me to pick him up and close the bedroom door. Then I call Amy, who usually hesitates to come near the bedroom. I cajole her to get to the door, past the hisses of Scooter, who at this point would like nothing better than to jump on Amy. Then I ask her to ‘Stay’ by the door and she usually does till I call her, unless Sephora decides to start playing. I do this so that Oreo does not try to get in to the bedroom.

I take Scooter into the office room and drop him on the chair. He likes to eat from a white sheet of paper. If I had not been paying attention to the dogs playing, Sephora has already shredded the piece of paper that Scooter ate his last meal from. And this is usually the case. After the search for a clean white paper, I give Scooter his meal and wait for him to eat. Scooter is like me: he doesn’t like to eat alone. So, I give him company, and keep watch at the same time for Oreo. Oreo always ends up opening the door, then it is the time to run around making sure he doesn’t get near Scooter’s food.

The only problem in this nice routine is if Amy leaves her post. I have to keep my ears alert for the sound of opening door. The moment Amy moves, Oreo makes it to the bedroom and heads straight for Snuffy’s food. Scooter will also leave the room if I leave and getting him back to eat the rest of his food is yet another issue. And Oreo knows that I make a mad dash to them too and attempts to grab how much ever he can. I cant help but wonder if, Oreo, as he sits by me, is making alternate plans for making it to one of the other food bowls, on the next feeding!


Pet Sitting May 27, 2007

Filed under: AMY,Cats,Dogs,Pets,Sephora — Bala @ 2:16 pm

I am currently pet sitting for my friends (C&R) for two weeks. They have one dog – Sephora (Amy’s best buddy) and three cats – Oreo, Scooter and Snuffy. Pet sitting is not new to me. I have taken care of two dogs and a cat for one of my other friends before. I did not think twice about offering to pet sit for C&R, especially when I knew Amy loves to play with Sephora. I had left Amy with C&R when I went to Kansas a couple of weeks back, and was excited to return the favor.

Day 1

C&R had warned me that the cats like to sneak out of the house and might be hard to get them back in, when two dogs are running around like crazy. I thought I was being cautious till the first morning, when I woke up to feed the cats and could find only two of them. I started doubting my cautiousness and tried playing all possible scenarios when Scooter might have taken off. So, I walked around the house calling for him, put the dogs inside the house and called some more. I had to go to work that morning and was getting anxious of being late.

I fed the other two cats first. I feed Oreo on the dining table and Snuffy in the bedroom. Oreo likes to finish his food fast and go after the other cat’s food. So, stood guard while they finished eating, and called for scooter some more. I tried shaking the food bin to let him know its feeding time. Nothing happened. I was beginning to panic at this point. Then I thought I will leave the door open for a while to see if he walks in. First, I had to lock the dogs in my room. Second, I wanted to lock the other two cats in the bedroom. The issue with that is, Oreo can open doors! He simply jumps on the handle and push it down, opening the door. I wonder how he learned that.

Anyway, I wanted to make sure that both the cats were in the bedroom before closing the door and leaving a chair as the not-possible-to-open-by-cat mechanism. On my rounds, I wanted to make sure that Snuffy was under the bed and dropped to my knees. To my surprise and relief, there was Scooter! I guess he simply was not sure what to do when a stranger was calling to feed him and hid under the bed. Then started the begging, cajoling, tempting with food, other antics to get him to come out from under the bed. To put it simply, nothing worked. I even tried climbing under the bed myself, and Scooter was definitely not happy about it. Finally, after about 20 minutes, I gave up and went to work, feeling bad that the cat is going to be hungry. At least I didn’t have to call up my friends and report a missing cat!


Training Amy May 26, 2007

Filed under: AMY,Dogs,Pets — Bala @ 5:06 pm

Like any other dog, I suppose the first and easiest thing to teach Amy was to ‘Shake’ hands. It did take a while to get her to give you only her right. Amy has the quickest learning curve of any animal I have ever seen. The pace at which she learns new stuff is the pace at which I teach her. Even if I try and tell her two different things, she seems to pick them up!

One of the other first things she got trained was, to ‘Come’ to us when called. She is a high ‘pack’ drive animal and is always with us. When we watch TV, she lies down by our legs. There have been every few times, when she would go to her bed, without us asking, while we were doing something. She is always ready to come to us! These days, she doesn’t need toe verbal command, she just watches us! She in fact has verbal clues to come to me. A nod of my head and / or a tap on my thigh will get her running to me 🙂 And she got used to her name pretty fast – may be its the tone with which we say it, but it didn’t take her long to get used to a new name.

Amy @ the beach

She has a thing for things that are Yellow – our vacuum cleaner, my plate, etc.. She would get excited / agitated when we vacuum the house and will start jumping in front of it, ready to take on a battle, like the vacuum is gonna get her. If we moved closer sometimes she would bark at it. And we discovered what makes her ‘Bark’ and within a day she was barking on command. The only time she barks without asking is when someone rings the door bell.

Though she knows to ‘Bark’, for some reason she doesn’t like to do it. So when we ask her to bark, she will do this ‘Ummm…umm’, sort of a whiny protest. It took a couple of days to get her to do that on a ‘Speak’ command. I haven’t come across anyone who is not fascinated to see a dog differentiate between ‘Speak’ and ‘Bark’ and respond differently. I am a (big) show off when it comes to Amy 🙂

As you can see, I am not exaggerating when it comes to her learning curve. So, this list will be continued…..


I want my toy… May 25, 2007

Filed under: AMY,Dogs,Pets,Toys — Bala @ 1:52 pm

We were in Kansas on the weekend of May 11 and picked up a whole bunch of toys from Wal-mart for Amy. The other day when Amy and I were playing with her new monster toy, it ended up on the Orange tree in our backyard. Amy just couldn’t give up!

She made quite an effort to retrieve her newest favorite from the tree:

She has learned to ask for help (read – whimper) when she cannot get something on her own – like balls under the couch or toys on the tree. Given the number of oranges on the tree and the toy being the same color, I haven’t been of much help. Unfortunately, the toy is still on the tree and Amy once in a while walks around the tree, looking up, expecting her toy to fall down.