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OLIVER’S STORY

…as told by Marla, his soul mate


Here is Oliver and my story. I used to work for an avian and special species vet...where I learned to love, love birds.

In the late 90's after 30 years of showing Afghans, my husband went to Colorado for a month to work on our daughters house, (he is a master carpenter) and I thought gee, wouldn't it be fun to get another bird, (had a pair of Rosella's for about 20 years & still had them) So I called a lady who runs a rescue program in La Cross WI. I was using a mini van as my new Miata was being worked on, so decided to drive up and see what she had. I took a small cage my Rosellas would fit into and off I went. Lordy, Lordy, it was February and colder than a witches kiss outside, with snow up to a persons knees. I found the bird rescue and what a commotion when I walked into the place. Three cats wandering around, small birds flying all over and walking on the floor with the cats, the noise was insane! She told me about the "forever" birds that had been left to her in people's wills, and the ones up for adoption. I really didn't know what I wanted. I looked at a couple of cockatoo's but they are like owning a two year old child for the rest of your life, I looked at Amazons, hmmm, not too friendly, then she told me the story of Oliver. Oliver used to be HER bird, but when he turned 8 he wanted to breed with a greenwing that she had had from a baby and that Oliver had helped feed, and he just loved her. Well she was not in the bird breeding business, and Oliver turned on her in a nanosecond. She could not go near him without him trying to eat her alive. She tried for two years....she had the greenwing and Oliver at the rescue home, trying to make friends with him. Not only did he hate her, he hated everyone that got near him...that is everyone except me! To this day I don't know what he liked about me, but she opened the door to the cage, put in a dowel and said "step up", and he went to my arm and we hung out for at least an hour in the back room just playing with each other. It was more than I ever expected. I told her I couldn't leave him, so I was lucky in the fact that a lady had just lost her B&G and she had brought in his cage to sell...and I bought it. Thank heavens I was driving that mini van because the cage fit within 1/2 inch of the wheel wells! She loaned me a much larger carrier to bring him home in. You would have died laughing if you would have seen us trying to get that huge cage into that van...very funny, indeed!

So off Oliver and I went, I called my brother in law and asked him to meet me at the house at 6, as I needed his help. He and his wife drove up and I thought his mouth would drop off his face! It was too funny. Well between the two of us we got the cage in the house, (thank heavens we have double doors!) Oliver hopped onto my arm, I gave him his food and placed him in his cage. Jazz, my last Afghan was very curious about him, the other two birds, Ying & Yang, could have cared less. Did I mention that I "forgot" to tell my darling husband that "we" had a "new" bird??? Every time Chuck would call I would have to run into the master bedroom, close the door, then run into our bathroom and close that door, because Oliver would keep yelling hello! Needless to say my dear husband doesn't love Oliver like I do, but he loves me, so he loves Oliver!!!

Oliver is such a character. He was 10 years old when I got him, he is now 17. He and Jazz were written up in Dog World Magazine about a year after I got him, as he used to ride around on Jazz's back...he would hold on for dear life and Jazz would roam around the house like there wasn't a thing odd going on! Oliver loves children, I take him to Home Depot every summer and the kids go nuts when they see him. It has gotten to the stage now, if someone does not greet him when he comes into the door, he yells "Hello Oliver" to get some attention. One night there were three children coming towards us and Oliver hollers, "hello", they all got to hold him and then when they left it was the very first time he said "Bye". I had been working on that word for maybe two years! Every time the phone rings he says "hello" on the third ring...without fail. One night there was a sales person trying to sell something, and for some reason Oliver was just acting crazy and talking up a storm, so I laid the phone on the countertop and got Oliver and he jabbered to the guy for at least 35-40 seconds before the guy hung up! We all were laughing so hard it was hard to keep our tears back.

Oliver has a vocabulary of about 50 words. When I get mad at him and tell him he's naughty he tells me to "shut up", (that I did not teach him, unfortunately he came with those words!) If I give him another reprimand he will say "whatever!". He hates loud noises and when my daughter, her husband and three children come, they best behave themselves, one day my daughter was yelling at them and Oliver promptly told her to "shut up"! He also waits until she is in the guest bathroom, and then he will wait for her if she has not locked him out, as he knows she is afraid of him LOL!!!

Every time I leave the house for over a day, I call him and talk to him, my husband thinks we are both nuts, but Oliver will say hello and he knows my voice.

When we go to Tennessee, I always take Oliver to see my 93 year old Aunt, who is in a nursing home. Everyone loves him and I promised the activity director when we move there I will bring him in along with my two poodles, who are Canine Good Citizens.

Oliver also goes to schools and nursery schools and I give talks on where these big guys come from, and he sits while the children read books to him, so we have quite the social life. The youngest to hold him is my 3 year old neighbor and the oldest is my 93 year old aunt.

So that is our life in a nutshell. One wonderful big blue bird and his mom.

Marla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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