My Own Animal Story!

Yesterday, my estranged husband had to give up the parrot (Cockotoo) that has been in the family 18 years. I took him back to African Grey pet shop where I purchased him, 18 years ago in a blizzard! The owner, agreed to take him back and find a good home for him.

After carefully loading his cage in the car, and all his toys, I got to the Pet Shop and surrendered him.

Sorrowfully, I said my goodbyes. It was later I realized I had forgotten a part of the cage, and journeyed back to the Pet Shop...

I asked where "Coco" was, and was told he was in the playpen ( a large, Plexiglas enclosed cubicle with sand and perches) Slowly, I made my way over and caught sight of him. It was apparent he had settled in with the other birds and was content in his new environment. Slowly, I tearfully called his name, and he didn't at first recognize me. Then he slowly turned his head all the way around, and starred directly into my eyes. His black eyes widened with curiosity. Of course, I was wreck and cried uncontrollably.

Finally, the owner, Karen, asked why I wasn't going to "try" him out at my humble dwelling. She suggested we try to take him back to my Boulder apartment; and see if he would settle in with me. I had given this careful consideration before, but my roommate and son, was against this, and made it painfully clear he didn't want "Coco" to come home with us. However, I had forewarned my neighbor that we may have an unusual guest, and asked permission to try him out at the apartment some weeks before, cautioning him that he would be a screamer. He looked at me and asked "do you want to bring him home?," and I told him I did. "Well, he continued, 'we certainly can give it a try, and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work."

So, after bringing up the disassembled cage, and making numerous trips to the car, I got him set up again, in my humble apartment, in the living room. Around 10 PM he started to scream, and I panicked. Actually, he was telling me he was tired and wanted "lights out." I quickly got my water for the night out of the kitchen, and brought it to my bed room.

I didn't hear a peep out of him until I woke him this morning. My son and I are trading him off (from room to room) and letting him perch on our shoulders, giving him extra attention to better acclimate him to his new home.

I will continue to monitor him daily. Taking a day at a time, hoping I won't have to give him up ever again. It is a prayer I hold deep in my heart.

Denise Fisher

Sugar and Spice and Other Things Not So Nice

I am at it again, stalking the isles of King Soopers with my raincoat and sunglasses, tip-toeing round corners and eying the Ice Cream, Cinnamon Rolls and other decadent delicacies.  Just this week, I had just finished a bowl of pasta and absolutely had to go out to Dairy Queen to have a Blizzard fix.

Shouldn’t I have grown out of this? What makes me so crazy for sugar, sugar and MORE sugar? Maybe because I didn’t have enough sugar (love) in my life, but whatever it is, it has wreaked havoc on my waistline and tummy. As long as I can remember, I have always had a love affair with food, and especially sugar.

The people I love to hate are those who sigh “Oh, I forgot to eat today.” Come on now, how can one FORGET TO EAT? It is like forgetting to breathe. I am sure you get the drift. It is Friday afternoon, and I haven’t had my yogurt for the day, and am already dreaming of Pizza for dinner.

When I was on the “Suzanne Sommers” diet, I actually lost my gut and got rid of my sugar cravings. The first two weeks was going through withdrawal. It was every bit as hard as kicking any other addiction. The one great trick I devised was my baked apple dessert, topped with “Butter Buds” and Stevia or “Sweet and Lo.”

I am digging hard and fast to fill up the hole inside of me, and am pondering ideas that don’t include the sweeter things in life.

By the way, I only have 6 more hours before I dip into that Pizza.

Now What?

The dust (oil) hasn't quite settled in the Gulf, and wonder what can we expect after the latest assault to the environment. During this crisis, I buried my head, I couldn't watch the news and just honestly couldn't deal with it at all.

Beautiful creatures laden with oil, damaged and drained, lifeless carcasses tossed about on the beaches. What a horrific sight. I wish I could shrug it off and forget about it all together. But it hangs over my head and remains in my thoughts.

Animals have a special place in in my heart. Maybe because they are so helpless and have no voice. We have to be their voice.

So in the days to come, I w ill watch what plays out. I appreciate the individuals who gave their time and money to help clean up the mess. I am haunted by the aftermath.

Unlike many, I cannot affix blame, but accept this is a fact of life that is part and parcel to the benefits of modern technology.

It doesn't mean I am happy about it, however. So what is the answer? I don't have an answer, or a solution. I need this opportunity to express my feelings and share them.

So in the days to come, I will keep watch and observe this evolution.  I pray that nature can once again restore a balance, for the the smallest and largest creatures; the snails to whales. My hope is that the sea will once again become their refuge and playground.