Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Neo (Female African Grey) - Narrated by Adrienne

It all began with Neo, our first bird who’s now 10 years old.  I admit, we didn’t know what we were getting into when we first brought her home.  Even though we purchased several parrot books and completed hours of research before we made the decision, it didn’t fully prepare us for the huge personality that was hiding under those little grey feathers.  When she was about a year old, she uttered her first words, “tickle, tickle” (we’d always say that when we tickled the bottom of her feet).  My husband and I were floored; our bird just talked!  I mean, we were used to cats and dogs so having a pet that could communicate using the English language was pretty darn cool. 
It didn’t take long before she added, “Hey mister”, “Got your feet”, “Got my beak”, “Got my nose”, “Gotta go potty”, “Eskimo kiss”, “It’s chilly”, “Popcorn”, “Will you be quiet”, “Good girl”, “Hey Neo”, “Hi Princess”, “How are you”, “Mommy’s gotta go to work”, “I love you”, “See ya later”, “Have a good day”, “Happy bird”, “I’m sorry”, “Hey Ron”, “Mommy’s home”, and a number of other creative sentences.  She can imitate the microwave, house alarm, kissing sounds, doorbell, phone etc.  She does it so well that I’ve actually went running for my phone or the door thinking someone was there.   She can also use my voice or my husband’s voice when she speaks.  It’s funny when she yells, “Hey Ron”, using my voice and my husband comes rushing into the room to see what I want. 
There’s another story that I just have to share, it made me appreciate the scope of her intelligence.  Several years ago, my husband was stationed in Iraq and I was home alone with Neo.  I was sitting on the couch, feeling a bit lonely and Neo was sitting on her playstand.  She knew I was feeling sad and she looked me in the eye and asked, “Mommy, do you miss daddy”?  My jaw hit the floor and I remember looking at her and thinking, “My God, she’s a human with wings”.  I immediately answered her question with a yes, picked her up, and gave her a big hug and kiss.  She helped me get through some rough times and I’m just so thankful to have her in my life.    
Okay, here’s one more story before I go…
Even though Neo is a total sweetheart, she has her cranky moments.  One time, she was being moody and bit my finger out of spite.  I responded with a, “No, that’s not nice”, and put her in her cage and covered the top.  A couple minutes later, I saw her peeking from under the sheet and she said, “I’m sorry”.  Boy did she make my heart melt.  I couldn’t help but uncover the cage and take her back out.  She was sweet as pie for the rest of the day.
Here’s a picture of her standing on our deck (don’t worry, we just had her wings clipped so she couldn’t take off on a rampage through the neighborhood)

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