Friday, February 09, 2007

Where OCD & birds collide

Some of my OCD symptoms manifests itself with germ phobias, cleanliness anxieties, and unnecessary rotation of household items....yeah, I know that last one is weird.

When I got my parrot, Wellstone, I thought it would be good for me to have to deal with a messy animal.

It hasn't been, and we are at an impasse.

He's a wonderful bird, but the thrown food, bird poop, and the worst part - the dander, is just too much. Even with regular showers, the dander is everywhere. Dog dander doesn't hold a candle to this stuff. It's like a thick waxy substance that gets into everything.

I've found him an excellent new home, but this isn't going to be easy. Tom said something that is tearing at me. He said, "I've never seen you turn on an animal before." Ouch.

The new owner can't take him until after March 20, so I do have some time to figure out what's best for all.


Jim Marquis said...

I can sympathize, Lizzy. We've had to find new homes for a couple dogs over the years and it's hard but it's SO nice to be rid of the problem. One was a intensely hyper Springer Spaniel pup and the other was a mini Schnauzer we could never trust around anybody outside our immediate family.

Snave said...

Same thing at our house... In about 1990, we had to find new homes for a couple of obnoxious Cocker Spaniel puppies who were untrainable in many regards and were starting to get into "fear biting". About 10 years ago we found a new home for a Bassett-Border Collie mix (!) who was dumb and hyper, and basically untrainable. We just aren't dog people.

One of Kit's co-workers is not good with pets, and when she is tired of her animals, she has them put down or gets rid of them in inhumane ways. She has been talking about simply letting her two parakeets go, out into the cold weather. Kit said "No, don't do that!" Last night, the co-worker said "Do you still want those birds?" Kit did what I believe was the correct thing and said "yes", so we will soon be the owners of a pair of white parakeets... sigh... I've owned parakeets in the past and yes, they are definitely messy. But what the heck, I like 'em. And Baby Mackie will probably like 'em too!

Keira said...

I am surprise, but I can totally understand where you are coming from. BL (Before Lexi) I had at one point 4 cockatiels, 2 pocket parrots, and 2 parrakeets, AND the 2 dogs, uhh at one point 5 cats, fish, 1 bunny, and Tom's lizards. Wow that was a lot. Was I a horder???? Finding new homes for one cat and the birds was a huge relief when I found out I was pregnant. And what a huge reduction in the mess. Now we are down to 2 dogs 1 cat, 1 lizzard, 1 fish. However the day after Xmas Tom found a parakeet in our back yard so now we also have 1 parakeet. (I swear the animals know where to go when they need homes). So I understand your painful choice.

PoliShifter said...

Sorry to hear it Lizzy but I can understand.

Parrots can live a very, very long time.

Perhaps you may be able to visit him from time to time?

Ultimately you have to do what is best for your mental well being.

1138 said...

a) Birds need to be free - I can't bear the thought of having one prisoner - no matter how velvet the cage. And as polshifter said, they can live way too long (or way too short).

Other animals take patience - I've had bad dogs, but I've never given a problem away until it was fixed, and retrained them I have.

The bird and you are not compatible, but not because he's a bad bird - simply because he is a bird and trying to make him something else is bad for you, and Wellstone.

Lizzy said...

I really appreciate everyones support on this. This is a very hard decision to make, but knowing that I'm not alone does help.

J, While I personally could never get rid of a dog, I do understand where you're coming from. If the dog couldn't be trusted, then you had to do what was right for your family. I totally get that.

Snave, your comment about Kit's co-worker is bothering me to no end. Someone should put her down in an inhumane way. Seriously.

I have a parakeet that my neighbor gave me and it is no trouble at least compared to Wellstone. I hope you'll enjoy your new feathered friends.

Keira, I knew you'd be surprised about the news, but you've been to my house, so I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from. Can you talk to your brother about this? He's giving me a hard time.

Polishifter, Thanks for your support. I guess I could visit him from time to time, but I wouldn't want to confuse him, so I'm not sure if I would.

1138, You sound like a fellow animal-rights person...are you? I think you summed up the situation perfectly. Thank you.

Snave said...

Lizzy, I know what you mean about Kit's co-worker... people with that attitude towards life just kind of give me the chills.

One of my best friends still refers to his pets as "it" rather than "he" or "she"... I don't know why that bothers me, but it does. He is good to his pets, anyway.

We will keep the birds at least for a while. We need to see how it goes, but I'm confident that our house is probably the best place for them in the long run. Once they are living at our house, I will post a picture of them!

The two parakeets I had in college were allowed to live outside their cage in my room in a rental house I shared with a couple of roommates. Every night I cleaned up the poop and swept the seed husks off my desk and window sill. Very unsanitary, I know, but they loved it that way. I didn't have a lot of furniture in that room, and I will never forget the time J. Marquis came to visit, took a look in my squalorous room, and said something like "Well, this is... Bohemian..." The problem with letting the birds loose like that was that they liked to live on the curtain rod, and I ended up having to buy new drapes because... they liked to chew.

They will stay in the cage at our house... Once the birds arrive, Abby, Mackie and Bonnie will all be endlessly dreaming of fresh breast of parakeet.

Lizzy said...

Snave, Yes, it definitely sounds like your home will be the best place for the little birds. They'll be safe there...or at least semi-safe with the kitties around!

I love the image of Bohemian Snave.

People that refer to their pet as "it," bothers me, too...but nothing compares to Kit's co-worker. Hopefully, she'll get hers, in the end. What comes around, goes around.

brdrake said...

Have Tom start doing the house-cleaning. That may help him resolve his "feelings" and guilt jabs. :)

Snave said...

Yes, maybe Kit's co-worker will get a nasty infection from her nose- or eyebrow-piercing.

Lizzy said...

It'll never happen, Brian. He'll say, "I work all day, you don't."

Keira said...

ha ha your funny Brian.