Todd & Sharon's Pets
We have a full house of pets.
First, there's the dogs. Holly is the Brindle greyhound pictured here on the left. This photo was taken shortly before she passed away. 'Trouble' (short for her racing name, 'Here's Your Trouble') is our current dog. We're partial to retired racing greyhounds. Also check out Trouble and Missy on the run!
Both Holly and Trouble were adopted through Greyhound Pets Inc. Greyhound Color Chart
Ruby is an African Grey Congo parrot. Todd had owned a wild-caught African Grey several years back; that is definitely not the way to go. Wild-caught birds are still "pining for the fiords"; that is to say, they're hacked off, and never let you forget it. Actually, you hardly ever see wild-caught birds in the USA anymore, there's been an import ban for about 5 years. Todd traded the wild grey in for a hand-fed baby, but that bird departed for Arizona with his first wife.
Ruby was spotted in a pet store that specializes in birds (Wings Of The World). She was a hand-fed baby, just ready to finish up her weaning process. She seemed to be exceptionally interested in people, so we bought her. Ruby has been a lot of fun to have around. Greys are the best talkers of the parrots, and extremely intelligent. Dr. Irene Pepperberg has done research with greys indicating they have the cognitive ability of a human 5 year old. They don't merely mimic speech, to an extent, they understand it. Ruby has a vocabulary of around 100 words, and would certainly learn more if pushed. She entertains us by having her own phone conversations, etc. The startling thing about greys is their ability to mimic a wide range of voices / sounds. When Ruby says "Honey?" it sounds enough like Sharon that you can't help but answer.
Griffen is a Blue - Headed Pionus, one of the many sub-species of Parrot. Ruby started out being "Todd's Bird", so Sharon wanted one of her own. At the time, Ruby was somewhat nasty to Sharon, and had nipped her a few times. Sharon was after a well-behaved bird with some personality, and attractive looking. Pionus in general fit that description, but birds are individuals, and Griffen is a brat. Ironically, there has been a switch of allegiances. Ruby is now crazy about Sharon (perhaps a jealous reaction to having a rival bird in the house), while Griffen has decided that Todd is the one for her (him? it's almost impossible to tell the gender of most parrots by looking at them).
In 1999, we actually tried to get the pets to pose for Christmas Photos. Not much luck.
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