That's a top five reason for parrot relinquishment. I don't have the time anymore. Years may have been spent with their companion, or just months, but either way, a flock has been formed. But now the human decides they no longer have the time the companion deserves to receive and believes the only option is abandonment to a rescue. It's a problem you see, and the best way to solve a problem is to make it go away. That's a human thing, out of sight out of mind.
On the other side of the relationship is a companion committed to what may come inside the flock. They don't see an issue, they just see changes. Handled properly the time management changes inside a flock are doable, with success. The problem with the human in the room is, they have no faith in the relationship that has unfolded before the changes. The human is underestimating the power of their relationship with their companion parrot. Never underestimate a companion parrot.
Here's the thing; life brings change. Always. To every one breathing on this planet. Our lives change! Here's the other thing; a companion parrot inside a healthy relationship with their human can tolerate changes! Those new changes will probably require a few additional changes to make the whole new lifestyle work. But isn't that life in general? You graduate college, you get a job that is more demanding. Your schedule changes. Your bills change. Your friends change. And without blinking an eye, you modify the things that need modifying to make room for the changes. Because that is life. Things change.
When we bring a companion parrot into our lives, we are not buying a car that we can sell on a whim. We aren't bringing in furniture or an iPhone that will be upgraded. We are bringing in a cognitive and eager being that wants to build a relationship. And isn't that why we bring them into our lives to start? We at some moment looked into a pair of eyes and said, "Yes, I see you."
Why then are we so quick to consider the idea of abandonment when life changes? Mind you I am not talking about the changes that bring threats of death, illness, personal danger or homelessness. I am discussing changes like getting a new job, adding hours to an old job, moving to a new home, adding a child, getting married and the like. You know the stuff. Regular old life changes healthy humans experience simply by living a healthy life of choice.
Your companion does not want to be left behind. He wants to change with the flock. It's the purpose of flocking in the first place. Flocking protects all members inside the group during change. Each member modifies something to accommodate change and protect each other. To put it simply, our companion parrots are hardwired to accept change and modifications INSIDE A FLOCK.
I've had a couple people reach out to me in this moment of decision. I've had a Rescue Director reach out in elevated concern over a pair of companions over this type of decision. This moment of crisis thinking happens far too often. And unnecessarily so.
The relationship with your companion parrot is not based on one simple dynamic of time, or foods, or toys, or location, or cage or vetting. Our relationships are built on a fabric woven from all these things and more. The finished product is a pattern of promises and love. We are cloaked in our blanket of sincere concern and understanding that a flock has been formed. When one portion of that fabric is removed or lessened, another portion can be enlarged to accommodate the change. As humans we create family for that very reason. Our own little castle of protection and tribe.
How many parents relinquish their children when the parents both have to work? None. They find a way. They modify other aspects of family life to make room for this change. And when this is done with sincere love and honesty all members find their way. And they all know they are STILL a family after the change.
There are times when relinquishment may be the only option, but I do believe those times as they occur could be far less if the human in the room had more faith in the relationship they created in the beginning of their flock. Because I promise with all my heart, a companion parrot will be more than happy to modify the hours spent together for the chance to stay in their flock. Because their flock is their family. And because they promised you long ago they would never break the flock. Sometimes we forget this point. When a companion parrot trusts, and becomes YOUR companion parrot. At that very moment they made a promise you could not hear, but see every day; They promised to never leave you.
I think we owe them the same promise.