"Too late sweetheart, Tyson is being picked up this Saturday for yet another new home, we just simply could not cope with her biting our hands off, but thank you all the same."
At any given time I'm working with a half dozen flocks all over the globe. The issues are as varied as the locations and languages. We successfully helped a grey in Iraq transition to a new home and end the stress plucking that came along with that move. Before that I helped an anxious Cockatiel in London. I try very hard to answer emails the same day and get the information and help to that flock within 24 hours after that initial acknowledgment. I'm in many time zones obviously.
I wasn't able to get Tyson's people their answers as quickly as normal, due to my Benny's injury. And so, I was too late it seems. You see Tyson was handed off to family number 9, who are rescuers of birds, just not hookbills. They are exceptional at their work, but had no clue or understanding on parrots let alone a large parrot with serious trust issues. They could not see Tyson for who she is as a companion. They only saw a parrot that bites. Tyson's number 8 home failed her as much as the first 7 homes. After viewing a number of videos of Tyson, I saw a macaw full of desire to be part of a flock, a very good bird just trying to communicate. Unfortunately for Tyson her lessons in communication have only been flawed, intimidating and confusing. Hence her biting and lunging. Tyson needs someone who understands transitional approaches, immersive communication and the patience they require. And so far in her life, she hasn't found that someone.
I forwarded the top articles I've written on communication and trust in my response email with an open offer to stay close indefinitely and be openly available at any time for assistance. Which I do for every flock seeking help, at no cost. But alas, it was too late, thank you all the same.
I was up late last night thinking on Tyson and her coming Sunday relinquishment. Wondering what family number 10 is about, if they are understanding parrot-ccentric or just another stop on a long road yet traveled. I asked in my letter of response where she is going. I've not received an answer. I may not at all. For some, the problem is gone. And my part was only to solve the problem fast. Which I failed to do, but thank you all the same.
It's Friday, Tyson will be moved again, day after tomorrow. I hope family number 10 has empathy for her. I hope they have understanding and patience. I hope that there will be no need for family number 11. I hope with all my heart that Tyson, a beautiful macaw, will find the beauty of a healthy and loving flock that matches her own. Because it is never too late for any companion parrot. There is always time if time is what we are willing to invest. There is always a way, if we are willing to find the ways.
Tyson's story isn't unusual, nor is it the worst I've seen these past 3 years of global work. But Tyson represents the core of the issue at hand that has to be the first step before all other steps in advocacy. The human in the room.
Tyson is not a problem to be passed around until someone can cope. Family number 9 was an inappropriate choice by 8. And obviously 1-7 weren't any better. We'll say for sake of argument that 9 families each have 2 people, that means at least 18 people couldn't see or know the truth of Tyson. 18 people did not have the time, patience, understanding or empathy to create a final answer that works. 18 people had absolutely no context or understanding to draw on for empathy or solution. Either there was no clear solution locally, or they were devoid of any knowledge outside of a faint factoid they saw online or in a store. Tyson has no safety net. Companion Parrots have no clear, widely available safety nets. Not yet.
It's never too late to understand a new truth. It's never too late to cope for the sake of another being. It is never too late to change the course of one person who will then change the course of another who will then do the same. Tyson has been passed through 9 families. All nine families passed Tyson along because they felt comfortable in doing so as a solution to their needs. Humans only do things that are comfortable or comfortably rationalized through repetition of past successes doing the same. Tyson and her issues were a disposable product. Disposing of inconvenient "pets" is a norm in the human dynamic.
The problems and issues for companion parrots do not lie with the parrots, breeders, sellers, poachers or thieves as a labeled target. The problem lies in humanity. We are the problem. Companion Parrot Advocacy is not about fixing the parrots, it's about fixing the humans that come into contact with parrots. When the real advocacy of respect, empathy, kindness and humility gets underway and gets a toehold inside the larger formats of human dynamics that is when we will see change.
We have family visiting in a week or so. They are excited to see our birds. What I want to give them instead is an excitement to KNOW our COMPANIONS.
Saturday Tyson goes to her 10th family. What I want for them is to be excited to know the companion that is Tyson, not the problem that was family number nine's. Anything less just isn't good enough, thanks all the same.