For the last hour or so I've been standing at the door looking out past the covered deck and into our backyard. I love this view. I love it for the birds outside, our flowered Crepe Myrtle all in pink, my bonsai and plants on the deck and for Butters. Butters, you see, mandates about an hour of time on my right forearm in front of this windowed door looking out. We do this once a day. She doesn't seem to care what time, although prefers the lunch hour. I think she inherited that from my own schedule. I walk away from the computer and she jumps off her tree stand to call dibs.
She wants this hour for one purpose. She must preen my arm, neck, ear and shirt collar. I'm a mess obviously. She carefully, delicately and with a constent purr fixes me. I am a human afterall and without feathering I fall short of beauty. She needs this time together. She craves it. It is important to her, it means something to her day and this action between us sends clear communication of our love, her safety and the flock's health.
Every parrot in this house has these Need Times. Some would flippantly call them needy or spoiled. I consider them companions who require their own personal communications between me and them. Little Winston, our male cockatiel, requires about 10 minutes of serious head scritches and neck fluffs every night around 7:30 or 8pm. I just found out he loves his new name Little Winston. He REALLY likes the word "little". That word and that time tells Little Winston everything he needs to know about himself, us and his flock.
In all the ideas of behavior, training, controlling and modifying our companions it is imperative to find, create and identity these moments and actions. They are literally the key to success in the bigger format of our companion parrot's physical and mental health.
These actions will take time, and probably a little sacrifice. But then, all relationships require those investments. And like great love affairs, those around us will wonder if we are a bit crazy for it. You know those love affairs. We have all had them at least once. We end up doing some amazing sacrifices for our love. We deny ourselves, we change our schedules, formats and even beliefs! Why we become a different person in the name of love. Some of our friends think us crazy, some think we are making a mistake or even wasting our time. And yet we carry on for our great love. And at the end of the day, very few humans see this emotional overloaded investment for love as unusual. It's expected even.
Step out of a relationship and stay single and watch friends and family "worry" for you. Your mom is going to ask if you are okay alone. Stay single and "alone" long enough with no great love story and then your inner circle may just set you down for an arranged date night. Because everyone should be in love!
I agree, every one should feel and give love. It's part of the human makeup. It is that one thing we all need. It is not something a human can do without really. An unloved person can self destruct. Many an addict, suicide victim or homeless person will voice the feeling of being unlovable or unloved.
Because love is a need that proves purpose. Flocks can not form without purpose. Flocks and family are first formed through love. And that love creates purpose. And that purpose needs reinforcement and fuel to grow. And Need Time is that fuel.
A majority of issues can be wiped out with Need Time. And I mean issues of both parrot and human. Companion Parrots crave Need Time. The best part of Companion Parrots is the best part of Humans. Resiliency when offered love. They, and we, are amazingly resilient when we know we are loved. No matter the relationship issue for a flock, my prescription starts with love. Because we all need love.