George's Adoption Story    ----      (narrated by Mum)

 
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I remember well the warm February afternoon when Stephen and I went to meet Laka (our B&G) for the first time.  John, her breeder, took us into the flight room and as I gazed up at her sitting above me, I felt something big land on my right shoulder.

It shocked me just a little.  I'm not afraid of birds by any means, but I don't generally like to put my face up near one that I don't know quite well.  But there he was - sitting on my shoulder and kissing me on the right cheek.  George, a full-grown adult Red Sided Eclectus.

  At that time John was heavily involved in breeding parrots.  He had macaws, quakers, cockatiels, and, of course ekkies.  Of all the birds he had, George was the only "pet".  He had been born with a bad right eye, and John's tender heart just went out to him; he couldn't bear to part with him, so George became a special companion to John and his wife Miriam.

The way John tells it, George was his best salesman.  When people would come up looking for a pet bird, George would charm them and quite a few people decided they just had to have one like George.  Quite a few people asked to adopt George himself, but the answer was always "no".

Things do change, however, and although John and Miriam wanted to keep George forever, their living circumstances are changing, so they had to find a new home for him.  They are good friends of the family owned by the famous "Riley", perhaps the world's most famous talking eclectus.  Riley's family wanted to begin breeding ekkies, and it seemed they were the perfect place for George.  

He moved in with Riley's family in December 2007.  

Tragically, less than four months later his new family suddenly found that they have to find homes for their animal companions
(we hope that you never have to go through grief like this)  So John and Miriam agreed to take George back and find another place for him.

We got a call from John on Easter Sunday 2008 asking us if we'd could give George a home.  We were surprised and honored that John would ask us - George is a special guy.  We thought about it for a day, but it wasn't hard to say "YES!"


Hmmm... looks good

Rockmelon!  One of my favorites!

(March 26, 2008) Laka and I had a bit of 
fun the week before George came to live
with us.  Here we are "expecting".
In the week between John's call and the day George came home with us, I read everything I could get my hands on about eclectus.  I've had quite a few different kinds of birds over the years, but I knew that ekkies are a bit different and I needed to know about housing, toys, diet, exercise and all the other aspects of being a good parront for one of these beauties.

Books, the internet, and of course our avian vet have all been helpful and I'm becoming more confident that I know enough to give this fellow a good home.

It hasn't all been easy, however.  About the time George turned 3 years old we hit a rough patch that lasted several months.  I was in despair and even went so far as to ask his original family if they would consider taking him back.  Things spiralled out of control - but in March of 2009 we seemed to find the answer.