Harness That Bird!!!!

Posted in Birds, Education, Enrichment, Recall, Training, Uncategorized, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by angelsofflight

Zazu...Unharnessed at the beach.

When it comes to harness training I have mixed feelings.  Some birds need it and some birds don’t.  If you are going to keep your birds fully flighted and train them for recall and free flight then the proper skills  need to be obtained, therefore removing the need for a harness.  However, there are those people that don’t train for such things but want to give their birds the opportunity to fly and that’s ok too.  Within the confines of a large aviary or in a well planned and thought out home catered towards your birds, training for flight can be very rewarding.  As far as the harness goes, some people use it for extra precaution when going to town or on vacation with their bird even though the bird is highly trained and a motivated flyer…this is acceptable as well.  However, if a harness is not used properly it is detrimental.  It can damage a birds crop, back, wings and possibly have fatal effects on your feathered companion.  For instance, it is heartbreaking and I cringe when I see a flighted bird on a harness, it is allowed to take off at full speed just to be pulled back by the person holding the other end and then hits the ground with an amazing “THUMP”.  Talk about damage!!!  Now you’ve #1…Ruined his self confidence about flying, #2…Choked the hell out of his crop and possibly damaged something and #3…possibly cracked his keel bone!!  Yeah!!  That’s Positive Reinforcement!!  For the seasoned harness users this could make you want to smack the person upside the head and wrap a dog collar around their neck attached to a leash and send them off the Empire State Building…but in a perfect society we can’t do that!

"Daphne" (Barb Saunders' D2) recalls on a harness

My friend Barb Saunders, author of BarbsBirdsandAviary, uses a harness on her birds when traveling on vacation and talk about a seasoned harness user…the woman knows EVERYTHING about using a harness (she taught me a few tricks when I used to use one with Zazu).  Her birds are trained for recall.  She is very cautious where she recalls her birds eliminating the startle flight as much as possible and just having fun.  In this case a harness is, in my opinion, a grand little accessory.  She is able to set her bird down and recall it in short flights off a railing, a rock, etc.  She doesn’t send her birds flying into the air just to retract them back.  The harness in this case is used properly without any damage to the bird and training has been obtained to make sure both Barb and her birds are safe. “Daphne”, Barbs’ Ducorps Cockatoo was trained at the early age of 3 months old to wear a harness.  This is an important factor.  While Barb has eliminated the use of harnessing, Daphne is a seasoned veteran when it comes to a harness and if need be will wear one without any fuss.  You can’t just slap on a harness and expect your feathered baby to enjoy wearing one!!  It is a patient process and one that needs to be introduced slowly.

Zazu wore a harness in the early stages of her training.

When I was initially training Zazu on her jump flights I admit I used a harness a couple of times.  This was in the early stages of her outdoor training away from her comfort zone and I didn’t want my young (baby) bird to get startled and fly off into a parking lot and get hit by a car…I’m sure you could understand that.  As the months went on, her confidence built as well as mine with different outings and socialization such as the beach, work, and outdoor restaurants.  Therefore I removed the harness after training her to fly down 25 feet out of an oak tree and off the roof of the house…just in case these issues ever came up.  Mind you, those were scary training sessions and SHOULD NOT be done without the help and guidance of a professional.  When going to work she would take off when I called her and fly from the register area to the aquatics department landing safely and securely in the palm of my hand…this is now a properly trained bird at 10 months old.  I have all the confidence in the world with her and I do not use a harness on her at all anymore…it’s my preference.  Her wing feathers are growing out nicely as well and training continues on a daily basis.  As she acquires more wing feathers, she acquires more height and more distance therefore increasing the training for recall.

Zazu...in flight during recall training at the beach.

In one of my seminars I did “Advanced Avian Education” I touched on the recall method and use of a harness.  Obviously there is always that one bad apple in the bushel so trying to convince this man that keeping his Ducorps Cockatoo fully flighted when she was just used as an accessory in his home to make it look more tropical was a bad idea…he found an invitation for an argument…and so my point began.  If you randomly let your bird fly with no recall training, food management, enrichment, positive reinforcement, and so on…you are headed for no where except disaster.  Trying to explain that to this man was a losing battle for me so I finished our argument by giving him my phone number and telling him to give me a call when his bird was up in a 25 foot tree and wouldn’t come down.  Funny thing is, I got a call from his wife 2 weeks later frantically telling me their bird was on the roof of their house and they couldn’t get her down.  They opted for me to teach them about harness training…hummm.

Barb harnesses her birds while on vacation.

So when it comes to wearing a harness…I am all for them providing they are used correctly, maintained in condition, used for the proper purpose, and the bird is trained to wear them (Yes…you need to train your bird to wear them or they think it’s another “scud missile” coming at them from afar!!!).  There are a variety of harnesses to choose from however, Barb and I choose the aviator harness which is available online or through your local pet supply store.  This is a fantastic little tool…use it wisely…PLEASE!!!!

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The Fundamentals Of Being A Baby

Posted in Birds, Education, Enrichment, Macaw, Recall, Training, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2010 by angelsofflight

Zazu

Although I have no human children of my own, I do know what it is like to be a mom and hear those first words spoken by my baby blue and gold macaw…Zazu.  The first time I heard her say “Hi” in the sweetest little baby macaw voice I got tears in my eyes.  Then came “Hi Mom” and now she promptly tells the dogs “Outside!”. and may I say it’s a very forceful tone.  Her constant chatter of mumbling and a “Hi” in every other mumble leads me to believe she is going to be an avid talker.

While most of you know that I have been recall training Zazu since the day I brought her home at 16 weeks old…you also know that I never say “Step Up” to her…it’s always “Come Here”.  Well, now she tells me to “Come Here”.  This is her little signal to me to say “I am ready for a training session”.  While we train she usually does her funny quirky things like roll over on her back, play dead and all the good things in a training session.  However there is one hysterical thing she does that just gets me everytime…she takes a 50 foot flight to me from the top of her cage, lands ever so gracefully in the palm of my hand and says with a big bold baby macaw voice “Hi!!!”  It’s the funniest thing I have ever encountered and to tell you the truth with her quirky little attitude, it’s just that much more funny (I have yet to be able to catch it on tape).

Favorite things to do...PLAY!!!

Another favorite...EAT!!!

While yes, birds do mimic what people say…they also seem to know and understand what the words mean.  More or less how to get a reaction out of you that they want.  For instance, when Zazu wants to come out of her cage, she’ll say “Come Here”…instead of a constant screaming and screeching.  She knows she gets more attention with a kind “Hi” instead of a 3000 decibel anxious scream.  Thank goodness cause that’s enough to knock you off your rocker when you got three of them going all at once!

I think the most fun of owning and raising a baby bird would have to be watching the development and enrichment that they totally get off on!  When Zazu finally gets a trick like dunking the basketball, the excitement she displays is amazing!!  She is so proud of herself and she knows her jackpot treat is waiting for her…she flaps those wings and then comes the “Hi!!!…Hi!!!…Hi!!!”  I am thoroughly impressed with her and she knows it…maybe sometimes I get overly enthusiastic with her but for the most part, it is definitely a bond that cannot be broken!

Zazu and I having a pep talk at the beach

I would have to say that my journey with Zazu as my first baby has been extraordinary.  It is filled on a daily basis of learning, teaching, excitement and fun but most of all love.  My love for my birds is an undieing one…a love that NO ONE can take away from me and an unbelievable learning experience of patience, kindness and heartfelt emotions.  They amaze me everyday…especially Zazu.  Her flicking of her wing to get my attention, her little gestures and sounds, trying to figure out what she is mumbling to see what her next word will be are just a few of the wonderful things life has to offer when we are together.  She helps me wash the dinner dishes by taking the clean pots and pans and throwing them to the tile floor…I think this is her way of putting them in the so called “floor cabinet”.  When drying the dinner dishes she seems to think that the drying towel is a peek-a-boo toy that she sticks her head under and yells “Hi!!” in a classic macaw voice.  The faucet of spraying water is a whole other world for her…she jumps in the sink and begins the ever popular macaw water dance as only they can do…SHAKE YOUR TAIL FEATHER SISTER!!!  The comical acts of a baby macaw are a fascinating thing…especially the wall paper of flung food like a scud missill…when you can actually hear the “thud” of food hitting the wall you know they are enjoying what you’ve given them for dinner.

She NEVER disappoints me!!

I’ve learned in the past that if you love something…set it free…if it comes back to you it was meant to be.  As much freedom and flight as I give Zazu…she has never disappointed me and she has always come back on recall.  She is an amazing friend, confidant and companion.  Life is a journey…especially when you own a baby Macaw!!! For your viewing pleasure…here’s a little video dedicated to my “Superstar”…enjoy!!

The Avian Jewel Of Hollywood Florida

Posted in African Grey, Birds, Chop, Enrichment, Macaw, Nutrition, Patricia Sund, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by angelsofflight

On my recent adventure to the East coast of Florida I had the privilege of being introduced to a whole new world of “Birdie Shopping”.  The East coast has so much more to offer for our feathered friends as opposed to the West coast.  There are more specialty shops catering to our feathered counterparts as well as a whole different way of thinking and caring for them.  Everything is more natural and more catered towards the environment and enrichment opportunities that they have there.  With superstores such as PETCO, Pet Smart and Pet Supermarket being really the only avenues for shopping for your birds here in Naples, Florida; they tend to not only cater more to the smaller birds but lack the variety of foods to be sold that we now know the Avian Community needs to fulfill our parrots lives and keep them healthy.  Don’t get me wrong, there are certain “mom and pop owned” stores here that have a bit more variety that you can travel an hour to get to, but why would you do that when just a half hour more driving will get you a plethora of specialties?  Thus this is why The Golden Cockatoo is considered their Avian “Jewel” of Hollywood, Florida.

"Casey" the African Grey

Aside from being one of the major Avian focal points of  the East coast, The Golden Cockatoo also has some amazing and knowledgeable residents.  For instance, “Casey” the African Grey (owned by Susana) greets you when you walk in and firmly reminds you that you are in his neck of the woods so please act and spend accordingly!!  “FCAT” is a Black-headed Caique owned by Richard Horvitz (the President of The Golden Cockatoo).  “FCAT” tends to watch the customers and invite them over for a scritch of his neck.  The whole cast and crew of The Golden Cockatoo makes you feel warm and welcomed in the store.  Any questions you may have they are right there to answer for you.  With 2000 square feet full of Avian paradise for shoppers it’s no wonder why Ian Brown and Richard Horvitz  set out to make the most convenient and variety filled store you could possibly think of.  The customer service, the prices, and the variety of the store just boasts a fantastic shopping experience all the way around!  You know if Patricia Sund is shopping there, the place has to be phenomenal!

Richard Horvitz (President) and Patricia Sund (Parrot Nation)

The ambiance of The Golden Cockatoo is sort of a “Grocery Store For Birds”.  Providing a huge selection from sprouting supplies, nuts, dried veggies and fruits the store has anything and everything you could possibly think of to make your fine feathered friend happy.  During my shopping experience there I found this fantastic bag of grass!  (No…not what your minds are thinking!!)  Avian Herb Salad!!!  This stuff, when put into our ever popular CHOP! provides all the natural grasses and herbs our Avian friends need such as dandelion, red clover, elderberry, lavender, kelp and so on.  I was so amazed at the all natural selection of foods for my birds I went completely nuts and bought up a bunch of it!  The Golden Cockatoo also manufactures their own line of all natural foods and feeds; Noah’s Kingdom has become a household name here at Angels Of Flight! and the dogs like it too!  Fantastic nut and seed mixes provide all the daily essentials that we put into our CHOP!  Again, there is such a plethora of items and ideas you can come up with that it’s no wonder I was there shopping for two and half hours!!

Aisle #1 of the "Grocery Store"

Aisle #2...All Natural "Grocery Store For Birds"

Now onto the toys…what a subject here!!  Words cannot explain the amount of toys there are to choose from!!  “Petco Who?”, “Petsmart what?”  These stores don’t exist anymore when The Golden Cockatoo shows up!!  The assortment of toys, foraging, shredding, wood, plastic, footy toys, beaky toys and so on is enough to give you a happy little buzz!!  There are walls and walls of TOYS!!!  I think that is where the bulk of my time was spent…filtering through walls of toys…I think I made Patricia a bit dizzy running all over the store.  Zazu (my 10 month old Blue and Gold) is a hard chewer.  I get the biggest toys I can find here in Naples at Petco and Petsmart and within an hour…there goes my $24.95 down the drain.  With the toys I picked up at the Golden Cockatoo, after 3 weeks, they are still holding strong!!!  Go Zazu…chew all you want!!  She was so happy I found toys for her that have lasted this long.  I’m a bit on the excited side as well that my purse isn’t in the red zone every week!

Walls full of toys!!

I would have to say that The Golden Cockatoo has to be my all time favorite shopping experience for me.  I am definitely going to make it a point to travel there at least every other month to stock up on supplies.  This has been just another great adventure that Angels Of Flight has had.  I think there might be an idea in my future and a great collaboration for us here in Naples, Florida…hummm…maybe I won’t have to drive over to Hollywood as often as I think…the wheels are always spinning for me!!

So, in closing, if you get a day off from work and you are looking for something to do…I highly suggest getting in your car and driving over to Deerfield Beach, Florida to check out The Golden Cockatoo.  It is a drive and a shopping experience that you will never forget.  I’m so happy I don’t have to wait for the “Bird Fair” to come to town anymore.  I just pack up “Simone” and we are off to Aunt Patricia’s house for some relaxation and birdie shopping at The Golden Cockatoo…our favorite paradise for birds on earth!

Y'all Come Back Now!!!!

The Golden Cockatoo

360-366 South Powerline Road

Deerfield Beach, FL  33442

Phone: (954) 725-0088

www.goldencockatoo.com

Simone’s Great Adventure!!!!

Posted in Chloe, Macaw, Uncategorized, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by angelsofflight

Simone

Hi everyone!!!  Simone Giordano here…I’m a guest blogger today on Angels Of Flight!!!  Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel with my mom (Christina Giordano) to beautiful Hollywood, Florida.  We stayed in the home of Patricia Sund (Aunt “P” as I affectionately call her) with Parker, Pepper, Nyla, and Mattie (the dog).  Mommy said it was strictly a business trip but we had such a great time and mommy actually got to relax a little, start a journal and spend quality time doing the things she loves…like take of me!!!

My Spa Package

Upon our arrival on the fancy East coast of Florida we were greeted with a roar of enthusiasm from Aunt P and her clan.  We were given the ROYAL treatment and a gift basket full of all the essentials a great stay at Hotel Parrot Nation has to offer.  I even got a spa treatment during my stay there…now I smell like lavender and chamomile!  We relaxed the first day since we got in about 4:00pm and met all of Aunt P’s close friends (Les was my favorite…he gives lots of treats!!).

Aunt P's Slate Floor...Look real close...there's a fossil!!

We marveled at the unbelievable slate floor (you really have to see it in person) and all of the beautiful colors in the house…it was absolutely gorgeous and mommy got some great decorating ideas for our new place when we get to Utah!!

Our Gift basket had everything in it…there’s way to much to list but Aunt P really knows how to make you feel welcomed in her home.  The Hotel Parrot Nation is a definite keeper on my list if you are looking for that warm and fuzzy feeling!  They give treats all day long and then a jackpot treat for doing a good deed outside.  They have constant petting and kisses going on and it’s just a down right nice place to stay.

Dinner is a family setting at Hotel Parrot Nation

Mattie and I enjoyed the short ribs...they were delicious!!

Dinner time came quickly and it was absolutely delicious; consisting of short ribs, baked acorn squash, and pineapple cake for desert!!!  Mattie (the dog) and I joined mommy, Aunt P, Les and the Greys for dinner…it was a real family type setting.  Mattie and I got along great and I taught her how to clean up after the birds (Parker, Pepper and Nyla) for future situations.

The next day Aunt P had to fly to Haiti so we fed the Greys in the morning, went out for a walk and then mommy and Les went to breakfast down by the beach and then to the Farmer’s Market for some asparagus!  Mommy had such a good time she thought maybe we should move there instead of Utah!!  Huh???…Ok, Anyway…We relaxed most of Sunday afternoon until Aunt P got back to the “Hotel” and then it was time to feed the Greys again and make dinner!!

Parker graciously sharing his dinner with Mattie and I.

Parker, Pepper and Nyla had a smorgasbord of variety in their bowls consisting of rice, pasta, CHOP!, and beans (mommy is consistent on the CHOP! concept…it seems to work).  The Greys went straight to work and Parker conveniently flipped over his bowl for Mattie and I to get a little appetizer off the floor!  He’s a very thoughtful bird in sharing his food with us.

Aunt P making the delicious Roast Beef Salad!!

Aunt P headed to the kitchen and made a great roast beef salad for her, mommy and Les.  It looked awesome and from what Mattie told me…it tasted great too!!  (I just had my regular dinner because I got a little upset tummy from the night before).  There was champagne, homemade oatmeal cookies, and a lot of fun to be had that night!  We met another friend of Aunt P’s too…Nancy came up from downstairs to join in the festivities as well…”she’s a trip” …as mommy puts it.

Monday was a really special day for mommy…she got to spend the whole day with Aunt P shopping for birdie stuff!!!  They went to Chippy The Pirate and The Golden Cockatoo.  The Golden Cockatoo was an incredible place to shop mommy said (She will be doing a blog post on her trip there when I’m done typing on her computer).  Chippy The Pirate was fun too and she got a lot of toys for Kacey, Chloe and Zazu to tear up.

The Golden Cockatoo

Monday night brought much excitement and alot of fun!!  Mattie and I got fed a delicious dinner, mommy and Aunt P hung out and networked on their computers (Uncle Les called it “Dueling Computers”…he’s so funny!!).  Mattie and I hung out and played dress-up…Parker, Pepper and Nyla had a photo session with mommy (she’s obsessed with her camera)…and they got a shower on top of it!!  Aunt P and mommy laughed at the “shower coma” going on in the bath tub!!  We listened to all different kinds of music and we carried on until late night!

Parkers' Photoshoot!!

Me and Mattie playing dress-up!

Parker, Pepper and Nyla got a bath!!

"Hotel Parrot Nation" gets 2-paws up from me!!

Mommy and I left the beautiful East coast on Tuesday and headed back home to Naples, Florida thoroughly relaxed and invigorated.  We obviously came home with more than we left with but everyone was happy (including my feathered sisters) with the outcome of our adventure.

Chloe loved the presents!!

Kacey, Chloe and Zazu greeted us with about 3,000 decibels of macaw / cockatoo screams and screeching.  Dusty almost ran mommy over when she came through the door and Ginger…well…Ginger is just Ginger!!

I slept all the way home!!

As for me…I was thoroughly exhausted but I was so excited for mommy.  It was a trip she needed and one she finally enjoyed.  The “Hotel Parrot Nation” is definitely on our list to visit again.  Thank you to our fantastic “hostess with the mostest” Patricia Sund, all of her awesome friends, and my new friend Mattie (the dog)…

My Best Friend...Mattie (the dog)

I found a real friend in you and you ROCK!!! Stay tuned for more posts of me and mommy’s Great Adventure…there’s more to come!!!!

An Experience Of A Lifetime!!!!!

Posted in Birds, Chloe, Education with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2009 by angelsofflight

Recently I had an incredible opportunity to do a little bit of traveling.  One of the most fantastic places on earth to visit is the West,  Utah to be exact.  The landscape is absolutely magnificent and the mountains seem to blend in with the sky creating the most serene feeling a person could ever have.

Nestled into the southern part of Utah there is a little town called Kanab.  Lying on the border about 30 minutes from Fredonia, Arizona, it’s a quaint little town with a grocery store, a gas station and several locally owned restaurants.  Right in the heart of Angel Canyon, Kanab Utah is also home to the largest animal sanctuary in the world…Best Friends Animal Society.  Best Friends boasts 3800 acres of land plus another 30,000 acres of wild life preserve, and some of the nicest people you ever want to meet and honorably call “friend”.

About a year and a half ago, when I was contemplating adding another rescue bird to my family, I contacted Best Friends to inquire about a Hyacinth Macaw they had for adoption.  I promptly got a call back from a very nice man named Steve Scheurich who was head of Operations at the Parrot Garden at Best Friends.  Sadly that lovely Hyacinth already had a new home but fortunately it was a good one (and I found Chloe anyway!!).  However, that phone call started my journey and my great friendship with one of the most intelligent men I know.  I finally got to meet Steve (in person) this year and his phenomenal staff.  May I say I was thoroughly impressed with the standards of excellence that was presented to me.  We exchanged ideas, information and yes… the feeding concept of CHOP!!  When I saw the astronomical amounts of vegetables that were being cut up I took  control of the refrigerator and that was the end of that!!  Step aside boys…I’m about to show you a fantastic little trick!! Haha!!!  I gave Steve a great piece of reading material…Parrot Nation authored by Patricia Sund, the founder of the CHOP concept.  I then gave everyone a little demonstration on how to make CHOP and POOF!!!  The Parrot Garden at Best Friends Animal Society has converted all the birds to the CHOP concept!!!  Way to go guys!!!

While I was there spending the day at the Parrot Garden with everyone, Steve conveyed to me if I ever needed someone to cover seminars or a speaker on rescue and rehabilitation to keep him in mind…well…with Tapestry Of Nations 2010 coming up in January, how could I pass an offer like that up???  Oh my goodness!!!  An icon!!  At my event!!  Between Patricia Sund being there with Parker, Pepper and Mattie the dog and now Steve Scheurich from the Parrot Garden at Best Friends!!!  I am sure to have a spectacular event!!!  Got to love networking!!!

All in all my trip to Kanab, Utah was  a productive one.  There is still alot of my trip I have not written down but as the information becomes available, I will share it and pass it along to my blog followers.    It’s kinda one of those trips that you come home feeling rejuvenated and can’t wait to see what the next turn in life is going to be…there’s alot out West for me that needs to be explored.  I’m thinking the Springtime would be the perfect time to start that exploration…we’ll see.  My time spent there was very eye-opening and the people are just kind and generous…REAL people!!!

For now, I am content knowing I have great friends like Steve and Patricia.  The honesty and the true meaning of friendship cannot be anymore defined for me then in both of them.  They are two of the greatest people I know and the awesome favor they are doing for me on January 16th will be hard to repay.  Thank you to you both for honoring me and my co-workers at Petco in Naples, Florida for the Tapestry Of Nations.  It will be an event that people will remember for a very long time!!!

Time To Clean The Cage(s)

Posted in Birds, Cage set up, Chloe, Chop, Cleaning, Kacey, Macaw, Moluccan Cockatoo, Patricia Sund, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2009 by angelsofflight

Oh the day I dread!!!  Cage cleaning day.  Once a week the cages get scrubbed and the surrounding areas get cleaned…including the walls!!  Yes…you can’t tell me that the occasional flicking of food stays neatly in your birds cage…falls through the grate at the bottom and precisely onto the news paper in the tray…life just isn’t that easy!!!

I’ve experimented over the years with several types of cleaning methods.  The obvious soap and water effect does absolutely nothing but make my arms feel like they are rubber extensions of my torso that are about to fall off (due to incessant scrubbing).  The ever popular take the birds out to the aviary and scrub with a potent all purpose cleaner and then pass out from the fumes…then there is the natural all purpose cleaner with enzymes…which costs about as much as my brand new monthly car payment and I have to use 3 times as much and more scrubbing then soap and water…not to mention that the walls need to be scrubbed as well so now I am spending my car payment plus 2 weeks worth of gas!!  Now while an enzyme based cleaner can be used while my birds are still inside, my pocketbook will not allow the dollars to be spent…then one day it hit me…hydrogen peroxide!!!!

Hydrogen peroxide is used to kill germs in cuts and wounds, why can’t it be used to clean, disinfect and clean germs on the surface.  It’s about 97 cents a bottle at the local grocery store and guess what???  It bubbles!!!!!  Although I was so intent on trying it out on the cages, I was a bit hesitant and wanted to check its cleaning capacity first.  My tile floor became the guinea pig.  Kacey (my 11 y.o. Blue and Gold Macaw) has this fantastic little thing she does with her butt…she hangs on the side of her cage, does a 3,000 decible jungle call and then proceeds to shoot her poop about 5 feet across the room being ever so precise through the bars of her cage.  It’s actually a quite amazing little trick…however…it sometimes gets annoying when her aim is at me!!  So with that said, I managed to break out the 1970’s vacuum cleaner, vacuum the bird floor and then down went the Hydrogen Peroxide.  WOW!!!  Would ya look at all those bubbles!!!  Could my floor be that dirty???  There’s no smell to the peroxide so it’s safe as far as my birds respiratory systems are concerned and I’m not passing out from fumes either…hummm…I think I’m onto something here.

After a few sweeps across the floor with my mop to spread the peroxide around I noticed something else…it evaporates!!!!  Yeah!!  No drying!!!  My tile grout is white????  Didn’t know that!  And the tile has a beautiful design to it??? hummmm…thought it was grey but it’s actually a pretty coral color!! And the dried up Kacey poop???  Lifted right up with those fun little bubbles!  Now the real test…the cage grates…ugh!

Ok…even though you might think with Kacey’s little trick with her poop shooting she wouldn’t get that much in her cage…HA!!!  She’s the messiest out of all three of them!  And talk about the food mess as well…you all know I am OCD about the CHOP method of feeding so you can imagine the flinging of food that goes on in my house!  I have what you would call…CHOP wallpaper!  It’s actually quite unique looking…Thanks Patricia!!  Anyway, back to the grates…I filled up a spray bottle with the peroxide, took the grate out of the cage and onto the porch to start spraying away.  I cracked off the larger amounts of waste and then started spraying…COOL!!!!…More bubbles!!!!  Left the peroxide on for about 5 minutes (drank a cup of coffee) and then took a sponge to it.  Talk about sliding right off!!!  This is going to be a good cage cleaning day!!  I got all 3 grates in the sun drying in about a half hour.

Now I got time to enjoy the beach this afternoon!!!

Happy cage cleaning!!!!!

PETCO Foundation Steps Up To The Plate

Posted in Rescue & Rehabilitation with tags , , , , on August 14, 2009 by angelsofflight
Normally I wouldn’t post anything about the place I work on my blog.  However, an article came through our intranet news that struck my heart and made me realize WHY I support the PETCO Foundation and WHY every event I do at my store goes in support of this non-profit organization.  The PETCO foundation is a great organization that caters to assisting adoption agencies and stepping in when disaster strikes.  Aside from the Red-Cross and the ASPCA, the PETCO Foundation has made more contribution then any other humanitarian organization in the United States.   There web site’s definition is as follows:
The PETCO Foundation was established in 1999 to promote a wide variety of nationwide educational and charitable activities. PETCO Foundation has grown our partnership to approximately 5,700 local animal welfare organizations who save and enrich pet lives at the grassroots level. Through the years, the PETCO Foundation has raised more than $53 million through a combination of fundraisers including the well-known Tree of Hope, Spring A Pet, Operation Alteration and Thanks Fore Giving. In addition, the PETCO Foundation is always prepared to launch immediate fund raising efforts in the case of natural disasters and emergencies such as the California Wildfires and the southern hurricanes.
  
In recent news we heard of a canary/saffron finch fighting ring going on in the Northeast.  Last month in Shelton, Connecticut 19 (so-called human) individuals were arrested and 150 birds were taking into the custody of the local animal control.  At that time, there was no housing available for the birds until PETCO Store #760 stepped in.  Tom Page, District 44 Manager made a call to Paul Jolly, our Executive Director of PETCO Foundation and explained the situation.  Paul immediately sprang into action and arranged for 60 cages to be delivered from our New Jersey Distribution Center to Store #760 to aid in the relief effort for these birds of misfortune.  While we are supplying food and necessary items to keep the birds happy and start their rehabilitation process, PETCO Foundation will also be on hand to assist in the adoption efforts for the birds.  With some of the birds being very badly injured, PETCO is also helping out with the medical assistance needed for the birds.  Unfortunately while the investigation is still going on, the birds must remain in the custody of the state…but PETCO and animal control will be working side by side to ensure the safety and health of the birds while they are there.
 
This is the kind of story that makes me proud to work where I do.  Alot of hear-say and such has spread over the years about PETCO and other pet stores and while some of it is true with other stores, I am extremely honored to be part of the PETCO Foundation and all it stands for.  The achievements of this company and it’s mission is by far the most relevant in the Nation aside from the rescue organizations that we are partners with.  This includes alot of high profile rescues around the globe as well.  PETCO stores have already reduced their live animal sales by 33% Nationwide and every store in the Tampa Bay market does not even sell birds anymore.  Our vision for 2010 is to “Take Back The Leadership of The Pet Industry”…this does not mean just sales and profit…this refers to finding loving, forever homes for every unwanted, abused, neglect or in need of assistance animal we can.  PETCO’s leadership in an industry that has so much heartache can turn it around 150 birds at a time and present a positive outcome for some of the most horrific situations.
 
PETCO_logoSo when someone starts ragging on the company I work for (and doesn’t know I am the Companion Animal Department Manager)…I always refer them to stories like this.  This tends to shut them up sometimes and if it doesn’t, then I have no use for that person.  We are doing our part and everything we can to help fight with the cause…not against it!!  If one organization can do so much…can you imagine what the world can do if they would stop ragging on companies like mine and actually worked side by side with us…hummmm…what a logical concept!!  But, the world is cruel sometimes and those people feel it more necessary to try and degrade a company that is raising $53 million to help animals in need instead of praising them.  Put your negative efforts into a positive motion…whether it’s the PETCO Foundation or another organization.  Channel your energy to help…not condemn.

The PETCO Foundation is responsible for coordinating the donation of in-kind goods and services through our partners to animals in need of assistance.  The PETCO Foundation dedicates its programs to serving the Four R’s- Reduce, Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rejoice. We strive to achieve our mission by creating responsible pet owners, reducing the number of animals euthanized, rescuing animals in crisis and rehabilitating undesirable behaviors in pets to keep them in a loving home.

Now I ask you…does that really sound like an organization you want to turn your back on?…I know I wouldn’t!