Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How We Became Bird People

Archie came home to live with Matt and me mere months before I started this blog, and I realized that I never really explained how we ended up with what appears to be a totally random pet. Most people hear that we have a bird and think he must live much like a fish - caged up, for decoration. But as you've all seen (mostly via IG), Archie is not a fish-bird.
(Could a fish get himself tangled in my hair as he attempts to build a nest? I don't think so.)

Originally, Matt and I wanted to get a dog. We both had dogs growing up and are really dog-people. The trouble with dogs, though, is that they take a lot of time and care. Being young and just-married, we didn't really want a pet that would encroach on traveling, cost a lot of money, and make daily schedules too constrained. And while a cat would be the more traditional route to go in, Matt and I are both allergic.
My beloved Toby got me through a lot of hard times; I don't think I could honestly ever have another dog after her.
As a teenager, Matt had a lovebird named Lucy who he adored. Her cage was knocked over in a storm and she flew away, never to be seen again. With his love for Lucy still fresh in his mind all these years later, Matt began to brainwash me into thinking a bird was a good idea for a pet.
(Clearly he was right, because how could a pet that can bathe itself in a sink be a bad idea?!)

At first, I was skeptical . Birds, cuddly? Birds, cute? Birds, silly/adorable/personable? I could hardly believe it. But I finally gave in because Matt had already contacted a breeder.
Cuddly? They sure are!
When we met our breeder, he had three baby lovebirds in a box for us to look at. He pointed out the "best two" and I held the first. I was terrified! I thought I'd crush his tiny little body! But he was soft and docile and sweet. He had a lime green belly and big googly eyes. When I went to hold the second, he leapt out of my hand, and I decided right then that I wanted the bird who seemed to want me. And thus, we had found our little Archie.
(This video is from when Archie was brand new. He used to fall asleep on us all the time because, as a baby, he needed naptime. Listen with volume; he used to practice his chirps in his sleep.)

At first we wanted to name him Mikey, for Michelangelo, but because we know a Mikey in real life, we decided to name him Archie. (His full name is Archibald Michelangelo because giving tiny creatures big names is funny.)
Having a bird has taught me many things. First of all, birds are super cuddly if you raise them to be. If they're in a cage all the time, they won't like being held. But we socialized Archie from the start - he's rarely in his cage if we're home. I also learned that lovebirds are smart, clever, and hilarious. They can learn tricks. They can come when called. They have giant personalities!
A video posted by Ali (@abk_runs) on

I have had so many friends tell me they don't usually like birds but Archie is so cute. The truth is, now I'm a bird person. I think all birds are adorable; I look at tiny finches and giant macaws and I see the curiosity and and bright intelligence of Archie. 
I'm so grateful that Matt convinced me to get a bird. People think it's weird to love a bird the way you love a dog or a cat, but I'm willing to be weird. Archie is my little birdy child, and I'm not ashamed to admit it!
When Archie got sick last year, it tore my heart out!
Oh, and remember the reasons we didn't want a dog? It's pretty ironic, because even though we liked the idea of getting a bird so we could leave for weekends and be unencumbered, we hate to leave Archie alone and usually bring him with us! We just love him too much.

Have you ever had an untraditional pet?
How did you meet your current animal-babies?

ABK

20 comments:

  1. He really is adorable!
    ..but I am completely a bird person too.

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  2. I absolutely love all your Archie IG videos and think he is so adorable! All furry/feathery friends are our babies!!

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    1. Every time I post a video I think of you because I know you love them!

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  3. Archie is the cutest! I had lovebirds as a child, so I totally get it. They have such wonderful and dynamic personalities. I named mine Lucy after Lucille Ball because she always seemed to want to get you to laugh.

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    1. Aw, I love Lucille Ball! She was one of my favorites growing up. My sister and I even had the I Love Lucy board game. What a fun namesake for your bird!

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  4. I definitely fall into the category of people who had no idea birds were so affectionate until I saw the way Archie interacted with you! He has so much personality and is just ridiculously adorable! His little baby chirps while sleeping are so cute!

    The first time I met Cecil and picked him up he lept right out of my arms and ran away from me ;) He was in a bad situation living with lots of other cats in a dirty house. He was malnourished and infested with bugs but I loved him right away!

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    1. You really gave Cecil another shot at life. I'm sure he's so grateful! It's why he's so loyal and likes to be around you all the time!

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  5. Bird in a towel, hello! Haha, so cute :) I'm actually a bit scared of birds, they freak me out and I think they'll poop on me - yes, I'm one of those stupid people haha. But this little guy, omg, so cute! Love the video of him sleeping, reminds me of a cat. I didn't know small birds could be so smart, I only thought *my god, what is the english word for those big colorful birds.. too lazy to google it, think think think, can't even remember the norwegian name OMG what* let's just call them polly-wants-a-cracker birds, I only thought those were the only birds who really did cool things and who didn't have to stay in a cage all the time. So this is pretty cool, I learn something new every day :)
    PARROT! I think that is the bird I was writing about xD Papegøye in Norwegian 8-) *now you have leared something new today aswell, haha*

    Noo, I've only had the normal things. I've had 4 cats, a bunch of fish, a rabbit, and 2 dwarf hamsters. My first cat ate the fish though.. They weren't pet shop fish though, just a bunch of tiny fish I caught in some lake or something idk xD OHH and I had frogs! In 2nd grade my friend Helene and I brought home a ton of those pre-frog-creatures, then after a while they became frogs. I can't remember how or what happened, but it was pretty cool xD So I guess I've had something less traditional too :)

    We met our current fluffy baby last summer. After Rita (our old cat) died from cancer in 2013 we had been looking for a new cat sinse then. Every time we found a kitten we liked, someone else got it before us.. But lucky for us an old friend of my mom posted something on facebook about having a kitten who needed a home, and she called her right away. We had to wait for it to be old enough to leave the mother cat, so after some waiting we went to her, met the kitten and brought him home. Boring story, sorry. Our first boy cat, so weird. I never knew how different boy and girl cats were untill now. His name is Alaska. He was the tinyest little kitten ever, but now he is huge! He turns 1 in june, so he is still growing. He is HUGE, I'm not kidding. If you've ever seen a maine coon - that's pretty much how he looks. HUGE ahaha. Love my huge baby boo :)

    Sorry about this overly long comment, which I bet has a lot of wrong spelling and rambling xD

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    1. A friend of mine had 3 Maine Coons...those cats truly are giant!

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  6. I think Archie is beautiful :) Thanks for sharing how you came to be "bird people" haha. I did not know how cool and affectionate birds were until Paul's parents got a bird. Apparently, his dad had birds growing up. While I have never experienced the affection of a bird, everyone I know who has owned birds have gushed about how they are just as cute, cuddly, and intelligent as other pets. So I of course believe them!

    How I came to get Christmas... Well, my friend Maren had a cat named Miss Marbles who got knocked up by this HUGE stray cat down the street named The Hamburgler. (We think this is why Christmas is so huge and is basically a bottomless pit when it comes to food... it all stems from The Hamburgler!) So Miss Marbles had a litter of about 6 kittens and I got Christmas! He was the runt, if you can believe it! Then about 3 months later, Miss Marbles was knocked up AGAIN! I am assuming it is with the same father because Miss Marbles is not Main Coon at ALL but both Christmas and Jelly are. Well, Maren's mom was going to get Miss Marbles fixed, but that would basically require a kitty abortion. I did not want this to happen! While I am all for a HUMAN'S right to choose, I WANTED MY LITTLE JELLY BOY hahahaha. (Even though he wasn't named at the time.) Well, the night before Miss Marbles' procedure, she hopped up on Maren's mom's lap and her mom felt the kitties inside Miss Marbles and she couldn't do it! No kitty abortion! Miss Marbles had the babies and I got a brother for Christmas- my little Jelly boy. Isn't that dramatic?

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    1. Wow, little Jelly was lucky!! That story could be a kitty soap opera! It explains why your kitties are so big though...I love that they're really related!

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  7. That's SO ADORABLE! I love the videos! Now I want a bird.

    I'm not really an animal person per say, but if I had a pet I would want a cat probably. They're very independent and that fits me. My friends dogs are cute I just cant stand how they want attention all the time.

    As for weird pets- if I was allowed to have one, it would be an owl. I'm obsessed with all things owl. Ever since I saw Harry Potter for the first time lol. But you're not allowed to have owls in Florida- I checked. Sigh.

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    1. Agreed on dogs needing too much attention...We just don't have that much to spare.

      Owls would be amazing but I understand the laws... Did you hear about the owls being released in to the wild in England because of HP? It makes sense that they're not allowed lol!

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  8. I love all of your videos of Archie! He's so cute. My step sister had a love bird growing up and one summer, I took care of him while she was away at summer camp. I was DEVASTATED when he had to go back to my step sister (even though we shared a room at my dad's house). I fell in love with that bird. So, for my birthday that year, I got a bird! Tootles got scared by a dog that ran in our house and flew out of the door. I spent several hours trying to find him outside, but he was lost forever. I was so, so sad. I understand the ability to love a bird the way you do a dog or a cat.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about Tootles. Our hugest fear is Archie going outside and getting lost. We don't think he's fly off because he's clingy, but if he got scared he might take off and then get lost :(

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  9. I've never had a bird before, but you make it look so fun! Archie seems like the sweetest, most snuggly bird ever. I didn't know birds could be so affectionate and loving, but the videos and pictures really emphasize that they can be. Can't wait until we move (hopefully later this year) so that we can get a pet!!

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    1. Ooh, getting your first pet as a couple is such a fun experience. I can't wait to see what you guys choose.

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  10. When I was younger, I was OBSESSED with getting a bird. We were at the pet store and I ended up getting a hamster instead - I still kind of wish I would have bought the bird. Archie is adorable :)

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    1. Hamsters were all the rage when I was in middle school but we never got one...we got a mouse instead! So random.

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