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.
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!
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!
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?