Tag Archives: Pets

My parrot loves to play Marco Polo with me

My African Grey Parrot, Rufus, likes to play interactive word games — Yes, really! For instance, he likes to play Marco Polo with me when I am in another room.

Rufus our African Grey Parrot

Rufus our African Grey Parrot

He picked it up all by himself, we did not teach it to him. He is a great observer of things around him, and just pays attention.

It started because my hubby and I don’t like to walk all over the house looking for each other. One of us will say “Marco” and the other will say “Polo” so we know where the other is.

Marco Polo is actually a game that you play while swimming with others in a pool – it is like tag. The person who is “It” tries to find the others with their eyes closed, only going by the sound of the “Polo”s after they say “Marco”. 

Any way, Rufus, the observant parrot, thought this was a  fun game. So, from time to time he will just holler out “Marco” and wait for me to holler “Polo”. This does not work in reverse. If I holler “Marco”, Rufus will just ignore me. Rufus answers to nobody! He is his own man.

Rufus, you silly bird!


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My dog Belty had another stroke and I’m afraid we will lose him soon.

I have not brought this up in my blog yet because it is too painful to talk about. My dog Belty is the best dog in the history of the world. Last week, a week ago today, Belty had another stroke.

Belty, the best dog in the world

Belty, the best dog in the world

He had a stroke another time, and he was able to recover from it. At first his eyes shook and his head tilted and he could not walk straight. But, in time, he was back to his old happy self, and we were able to relax again.

On top of his strokes, he has also been suffering with kidney disease for the past year. We have had pretty good success with managing it by giving him special food that he can digest easier.

This time,, with everything Belty has been through, we are afraid he will not recover. He is 14 now, and I realize that God will take him sooner than later. It does not make it any easier, though.

Belty is having a hard time getting around and he is not eating. He is starting to dwindle away. I have been praying to God to take him all at once and not let him suffer by dwindling away and having a lot of pain.

Anyway, I just had to talk about it. I would appreciate prayers from dog lovers who understand how painful this is. I would also appreciate kind thoughts from those of you who do not pray.

Thank you,



Filed under Dogs, Pets

Rufus’s Vocabulary List – A List of Things my African Grey Parrot Says

This list is way outdated. Rufus has learned a lot of new words and phrases. I just haven’ t gotten around to writing them down. This list was on my now defuct, dearly departed Windows Live Space:

  • (bomb falling and exploding) If I do the bomb falling whistle he will do the explosion.
  • (cell phone ring)
  • (clicks tongue)
  • (clucks like a chicken)
  • (cough, cough, cough)
  • (dials phone) Hello, yeah, OK, bye bye (Man’s voice)
  • (dials phone) What’s new? Mm hm, mm hm, mm hm…(Woman’s voice )
  • (dog howling)
  • (dog, whines like a puppy)
  • (dog, barking)
  • (dog yapping) Little, yappy dog. This must be “Merlin”.
  • (dove, mourning, cooing) Rufus loves animal calls.
  • (dove, ring necked)
  • (kiss sound)
  • (scream) woman’s voice
  • (laugh, belly) man’s voice.
  • (laugh, giggle)
  • (laugh, sigh at end)
  • (meows like a kitty)
  • (microwave beep)
  • (mumbling) man’s voice
  • (peacock call)
  • (smoke alarm)
  • (squeaks, various) He loves to imitate squeeky doors and drawers.
  • (tunk tunk tunk tunk) This sound like knocking on a hollow metal tank.
  • (whew!)
  • (whistles for the dogs) calls in the dogs when they bark
  • (whistle, wolf)
  • Bad boy
  • Booooop!
  • Buck buck buck buck bird
  • Bye bye! (says when we leave the house)
  • C’mere
  • C’mere (snap snap snap snap) snapping fingers sound
  • C’mere, bird (when walking behind another bird
  • Good boy!
  • Ha ha ha ha ha!
  • Hello baby!
  • Hello birby! — He gets baby and bird mixed up and it comes out birby.
  • Hello bird! — He will walk up to other birds and say this.
  • Hello Merlin (he must have had a little dog named Merlin where he used to live. He mentions Merlin, often)
  • Hello!
  • Hey! (He once said this after getting dive bombed by a parakeet)
  • La la la la la la la — Rufus like to make up his own songs.
  • Marco! (waiting for us to say Polo) — Rufus likes interactive games
  • Merlin! No! No! No! No!
  • Merlin! Sit, sit, sit, sit, sit!!
  • No way!
  • No! No! No! No!
  • Oh
  • Oh, boy
  • Oh, yeah
  • Pretty bird
  • Pretty boy
  • Shhh
  • Sit
  • WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!! (This one is loud!)
  • What in! (He’s trying to learn “What in the heck”, but that’s as far as he’s gotten)
  • What!
  • What! What! What! What! What!
  • What’s new, bird?
  • What’s new?
  • What’s that?
  • Whee ooooh!
  • Whew! (He says that when we take him out of his house to play)
  • Whoa!
  • Women!

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Listen to my parrot, Rufus, talking to himself.

Rufus, an African Grey Parrot, talks a lot, but only when he is in a room by himself, for the most part. In order to get this recording, I set up our portable phone to “Intercom” and went into another room. Then, I held up my cell phone to the house phone and set it to record:

My African Grey Parrot, Rufus, talking to himself

Rufus is a character. He’s very good company when I’m the only human in the house all day, which is most of the time. I also have other birds: Cockatiels Penny and Jonah, Lovebird Candy, and Parakeets Beady, Gumby, Shelly, Oscar, Moonpie, Ginger and Freddie. Having a houseful of birds makes it noisy, but I like it. I like hearing God’s creatures.

My parakeet’s especially, make a lot of noise. But, the noisier the get, the happier they sound — The parakeets just sound happy to be alive. They make the most noise at sunrise. The rest of the birds were napping when I got this recording of Rufus. Here is the one and only time I have caught Rufus talking on video once, and only two words at that:

He said “What’s up” right at the beginning. Then, the naughty bird decided to get on the parakeet cage. I know from (many) past experiences that Rufus is going to lift up the wire holding the parakeet’s water bottle. He loves to watch things fall…. He will also pull a parakeet’s tail if one is sticking out of the cage. That’s me scolding him…

At the end, I have to stop the video to put Rufus back on his Boing-Boing and coil it up shorter so he can’t reach next time.

So there you have it – another peak into my boring life… Don’t worry, I like my boring life just the way it is.


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My African Grey Parrot, Rufus, loves American Idol — he dances to the songs.

Last night, Rufus’ favorite singer was Tim Urban. (Personally, I like Crystal Bowersox the best – every week)

Rufus actually has particular songs he likes and does not like. He dances to the ones he likes. Last night, he liked Tim Urban’s song.

I have songs that he likes in his own iTunes list. Among them are his all time favorite: Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman”.

So, why aren’t I posting a video of him dancing to Tim Urban’s song? Rufus is a smart bird, and he is camera shy. He can tell I’m trying to record him, and he stops what he is doing.

Here’s the last time I tried to record him. This video is entitled:

“My African grey parrot, Rufus, dancing to rock and roll – until he sees the camera”

(My hubby is Rufus’ dancing fan you can hear in the background.)

Silly Rufus.


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Filed under African Grey Parrots, Parrots, Pets

It’s official: My parakeet widower and my parakeet widow are now an item.

Parakeets Shelly on the left, female, and Ginger, male(4-3-10 I wrote this and forgot to post it. D’oh!)

I just came home from a ride with my hubby, and I checked on all my pets. I noticed that Shelly was sitting behind Ginger, propping him up. Ginger had his head turned around kissing Shelly. Awwww.

Ginger’s mate, Moonpie, died last week. (Goodbye Moonpie. We will miss you very much.) I was hoping he would not be alone too long.

Shelly, on the other hand, lost her mate, lovebird Pipsqueak, a year ago. She’s been fighting with Gumby, Beady’s mate. Since I only have two males, the females are jealous of who has them.

Ginger and Moonpie were the closest parakeet couple I’ve ever had in the ten years I’ve had parakeets. They totally were dedicated to each other, and totally relied on each other. I was very sad when Moonpie died, leaving Ginger alone.

Shelly has been trying to catch Ginger’s eye shortly after Moonpie died: Relationship issues in my parakeet cage – A pretty widow wants a recent widower

I’m happy that neither Ginger or Shelly are not alone anymore.


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Filed under Lovebirds, Parakeets, Pets

Relationship issues in my parakeet cage – A pretty widow wants a recent widower

I blogged recently about my female parakeet Moonpie passing away leaving her male mate Ginger alone. (Goodbye Moonpie. We will miss you very much.)

Ginger on right with his lost love Moonpie. (Moonpie often stood behind Ginger to prop him up since he has crippled legs and can’t stand well.)

I mentioned at the time that Ginger was in a cage with three single female parakeets, and one of them would probably make a move on him soon. I was right. Shelly has made a move on him.

Shelly’s mate Pipsqueak, a lovebird, died last year this month. (Goodbye Pipsqueak. We will miss you very much…) Shelly is on the left below, with her lost love, Pipsqueak:

Shelly, parakeet on left, with her lost love Pipsqueak, lovebird

Shelly is being very sneaky! Shelly has been sitting on the floor in the corner of the cage. She is pretending she is sitting on eggs! She is trying to trick Ginger into coming to her and feed her (mouth to mouth) as male birds do when their mate is busy tending eggs or babies.

Apparently, Ginger is falling for the Shelly’s ploy. I’ve seen Ginger sitting face to face with Shelly on the floor.

This is making the other females in this cage upset, and there has been some loud squabbling …

I previously had to put another couple, Beady and Gumby, in another cage just by themselves. Shelly wanted Beady very badly, and was squabbling with Gumby over him.

You would not think that cute little parakeets could squabble over mates. But, they are hardwired by God to mate for life. When a mate dies, they want to find another mate to fill the void.

Human widows and widowers often marry shortly after a spouse dies, so it is hard to fault a little parakeet to want to find love again, also…


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Filed under Lovebirds, Parakeets, Pets