This week I was working in Parrot Garden and had a day at Wild Friends. Parrot Garden is full of, yes…lots and lots of parrots. Just under 100, in fact. Birds from cockatiels to macaws (with some budgies thrown in for good measure) with varying levels of health and linguistic capabilities. I knew parrots lived a long time, but had no idea that many of them can live up to 80 years in captivity – sometimes longer, and get passed through many different families as they outlive their people. I noticed that many of the birds were a little camera shy, and I never really had enough time to sit with any one bird to help them get comfortable with my hulking beast of a phone, so I only snapped some shots of the cockatiels in one of the aviaries…while we were MacGyvering a little bird rescue.

IMG_20150304_100839 (1)

Here’s some of the peanut gallery who cheered us on while we rescued an adorable little yellow budgie from her devious adventure. Basically, she found a tiny little hole between two planks of wood in the ceiling that led her to being stuck between the wire mesh and the underside of the roof. Using only a net, 2 screwdrivers (a flat head AND a phillips), a staple gun with too-short staples, a hatchet (not to be confused with an axe), a blunt pair of pliers, a bigger set of pliers, a butter knife, some screws, zip ties, a ladder, a stick, and a rock, we managed to open a small hole for her to crawl out of, and then closed it back up with reinforcements. The budgie bragged about her death-defying journey and the excitement died down. But there is this picture – please note the sexy boot:

budgie maintenance

I met a lot of great people with actual senses of humor (that’s a thing), and I learned a lot about the wonderful world of parrots. I’m hoping to return to sit with some of the birds (and caregivers) to learn even more throughout my time here in Kanab – because I’m definitely staying.

Also this week, I completed my first interview for a cat caregiver position – it went amazingly well, and I hope to be able to pursue that route once I finish all my interning. On that note, I have been feverishly reading through books on dog behavior and dog training and dog learning and just dogs (read all the dogs!). At first it was to prepare for an interview I had on Thursday afternoon for a brand spanking new internship opportunity. Now it’s to learn as much as I possibly can from reading before I start applying it within the internship. I was accepted into the first ever dog training internship offered at Best Friends! Despite my utter lack of experience in this particular field, I’ve been interested in dog behavior and training for as long as I can remember, and now I actually get to learn it, hands on, with some of the most knowledgeable and forward-thinking people in the business of saving animals. It feels so unbelievable to even be considered for this opportunity, but to be chosen and then accepted…I have no words. So instead of talking, I’m reading. A lot. I might post notes here and there, or quotes from resources that really resonate with me, but my time here is being extremely well-spent. It helps that there is’t much to do in Kanab, and that the Buckskin is so divey. Also I have virtually no income right now, so learning, learning, learning – FINALLY about something I’m passionate about AND where I have people around me who are also passionate about it (thus a fostering of passions is happening, it’s a beautiful thing).

Once I start that internship in mid-April, I’ll be able to talk more proficiently about it, but until then, here’s another photo of a few of the cockatiel onlookers:

IMG_20150304_105351As a final note, I’ll be taking 3 weeks off between the end of this first internship and the beginning of the dog training one. One of those weeks will be in Arizona to see friends and family. And to pick up beer. Because Utah is not only a desert, it is basically dry when it comes to alcohol…and I can’t keep driving to Fredonia for a Bud Light.


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