R. E. S. P. E. C. T. RESPECT!

Gracie Dec 2011b

Our family is multicultural.  We value the differences each member brings to our lives.  Gracie, the African Gray parrot, belongs to our younger son. Carlos, the Maine Coon Cat,  is the pet of our grandson. And Barkleah, the Toy Fox Terrier,   is ours. When we gather to celebrate holidays, birthdays, or just a fun game night, we include the pets. Gracie, in her terrible-twos, is demanding respect.

In the past, if she misjudged her  flight pattern and landed on the wood blinds by mistake, one of us would offer her a hand and move her to her intended landing place. But Now she deems this help as unnecessary. She is demanding her independence. So when offered assistance, she gazes at the hand, says “Aah, aah. ” Then she places her beak on top of the offered help.  At that point, she resumes flight and lands on her appointed target.

Understanding that an African Gray has a powerful beak, gives us pause. Her gentle tap is her manner of demonstrating her respect to us. If she wanted to, she could bite off a finger, tear off a lip, or part of an ear. Yep. we respect her need to be self-reliant. She is gentle and views the family as her flock. But she is determined to teach us to respect her need for freedom.   

Barkleah enjoys  his time with Gracie. She keeps him well fed. Her meals consist of corn, peas, green beans, pasta, egg, and lentils.  He watches for clues. When she is done eating, she remarks, “Gracie. Don’t dump your bowl.” The she picks up the stainless steel bowl and pitches it onto the floor. Naturally, Barkleah helps to do the clean up.

Carlos  and Barkleah are learning new cat and dog games. Carlos hunts him down, stands up on his hind legs and gives him a two-punch wallop on top of Barkleah’s head. Once he recovers, he gives her the play bow, and dashes off so Carlos will enter into a game of chase.

All three pets speak a different language, but they have a great deal of respect for each other.  Let the games begin.

They are all three different, but have mastered respect for one another. People could learn a great deal from them.


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