Too Many Pets, So Few Homes

Trouble In Paradise For Gracie, The African Gray Parrot


With the last Christmas decoration put away, the new year challenges leaped into play.  The Wetterman family suffers from lost pet syndrome. Yep. We have years of experience finding and caring for wandering pets. As we embrace the runaway, the owner calls and we suffer an achey breakey heart. Sharing the happiness of the family reclaiming their pet comes easily. But after spending days holding off our love of the new addition to the family, we grieve for what will not be.

Enter Miss Lucy. She arrived in the dark of night. The evening temperature fell to minus 2. She sought refuge in the tack room, nestled into the dry hay, and slept at the feet of miniature horses. The next morning, the horse rancher discovered the hungry, flee-infested, 13 pound Jack Russell. She immediately contacted our youngest son—owner of Gracie, the African Gray parrot. “You have to come see who has moved into my barn. She could be a littermate to Barkleah. She even has periscope ears.  Her body is white, tail trimmed short, and her face has a brown- Batman mask.”

These two friends shared a long history of lost pets rescued over their ten- year friendship. She knew our son would help place Lucy. The day was spent with Lucy at the veterinarian. Over one hundred dollars later, Lucy had been treated for flees, tested for heartworm, and received her annual inoculations. Her teeth were found to be ground down to the nub. Was she held prisoner in a cage all her life? She refused to rat out her previous owners, but she took to my son’s lap immediately.

The generous friend outfitted our son with dog food, a crate, training pads, and warm blankets. Confident that Gracie would understand that Lucy needed a place to live, our son agreed to care for Lucy. After all, Gracie was a proud friend to Barkleah, our Toy Fox Terrier.  It looked like a perfect plan.

Lucy’s first evening inside ran perfectly. She immediately sought a warm lap and at bedtime retired in the master bedroom with our son. Gracie had shown interest in Lucy and Lucy, blind in one eye and with severe cataracts on the other, gave Gracie little notice.


The next morning, Gracie, not shy when she experienced displeasure, flew over and landed on our son’s head. He yelped. “Oh my, no. Gracie, what have you done?”  Yep. For the first time in over two years, Gracie pooped on his head. She was not happy to have a new member added to her flock. Convinced this incident was isolated, he prepared to leave for work.  The non-housebroken Lucy had to be placed in a doggie crate while my son was gone.

Upon his return, a bold lettered note hung on his front door. Your dog barked all day. Fix this or else.

Entering his condo, he found Gracie burrowed into the bottom of her large cage, shaking in fear. Lucy, continued to bark as she jumped up and down. Lucy had to go back to the horse ranch. This would never work.

His friend located a retired family who desired a small lap-dog. Within 24 hours, the retired couple settled into life with their new Jack Russell, Lucy. But she soon learned that Lucy was actually Lilly, and lived 1 and ½ miles to her east. The owners wanted her back. It seemed that Lilly was primarily an outdoor dog, loved to chew rocks, and she’d never seen a flee she didn’t like. Really?

There must be a lesson here, right?  Comments?




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