Sorry for the silence, it's been a bit busy for me and I'm afraid the blog was put on the back burner. I guess you could call it a vacation?
The dog sitting for my sister went really well, and the dogs got along really well. And Daisy did so well, that my sister is dropping them off for another week long stay at the ComfortHound Spa as we've been calling it. :) We had no aggression problems (when she's sleeping and you pet her or try to pick her up to move her she will try to nip at you) and they let us sleep until 8:30-9:00 am on the weekends (we were already getting up around 6-6:30 their normal times during the weekday.
Yesterday I went to the doctor, and yes, I broke my toe. That did put a bit of a crimp in my plans for walking them and getting more exercise while they were here. But it turned out that Daisy was more than happy to lay on the couch beside me and Lilly was more than happy to look out the front door or sit on the chair and do the same. She also told me not to wear my tennis shoes but to wear my Croc-style shoes since they have a wider toe base and won't squeeze my toe so much. It's going to be odd to wear them out in public since I rarely wear them like that. I do sometimes walk Miko in them, but only for short distances. They are my gardening shoes - not public shoes.
I am also volunteering at Project Perry (www.projectperry.com/ )So far I've done it twice now and I'm loving it. Charlie is a Scarlet Macaw (his story with some pictures is here: http://www.projectperry.com/Charlie.html ) He is becoming interested in me - and this is a good thing. He's pretty picky about who he likes so it will be good to have someone else he can interact with. Right now he likes Sheryl well enough to let her pick him up and everything. And he loves Andrea's feet. :) Those are the two that I've "worked" with and will mostly be seeing on the days I'll be volunteering there. On Monday while Sheryl, Matt and I were rinsing the Coconut litter outside, with Charlie out there with us (he's arthritic and can't fly away), I would talk with him and he'd sidle over to me and chatter with me and then go back to Sheryl the whole time. As Sheryl said, "You keep two timing me." :D
And then yesterday after feeding and cleaning his cage (I worked with Andrea) he came out and would do the same thing, come up to me and chatter a bit and then go back. So I'll just let him keep doing that until he's comfortable enough to "step up" onto my arm. It was pretty funny, I was laying on my belly in front of his cage and he was underneath it. He crawled on his belly up to me, looked at me, clicked, rolled his "r's" and crawled back under (we were rolling our "r's" together earlier). Another time I was sitting on the couch that is near his cage. I couldn't see what he was doing but Andrea was watching him across from me. He slowly came out from under the cage and crept up to me and peeked around the corner to see what I was doing and to see if I was watching him. When he saw me looking at him he went back under his cage. He's quite the character.
PJ is pictured on the sponsored page (http://www.projectperry.com/sponsorships.html he's the third one down). He's a big lovebug - so much so that he doesn't want you to leave, much less want to leave your shoulder. On Monday he rode around on my shoulder while I walked around picking up broken bird toys and pieces of food on the floor. He yelled at me when I ran into the hanging perches (because if I ran into them it meant he did too). I had to keep apologizing because I was more focused on the floor than him. I think I should train him to help me scan for obstacles instead of yelling at me when I've hit them. :) On Tuesday he did allow a Quaker to to land on my other shoulder, while on Monday he wouldn't let one of the Sun Conures do such. On Tuesday he was even nuzzling and nibbling on my ears. Trying to get him off my shoulder both days wasn't easy. He goes after my finger because he knows what I'm trying to do, and you have to move fast to the door (It's a double door, so that you won't have an escapee). It takes a couple of tries. On Tuesday I was able to get a bit of help from the Quaker, it distracted PJ and I was able to get through the door in time. But not before he bit me a few times while trying to get him onto the perch before hand. I'm thinking most of my bites will be from him, but luckily they are more nips than anything.
My other bites? Probably from Chicken and Cricket, Conure and Quaker. It's not a bad thing really, it's just the way they are. Birds use their beaks and tongues just like we use our hands - so you can't really fault them for it. Cricket is the Quaker (http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=12735995 ) She loves toes and fingers. She also loves men. When I went to visit Project Perry before deciding to volunteer there was a family visiting also, and Cricket and Chicken were all over the son, loving and nibbling on him. She likes to go after my shoelaces, and loves my short socks (she nibbles on the tops of them. I could imagine if I wore those shocks with a pompom ball on the back that she would go crazy! I was trying to replace the papers on the floor and both of them were ganging up on me, going after my fingers, all I could do was laugh, especially when Chicken started to hide under the papers. Chicken is the Conure (http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=13789479 ). When I get there, he loves to hang on the French doors that separate their room from the rest of the room and watch what I'm doing. He is very nosy and loves to be right where you are, watching what you're doing. While we were putting down the papers (before he and Cricket ganged up on me (not Andrea btw) he threw an orange piece right in the middle of the paper we just put down, I think to make sure we paid attention to him.
Andrea took me into the newly finished African Grey building (http://www.projectperry.com/africangreys.html ). It's outside and it's beautiful! Think of a large greenhouse, but instead of plastic it has metal mesh. About half of it does have plastic, but it's hard plastic, so when winter comes it can be heated and protected from the elements, but the other half is the metal mesh (and the bottom is mesh so that other animals can't get in and the birds can't dig out) There are plants in there that they can eat (like figs) or perch on. It has the fans on one end to help regulate the temperature along with a misting system. It is quite amazing. They are hoping to raise enough money to build a similar building for the macaws eventually too. Right now the Cockatiels have a smaller, similar building, and that was the test building. I can imagine that the Conure/Quakers would be the fourth ones to get the same once the money was raised too. It takes a lot of money, not to mention time though.
I'm sure I'll be posting more about the birds as I get to know them and they get to know me. I'll post about the tapas party next, with recipes. :)