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Old 08-23-2019, 03:36 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,900 posts, read 7,181,108 times
Reputation: 14596

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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
You're lucky it's just fur. I've always had pets and currently have an elderly cat who's always been sickly, a rescued runt of the litter, with lately more than his fair share of hairballs, litterbox accidents, barfs, etc. I figure I'll give the house a deep-cleaning when he's gone to his reward! Because I have retirement coming up and ambitions to travel (I don't while I have pets), I'd like to think I would go pet-free for a period of several years while I get all that out of my system as well as finally relocate to wherever I decide that will be; moving is easier without pets. However, I know how hard it will be to go without any pet at all. I've given some thought to a bird, rabbit, guinea pig, or hamster who wouldn't really suffer if left with a petsitter or re-homed, unlike the more sentient and intelligent "higher-order" animals. A shorter lifespan than that of dogs and cats is another plus for aging retirees. I'm thinking outside the box.
I just wanted to comment on your stated assumptions about the critters you listed as being less "sentient and intelligent" than "higher order"animals such as dogs, cats. I don't have that much experience with rabbits, guinea pigs or hamsters, but birds are intelligent, interactive critters who will thrive and make great pets when they get the love, care and attention that most dog or cat owners bestow on their pets. They do get attached to their owners, the bigger birds especially may become "one person birds" that want nothing to do with anyone but that one special person. Some species ( cockatoos come to mind) crave a lot of attention, if not given enough they may scream, get into trouble, engage in self-mutilating behavior and undesirable attention getting behavior. Well cared for, well loved birds get very attached to their "people" and indeed miss them when they're gone. They show this by refusing to eat, kind of "moping" inattention to anything, sleeping excessively, and sometimes feather plucking or other self-mutilation.



And the life span of birds ( especially the bigger birds) can be much longer than most dogs or cats. The bigger parrots can live for 40-50+ years, and even the smaller birds, if well cared for, can live a pretty good lifespan. We had a cockatiel who lived for 30 years, a lovebird who lived for 17 years, and a budgie who lived to be 11 yrs old and probably would have gotten older if she hadn't gotten cancer.

Birds' personalities, and their potential longevity can be a real issue for older bird owners and the owners are often advised to make provisions for their feathered friends in their wills. While a bird may be rehomed after an owner's death, it can be just as difficult ( maybe more so, judging from the number of birds at our local parrot rescue place who arrived there after their owner's deaths or serious illnesses) as for a dog or cat. Many people don't want birds, or a bird in need of adoption may be one of those one person birds desparately missing his deceased owner, and will bite and otherwise be hostile to anyone else.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:47 PM
 
7,961 posts, read 4,510,204 times
Reputation: 11849
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
I just wanted to comment on your stated assumptions about the critters you listed as being less "sentient and intelligent" than "higher order"animals such as dogs, cats. I don't have that much experience with rabbits, guinea pigs or hamsters, but birds are intelligent, interactive critters who will thrive and make great pets when they get the love, care and attention that most dog or cat owners bestow on their pets. They do get attached to their owners, the bigger birds especially may become "one person birds" that want nothing to do with anyone but that one special person. Some species ( cockatoos come to mind) crave a lot of attention, if not given enough they may scream, get into trouble, engage in self-mutilating behavior and undesirable attention getting behavior. Well cared for, well loved birds get very attached to their "people" and indeed miss them when they're gone. They show this by refusing to eat, kind of "moping" inattention to anything, sleeping excessively, and sometimes feather plucking or other self-mutilation.



And the life span of birds ( especially the bigger birds) can be much longer than most dogs or cats. The bigger parrots can live for 40-50+ years, and even the smaller birds, if well cared for, can live a pretty good lifespan. We had a cockatiel who lived for 30 years, a lovebird who lived for 17 years, and a budgie who lived to be 11 yrs old and probably would have gotten older if she hadn't gotten cancer.

Birds' personalities, and their potential longevity can be a real issue for older bird owners and the owners are often advised to make provisions for their feathered friends in their wills. While a bird may be rehomed after an owner's death, it can be just as difficult ( maybe more so, judging from the number of birds at our local parrot rescue place who arrived there after their owner's deaths or serious illnesses) as for a dog or cat. Many people don't want birds, or a bird in need of adoption may be one of those one person birds desparately missing his deceased owner, and will bite and otherwise be hostile to anyone else.
Point taken. I shouldn't have included birds in that category. I realize that parrots, etc. are not only very intelligent and sensitive, but also have very long lifespans! Even parakeets are "sentient, higher-order" beings, and I swear I once had a canary that grew very attached to me (and vice versa). Hopefully buyers/owners take that into account.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:14 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,900 posts, read 7,181,108 times
Reputation: 14596
Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Point taken. I shouldn't have included birds in that category. I realize that parrots, etc. are not only very intelligent and sensitive, but also have very long lifespans! Even parakeets are "sentient, higher-order" beings, and I swear I once had a canary that grew very attached to me (and vice versa). Hopefully buyers/owners take that into account.
I sure hope they would, but I can't even say how often I've heard people comment that birds don't have personalities, are easy to care for, requiring little attention, just some seeds and water and are happy to sit in their cages and watch the world go by with little interaction. And I've seen too many people who treat their birds that way, or who complain about the bird's being "noisy", and grow to dislike the bird for acting like a bird.

Ok, off my soapbox. I have no doubt in the world that your canary was attached to you, knew of your love for him, and he loved you back. That's been the way for all the birds we've shared our lives with ( we always called them puppy birds as they followed us around like little flying puppies), including our current little sweetie, a 5 yr old female budgie.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,813 posts, read 3,340,156 times
Reputation: 12480
When I was visiting relatives in FL, they had adopted a bird (wish I could remember what kind) and he "lived" in a cage out on the enclosed pool/bar area.

These people are much younger than me and very big into house parties with a lot of the neighborhood attending. There was music playing very loudly (I think the speakers were close to the bird's cage). It was late at night, the outside lights were shining brightly, music pumping away and I mentioned that maybe the bird could be moved to a darker spot, cover the cage with a cloth, but I was told no, he liked it that way.

I wonder if that poor bird told them that.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:54 PM
 
1,247 posts, read 1,124,734 times
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He might have actually liked it. My mom's Red-Lored parrot would dance to the music every time she had something upbeat on the radio. He was quite the character.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,813 posts, read 3,340,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movinon View Post
He might have actually liked it. My mom's Red-Lored parrot would dance to the music every time she had something upbeat on the radio. He was quite the character.



I guess I thought birds went to sleep at night. The bright light shining in his cage, the music loud, this bird was not dancing.

But I have seen some birds that are so smart and funny and do dance. Cockatoos?? Not sure.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:43 PM
 
5,669 posts, read 2,991,828 times
Reputation: 10730
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
I guess I thought birds went to sleep at night. The bright light shining in his cage, the music loud, this bird was not dancing.

But I have seen some birds that are so smart and funny and do dance. Cockatoos?? Not sure.
You probably saw the videos of Snowball the cockatoo dancing to Back Street Boys.
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Old 08-24-2019, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,608 posts, read 21,489,382 times
Reputation: 24608
Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
I don't believe in ridiculously aggressive vet care, especially for older pets (vets will sell you whatever you will buy these days), but that would be another unpopular opinion here, so I won't elaborate. I just hate to see animals sit in shelters because it's "too expensive" to own them. It needn't be. Use your own judgment.

As for the ferret, that would fit in my hamster/guinea pig/bird category. Are they affectionate pets at all?

I was reassured to learn (here) that many rescues will take back their dogs if the owners can no longer care for them and, in rescues, they aren't kenneled but are placed in foster homes. I would encourage older adopters to consider that option.
All animals have different personalities. I had one ferret who wanted to sleep next to my pillow at night, and the one I have now won't even crawl into bed with me. Anytime I feed him some banana, and I pick him, he licks my face to thank me.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,714 posts, read 2,640,412 times
Reputation: 2696
As much as I adored my Father, the issue we fought over from my early childhood until I bought my first home was dog ownership. Even as a young child I used to place dog stickers all over his room, including his bed post.

The first thing I did before I moved into my first home at 24 was to put up a 6-foot fence - then I brought home my first Doberman puppy. And would you believe...he and Dad became the very best of friends. Mom loved dogs & was my "sitter" mid-day for many years.

As a single (never-married) 62-year old woman, canines have been my everything. I have multiples at any given time. All of my non-Dobies have been rescues (English Pointer, Pointer/Rottie mix, Husky mix, & my current Collie). I purchase my Dobermans from show lines because of their horrific genetics. 4 of my 6 were certified "Comfort Care" dogs who visited the elderly & sick children, as I strongly believe in being an "Ambassador" for this noble breed.

What can I say? As a semi-loner, they have been my best friends for 38 years - and when I no longer can care for them, I would hope the good Lord will take me home. They are in my will to go to private rescues only, with some funds to care for them. I can only hope to see them all again someday.

Last edited by soulsurv; 08-24-2019 at 06:18 AM..
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:15 AM
 
7,961 posts, read 4,510,204 times
Reputation: 11849
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
All animals have different personalities. I had one ferret who wanted to sleep next to my pillow at night, and the one I have now won't even crawl into bed with me. Anytime I feed him some banana, and I pick him, he licks my face to thank me.
I once saw a delightful documentary on ferrets and their owners, but had forgotten all about it. You have me newly fascinated!
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