Question: Dear Luise: I have a parrot that I’ve had for ten years. I’ve taught it to talk and we are great friends. I know they are not cuddly pets and mine would bite, if given the chance, but I think the world of him and I know he loves me, too. The problem is my girlfriend. At first she thought my parrot was “cute” and talked baby talk to him all the time. I have to admit that he wasn’t very responsive. After that she started ignoring him, and now she’s laid down the law…either the parrot goes or she walks. I care about her and she doesn’t know it but I’ve gotten her a ring. Now, I’m having second thoughts. Do you think I am shallow for caring about my pet so much?
Answer: Dear Dave: Many a relationship has hit the rocks over a pet. We don’t all like the same kinds and some people don’t like any at all.
I can see that a parrot might be quite a novelty in the beginning and as that began to wear off, it might look more like a complication. The problem is that that didn’t happen to you. The longer you had yours, the dearer he became. So what to do? It’s a pretty basic incompatibility, isn’t it?
Beyond the obvious disagreement over your parrot, there is the issue about someone near and dear giving you an ultimatum. Ah, yes…we now have two problems. If it were just the parrot, then I would advise you to choose. However, once the gauntlet is thrown down with the “it’s my way or the highway” declaration, you would be wise to realize that it probably won’t be a one-time thing. Do you want to hook up with someone who is that heavy-handed? If so, why?
In the long run, you may not find a girl who wants to live with your parrot. If you find one who’s worth it, you may need to consider giving him up. But is this girl worth it? I think I’d pick the parrot. Blessings, Luise