“Help! Help!” cried the loud voice from across the street! Since it concerned the neighbor so much, she urged her husband to go check it out. That’s when he learned that the voice belonged to the family’s newly acquired pet parrot, Tucker!
Tucker is a 3-year-old, blue-fronted, Amazon parrot; who happens to be a natural-born, American citizen. Since acquiring Tucker, Jeff Pontsler, Tucker’s Dad, reads books and magazines about parrots. He says that most parrots available now are born and raised in this country. Tucker may live another 77 years so he has been ‘willed’ to Jenna, 14, the oldest daughter, and caregivers go right down the family line so Tucker can obtain assured care for the rest of his life.
Although Tucker’s gear is often packed too when the family goes on camping trips, he sometimes stays with a family who has cats. His “Here kitty-kitty” phrase came from hearing the family call their cats. Everyone loves Tucker! He was very pleasant that day, but Jeff says he gets cranky just like a person. “When he hisses or spreads his tail, we know to leave him alone.” says Jeff. He also pointed out how beautiful Tucker’s wings are and displayed all his under the wing colors.
Tucker shares his family with two other pet family members: Murphy, the labradoodle, and Oreo, the rabbit. Tucker appears to just tolerate them. According to the family, their relationship is nothing like what Tucker had with the family’s previous dog, Toby. Jenny said, “Tucker would ride on Toby’s back throughout the house! They were best buddies!” Tucker grieved deeply when Toby passed on and there is continued hope that Tucker will someday bond with Murphy. At least for now, the chemistry doesn’t appear to be there. When asked about his feelings for Murphy, Tucker was speechless!
(Article by: Carolyn Hayes, published in 'The Springfield Paper', http://thespringfieldpaper.com, September 9, 2009 edition.)