Animal Inventory Blog

Keeping track of animals in popular culture.

Julie Zickefoose and Charlie the Parrot

Posted by lisagbrown on March 16, 2008

Julie Zickefoose and CharlieThere was a wonderful story on NPR last week about a woman and her relationship with her parrot. You can read or listen to the piece here:

A Delightful, Awful Marriage to a Pet Parrot

Writer Julie Zickefoose provides a great education about how pet parenting is not a job to be undertaken lightly, particularly in the case of an animal that lives a very long time. Her relationship with Charlie is loving, intimate, and devoted, and she has all the scars to prove it. Literally. Her honesty over the trials and tribulations of parenting an exotic bird is already bringing her kudos from rescuers who try to warn people away from adopting or purchasing animals that don’t make the best companions. Yet, her devotion to Charlie (despite behavior that would typically be incompatible with most people) is admirable.

You can read more about Julie and her thoughts on birds at her blog, Julie Zickefoose.


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One Response to “Julie Zickefoose and Charlie the Parrot”

  1. Dear Lisa,

    Thank you so much for the plug. This commentary has struck a chord; it has been at #1 on NPR’s most emailed list from Saturday-Monday and hasn’t fallen yet. I think many of us think about the bargain we struck when we first got our pets, especially when they (and we) grow older, and assert their true animal natures. Psittacines are a particularly quirky lot. They were never meant to be confined, and that manifests itself in all sorts of behavioral “problems.” Oh, if I knew then what I know now, I think I might have been able to resist the pull of a baby macaw. What’s done is done and I’m in it for the long haul, and if that means baking sweet potatoes and banana bread for Charlie, that’s fine with me.

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