Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Traveling with a pet

Yes, the Thanksgiving post is finally here.  Thanksgiving was amazing.  My family was finally together, I got to see everyone, plus FOOD!  The plan that Brian and I had to visit all the houses did not work this year.  Not only did I get full again on a small plate at the first house, but my Grandmother said we got to her house late again.  Next year, we will be visited her house first.  I didn’t take as many pictures because so much was going on, but I did manage to get action shots. 

Aside from that, we took Mr. Tibbs on the trip with us.  Since this was Mr. Tibbs’ third big travel, I thought he would handle it a little better than last year.  Going there was decent.  We started the trip off with Brian bringing him down stairs.  After dealing with him hissing at me last year for waking him up so early, I got Brian to handle it.  When I uncovered him at the normal time he would wake up, I decided to cover him up partially so the sun wouldn’t get in his eyes.  He wasn’t as agitated as last year, but he issues with big trucks, bumps in the road and me trying to sleep when he wanted my attention.

His hiding place during the bumps in the road.

When he finally arrived at my Mom’s house, he was quiet.  He loves my Mom and will whistle at the sound of her voice but he wasn’t use to her new house.  We moved the birds beside him to make him more comfortable, but he couldn’t get over the fact that he had eyes watching him from the wall. 

The Dining room in my Mom's new house is filled with pictures of our family.   Mr. Tibbs was surrounded by baby pictures of my siblings and myself.
Sky remembered Mr. Tibbs and climbed to the side of her cage to get a glimpse of his awesomeness, while Tweety flapped his wings with jealousy.  I felt bad for leaving Mr. Tibbs in that environment, but I knew he was in good hands.  He finally got comfortable the Sunday morning when my Mom fed him, sung to him and gave him treats.  When we left the house, he couldn’t stop squawking to see my Mom again. 

Coming back home with Mr. Tibbs was a mess.  He didn’t have to endure a bumpy road, because we were stuck in traffic for two hours.  He started to get uncomfortable at sunset.  When it gets dark, he always squawks for the light to be turned on.  Since we were driving, that wasn’t possible.  The only way to handle that was to put him to bed early.  Once he was covered up, he squawked for over 30 minutes.  We finally made it home at 1030pm and he couldn’t have been more happier.  He got out his cage to stretch his wings and enjoyed doing the things he couldn’t do on his 4 day trip.  But then we noticed he picked up a habit from Sky and Tweety:

Mr. Tibbs sitting on top of his mirror. 
It took him two days to shake it, but he was back to his normal self.

Here are some tips I learned over the years and will keep close to my heart for next time:
-It's easy to stress a bird.  If you can, see if a family/friend can watch your bird or check them into a birdie hotel.  If not you can follow these rules too!

-Secure the cage in the back seat and with a seat belt.

-Make sure all toys are either removed or tied to the side of the cage.  If you are tying them, do not use the trash bag ties or any other toxic materials.  Mr. Tibbs has a favorite bell and will go wherever it is.  He will risk getting injured just to be near this bell.  We have to tie it carefully so he has access to it and it doesn’t hurt him if we hit a bump in the road.

-Keep them covered the majority of the trip.  Too many moving vehicles and light can agitate them.  Originally, I covered the side the light was hitting his cage.  After I caught him squawking at a couple of trucks, I decided to cover the sides of his cage and leave the front exposed so he could see my husband and I.  All birds are different, so this rule may not apply.

-Put the food in containers and bring an extra water bottle.  It’s hard to carry his cage down the stairs and in the car at 330 in the morning without spilling his water.  For this trip we emptied his water and when he was in the car securely, we poured water from the water bottle in his bowl.  Not only was it easier, but we didn’t have to go back in the house to refill it.

-Make sure your bird is in a comfortable environment.  If you have to use a travel cage, make sure your bird is familiar with it before the trip.  Also, invest in a birdie platform so they can rest on it if the ride to your destination has a lot of bumps.  Mr. Tibbs usually sits on his perch but when the ride gets rough, he has to catch himself so he doesn’t lose his balance.  When this happens, he jumps on his platform and stays till the ride gets smoother.

-Entertain them.  Mr. Tibbs hates when his cage shakes when the car is moving for 8-10 hours.  He eats a little here and there but he tries to stay on his platform as much as he can.  To make him feel better, we play his favorite songs.  Last year, his favorite was Michael Jackson's History album. This year’s picks are Fresh Prince (Will Smith) and light Jazz:

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