There are moments in your life when it appears things have come full circle. When we first moved to the twin cities, we lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment. The best thing about it was the little balcony, because it allowed me to have a little potted garden. It was my favorite place to sit in the morning. It didn’t take me long to discover Linder’s; first as the flower marts in various parking lots and then their main store. There was not a better way to spend an hour or two than wandering around their vast store and outdoor gardens, getting ideas for my own landscaping projects. One year for my birthday my husband bought me a huge Clematis I had been eyeing. It has come back every year for over ten years. I put in an entire garden in the back yard around that plant, and enjoy the beautiful blooms every summer.
Of course I got to know Baby, the Orange-wing Amazon frequently out in the greenhouse on his tree, calling and talking away. It’s probably what attracted me to Linder’s in the first place; the parrot on their logo at the grocery flower marts. And like many of you, it was with disbelief I heard they were closing, followed closely by sadness. Losing a family run business that has been such a part of this community is just heartbreaking. Since I work crazy hours, I missed the announcement on the news and the article in the Pioneer Press (I tend to catch up on the news when I change cage papers and read the paper then, which isn't the most effective means of staying up with current events) but it didn’t take long for people to contact me asking me if I had heard they were closing and did I know what was going to happen to Baby. I didn’t know, but I assumed someone in the family would be taking him since he was a family pet. And if that wasn’t the case, I figured there had to be at least one employee that wanted to take him home.
It wasn’t until I was contacted directly by one family member that I learned that was not going to be the case. Baby had been her uncle’s bird, but unfortunately he died about ten years ago. The rest of the family loved Baby, and took excellent care of him all these years, but none felt comfortable taking him home, either because of pets they already had or the amount of time they would be away from home. Baby would go from being out all the time with constant companionship to being home alone and they did not feel that was fair. Neither did any of the staff want to take him permanently. Several were willing to foster, but did not want to commit to being responsible for him for the next 30 years or so. I find this admirable; and it tells me that they really knew what it meant to own a bird. Baby is unusually noisy, perhaps from always being part of a public place and all the activity. It definitely would take the right home to be able to handle all the noise he is capable of making.
As you can well imagine, other people came out of the woodwork offering to take him. They were, in fact, overwhelmed by requests; people saying things like “I have 30 birds in my home. I can take him.” Or “I’ve always wanted a bird.” Given the situation and all the heartache and work the family was facing with shutting down a 100 year old family business, I am sure many owners would have simply given him to the first person who asked. But they cared deeply for Baby and wanted him where they felt they could be assured he would be happy and well cared for. They chose Parrot Rescue Services out of all the possible homes he could have had, and I am happy to say he has settled in and seems to have made the transition with a minimum of stress. Being a single bird all these years I thought he might feel a little overwhelmed by all our birds, but he isn’t in the least. He is not at the moment up for adoption, as there is the possibility that one member of the family will take him when things settle down for her and she has a better idea of what the future holds for her. For now, though, Baby seems happy to call Parrot Rescue Services his new home. If I can figure out where to safely place some plants I think that will be all he needs to feel right at home.