The Days of our Lives 😁


Lonely pet parrots find friendship through video chats, a new study finds
April 29, 2023, 😲

Ellie, an 11-year-old cockatoo, chats with a feathery friend over a video call. 😲

Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University 😲

Once upon a time, Polly just wanted a cracker. 😲

Nowadays, Polly might wish to have a Zoom call. 😲

A recent study took 18 pet parrots and examined whether video calls could help them fulfil their social needs. 😲

Parrots are incredibly socially complex creatures and surpass 6- and 7-year-old children in puzzle tasks and memory skills, says Jennifer Cunha of Northeastern University, who co-authored the study. 😲

“They have high mental needs that aren’t always catered to very well in companion situations,” she said. 😲

And pet birds of a feather shouldn’t always flock together, according to another lead researcher, Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas from the University of Glasgow. 😲

“A very high percentage of them have diseases which can be transferred when in-person interaction occurs,” Hirskyj-Douglas said. 😲

So Hirskyj-Douglas and Cunha got together with lead author Rébecca Kleinberger, also of Northeastern University, to see if parrots in captivity could find companionship through video calls. 😲

Researchers found that video-calling technology could reproduce some social benefits of living in a flock. 😲

Northeastern University/Glasgow University 😲

They taught them to ring a bell, after which a tablet would be presented. 😲

One or two images of fellow parrots would appear on a phone or tablet, and using their beaks or tongues, the parrots would choose. 😲

To see how much the parrots wanted to spend time on video chats, researchers measured engagement and agency. 😲

“So how frequently they rang the parrots when the system was available and then how quickly they use it,” Hirskyj-Douglas explained. 😲

They were prepared to see adverse reactions from the birds, like aggression. 😲

But instead, they say they saw a lot of social behaviours they would potentially see between birds that were together or in the wild. 😲

“So mirroring behaviours where they might move in the same way, dancing, singing together,” Cunha said. 😲

“They seem to, as one owner said, come alive during the calls.” 😲

Jennifer Cunha with Ellie the cockatoo at her home in Florida. 😲

Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University
Kleinberger said while there was potential for connection between animals through the screen, there were also unknown risks of exposing the birds to new technology, so they had to be careful in training the owners and monitoring the video chats closely. 😲

But the researchers did conclude that video-calling technology could reproduce some of the social benefits of living in a flock, even between parrot species. 😲

And Cunha said some birds still ask to chat with their pals. 😂

“Some of the birds continue to call each other. 😂

So I think that there’s a lot of long-term potential for these kinds of relationships,” she said. 😂

In other words, Polly may want a lasting friendship, even through a screen. 😂😲


It’s a Dogs life 🐶


Here’s the surprising answer for a 6-year-old child.
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.🐶
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.🐶
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was happening. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.🐶
The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that dogs’ lives are shorter than humans. Shane, listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.🐶
He said, ”People are born to learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued,
”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay for as long as we do.”
Love generously.🐶
Care deeply.🐶
Speak kindly.🐶
Remember, if a dog were the teacher, you would learn things like:🐶🐶🐶🐶

  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Be faithful.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
    That’s the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog.



A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. 🐋🐳

She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. 🐳🐋

She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth. 🐋🐳

This is her story of giving gratitude. 🐳🐋

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Faralon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed for help. 🐋🐳

Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her…. a very dangerous proposition. 🐳🐋

One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer. 🐋🐳

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. 🐳🐋

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. 🐋🐳

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, nudged them, and pushed gently, thanking them. 🐳🐋

Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. 🐋🐳

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same. 🐳🐋

May you be so fortunate … 🐋

To be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. 🐋🐳

And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude. 🐳🐋


Rescue ~ house mouse 🐀


The night before Thanksgiving, I was walking through our basement with an armload of firewood when I saw something I could not quite believe. It was confusing and heartrending at the same time. A tiny mouse was sitting upright in the middle of our basement. It was hunched over, hanging its head with its eyes closed, and this may sound wild, but it looked sad and defeated. 🤷
I approached it slowly, hoping it was fast asleep, drunk on whatever food it had scrounged from our cellar. Sadly, that was not the case. As I reached out a hand to let it know that I was close, it lifted its head, looked up at me sideways, and slumped, hanging its head and closing its eyes again. It did not attempt to move. It was vulnerable and helpless.🤦
As I gently picked it up, it did not protest – it assumed the same position. It looked up at me once, dropped its head to its chest again and closed its eyes. Within a few minutes, it was asleep in my hand.🤷
Close inspection revealed an injured rear leg the mouse was dragging behind it. We consulted with a wildlife rehabilitator who was at capacity but offered valuable advice. She said it was likely nerve damage and suggested a week of cage rest to see if the injury would resolve 🤦 independently. So we spent the holiday weekend creating a habitat for and feeding our new guests. And we are seeing significant progress already.
Our guest will be with us for a few more days until it is strong enough to be integrated with a colony – at that time, we’ll bring it to our dear friend Ellen Jareckie, a wildlife rehabilitator and the artist behind House-Mouse Designs.🤷 She will keep the mouse through the winter and release it when it is more robust, in early spring.
It would be safe to assume that many who read this will believe I am nuts for spending days trying to rehabilitate a mouse, and I understand. But seeing a tiny, helpless creature in a vulnerable state broke my heart. I had to do something. 🤷




It broke my heart to see him so alone and confused. 🐶🐶

🐶And suddenly, I managed to make his teary eyes meet mine.

🐶 I wouldn’t say I like the smell of sadness.

🐶 I wanted so badly to jump on him.🐶He spoke to me tenderly, and I knew I had to rescue him!

🐶 That human needed me.🐶

So I barked with all my might and followed him for blocks and blocks.🐶

I got closer; I could smell his hands.

🐶 The human smiled for an instant, and when he took me in his arms, I began to feel his cold heart warm.🐶

I got close to his cheeks and felt a tear roll down them.🐶

I looked deeply at him, and his response was a bright smile.

🐶 I jumped excitedly into his arms, promised to behave myself, love him forever, and never leave his side.

How lucky he was to pass through that block, down that street, and I also feel blessed.🐶🐶

So many people were walking by, and no one was looking at me.🐶

All worried, all involved in his problems.🐶

I’m glad no one else chose me!🐶

Today, I saved a life.🐶

Today, I adopted a human🐶