Dear Reader, please indulge a little background story to explain the meaning of this title.
Many (many, many) years ago I became the new manager of one in a chain of flower shops. I was young, energetic, with a sharp memory and very good organizational skills, I knew my job well and was very dedicated to it, working nearly every day. One day one of the owners came to visit the shop, she was a wonderful woman, and I admired her greatly, she told me I was doing a good job, but had one major criticism, I had no lists. Lists? I asked, for what? I knew everything that needed to be done, remembered every task, every order, I never missed a thing. That’s when she said to me “But you never know when you”ll get hit by a bus.” She taught me how to write everything down, write instructions, make lists and charts that any of my employees, or even a total stranger would be able to understand and pick up and follow in the event that something happened to me. She was insistent, and had such conviction about this subject, and since as I said I admired her, I did as she asked. (I learned later that her own “bus” that chased her everyday was M.S.)
Her lessons served me well through many jobs, and following behind others who were not such good record keepers only strengthened my own growing conviction to keep good written documentation. And as I age and my memory and organization slip away from me at an increasingly rapid pace, I am ever so grateful for this now ingrained need to write everything down and make lists.
So what has this to do with parrots, you ask?
What if YOU get hit by a bus? What will happen to your parrots? Do you have someone who has agreed to take them? Or care for them while you recover from your injuries? Have you made a list of their vet’s information, medical needs, diet, favorite toys, daily routine, etc…? What would you want a future caregiver to know about your parrots? Is it all in one place, easily accessible to the people who need it in a time of emergency?
I had started such lists when I got my first parrots, but I will admit I have not kept it up to date. Recently I was very close to a tragic and fatal “bus crash”, the effects of which I fear will haunt me for a long time to come. This has reminded me of the necessity to collect and organize all this important information and to make sure the right people get copies of it. And who are those right people? For me, Debbie & Ann, with Phoenix Landing, who will make sure my birds are placed in safe & loving homes if the need arises; my sister, who has copies of all my important papers and a key to my house; and my neighbors, who might be the first to know if anything were happen and who also have a key to the house. If I had a lawyer or estate planner I would make sure they had copies as well.
As I have started to collect and update as much information on all my birds as I can think of, I have designed a form inspired by the Phoenix Landing Parrot Questionnaire, which is used when a person transfers legal guardianship of their parrot to Phoenix Landing. I have decided that I will update this form for each bird at least once every year, and to help myself remember I will do it following every vet visit; but I could have as easily chosen the anniversary of their birthday or adoption day, or my birthday, or the beginning of the year, etc…
Here’s an example of what one of mine looks like (I did leave out some information for security reasons, please forgive my caution) Click to see ella
It is my sincerest hope that I have inspired you to prepare for your own “bus”, and I freely offer that you copy and use this form, changing or adapting it as fits your needs. Click to download
Parrot InfoSheet Excel version
Parrot Info sheet PDF version
The greatest gift we can give to the feathered souls who share our lives is a safe and secure future!