Every morning when Tanuja and Vijay Pusalkar sit down for tea in their pretty verandah, Leo and Messy are waiting for their treats.
So, Vijay happily gives them both their biscuits – Leo’s dry and Messy’s dunked in water. You got that right about Leo, he is a gorgeous dog, a three month old labrador.
Messy, is an African Grey parrot! With his feathers nicely spruced and his chatter for the day just beginning, he watches his humans sip their tea. Leo runs all over the lawn and flops down as the birds tweet all over.
Not just these two, the Pusalkar’s also have Tigger, a big doberman and Cockateil, a cockateil who lives in a cage right next to Messy’s cage. Tigger, a proper guard dog loves his seat by the gate. And no movement goes undetected by his sharp ears.
Which is just as well since Leo, being the puppy that he is, has not yet learnt to take on guard duty.
Till leo’s entry into the family a few months ago, Tigger was used to lording over all for 11 years.
Leo’s efforts of trying to get the old boy to play with him, to get him to smile instead of snap and lick instead of growl have got nowhere.
Leo has learnt to leave him alone. And if he still tries to be brave enough to get close to Tigger, it is only if there is a place to hide beyond Tigger’s reach but close by, laughs Tanuja of her handsome dogs.
Naughty Leo loves the garden of his house. “From digging up my lawn to chewing up my orchids to eating chikoos off the tree and even wading into the little pond we had, Leo loves his mischief.
I was so worried about him getting into the pond that I got it drained. As he grows up, I will slowly add water to the pond,” she sighs.
A kingfisher and a heron were regular visitors to the pond for their fish. “I miss them,” adds Tanuja. Interestingly, the very poised Tigger never tried to get into the pond!
As for the chikoos, well, they are safe for now. Mr Leo sniffs them everyday…waiting for them to ripen!
So how do the four pets get along? Cockateil is very simple, never complains or asks for anything. She whistles when Tanuja talks to her and nods his head nicely.
Messy needs and actually demands attention. “When I get into the house, Tigger is at the gate.
Then I get to meet Leo, Messy and Cockateil. If I don’t greet Messy, he will screech and shriek and whistle and create a din till he gets me to talk to him,” she smiles of her three and half year old African Grey who is watching us intently.
You can see your dogs expressions clearly. With birds its very different.
Messy does an excellent impression of my voice and ends up fooling our driver very often.
And if he is in the mood, he chatters on and on repeating words we use and then mumbling stuff in his language,” adds Tanuja of her bird who gets a water spray every afternoon with Cockateil.
Messy was named after the great footballer Messi by Tanuja’s grandchildren – Raghav and Veer.
Tigger always goes up to Messy’s cage and they are beak to nose.
Leo spooked Messy once and since then, the minute Leo goes close to Messy’s cage, the parrot begins shrieking and Leo walks away.
And we know who the Boss Of The House is…
Tips For First Time Bird/Dog Parents:
If you want pets, get them. Apart from whatever you have read or imagined, you will learn on the job.
Google doesn’t work for medicines. Go to your vet when you can see something isn’t how it is supposed to be.
Love and attention are a must, if you want happy pets…
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