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The Interactive Charli 2.0

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Please contact me if you are the pet owner and want access to all your photos.

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Jacki loves animals. She has had cats, fighting fishes and a hamster named Charli. After her hamster died, Jacki was considering getting a bird; she was looking at a Sun Conure.  Her super has been telling her how great birds are. Two weeks later, her super offered her an African Grey Parrot. And coincidentally, the parrot’s name is also Charli.  That is why the parrot was name Charli 2.0.

How old is Charli 2.0?

She was like two and a half when I got her. I’ve had her for four years, so she’s almost seven.

Since you transitioned from hamsters to a parrot, what value has Charli added to your life?

She’s interactive! Hamsters are great and they do whatever you do for them. If you put them in the ball, they roll around. If you put them at the food, they eat.  If you put them in a sink, they wait for you.

She is interactive where I say, “Good morning.”.  And she goes, “pap, pap, pap.” everyday. And she talks a lot. And there are certain hours of the day, when I have her at eye level, and I say, “I love you”. And she mimics my voice. So at the same time, we’re going, “I love you, I love you, I love you…”. That’s a lot different than a hamster or someone who can’t speak.

For three years, I’m trying to teach her how to say “mommy”. It doesn’t happen.

What are the new words you’ve taught her since you got her?

Well Thomas had taught her “Step up”. So now “Step up, Step up,  Step up ”. But she learned, “Charli, turn off the light. Turn on the light.”. She learned that from me. She learned, “Good girl, good girl!”.  “Pretty girl” she says that too.

But she’s really been interactive. And because she wants to be with me, it really changed my life. For the last few years, I’ve lived alone. She’s been a real companion versus just a pet. She’s always on my shoulder. Wherever I am she is, whenever I’m in the kitchen she’s right here. I have perches in the rooms, in the kitchen I have basket that I perch her on.

My current boyfriend asked me if Charli has in some way replaced a boyfriend relationship. I said no. She is a pet and a companion. People with pets want to hang out with them, feed them and bathe them. But she’s really an enhancement to my life. She’s more like a baby, less like a boyfriend.

Charli is kind of diva-ish, people can be put off by that attitude. How do you make people comfortable when they visit you or how did you become comfortable with her?

Oh, I became comfortable with her immediately. But we had some struggle until I read about how her body language was telling me exactly what she was thinking. Once I have observed her, we got along much better.
My hands have no cuts or scratches, because I see what she needs.

How long was the adjustment period?

Maybe about two months. The first couple of weeks she was very friendly, which I read in the books, they do that behavior because they are scared. And they need to learn what’s happening around them. So they bond to you immediately, they get on you. But when they get comfortable with you, they start rebelling. They test those boundaries.

And that’s when I get all the bites. I would come into work with cuts in my hands. But once I started learning about her behavior, our relationship changed. Now I can see when she is going to behave in a certain way I don’t want, I am able to deflect it.

And she’s a lot more work than I thought she would be, but I’ve never regretted it ever.

Friends, family and even your lover can't be there for you all the time. A pet provides a loyal and constant companion. There are numerous animals that make good pals, but Jackie has found a great companion in Charli 2.0.

Name: Charli 2.0
Breed: African Grey Parrot
Age: 7.5 Years Old  (@time of posting)
Gender: Female
Location:   Chelsea

Date Posted:  

March 21, 2015

NYC Loves Pets



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