I am an avid listener and appreciate all that you do for our wonderful country. I can’t wait to read your new book (after finals!) and I thank you for sharing your emotions and feelings on how important pets are.

I had my quaker parrot Charlie for exactly 6 years (August 18, 2000 – August 18, 2006). She was in perfect health when I boarded her at the local bird store when my now fiancee and I went on vacation to the East Coast.

After a week and a half of vacation, we were on our way to the airport to return back to Seattle, when we were involved in a high speed collision, which delayed our return to Seattle. I missed Charlie everyday and knowing that I would see her very soon helped me feel better about being in such a traumatic collision. The thought of being reunited with her was what gave me the courage to go in a car back to the airport, past the accident site.

We tried to pick her up the afternoon we returned, but the store had closed early, so we came back first thing the next morning so I could snuggle her immediately. Unfortunately, I was told by one of the employees that she had died the morning before. In disbelief, I rushed over to her cage and found it empty.

In the following days, I learned that she died of starvation, since the store switched her pellet feed to seed while I was gone. A year after her death, I am still in disbelief and shock over her death – she was so healthy and perfect and had many years ahead of her.

Charlie had many talents: she was potty trained, flighted, had a large volcabulary and was very affectionate. She called me “mama” and called herself “charlie” and “quaker.” She was like a perpetual toddler, but she was so loyal and kind to me and I couldn’t begin to imagine how I could pay her back for the 6 years of unconditional love she gave me.

Since her death, I adopted two kittens from the humane society in Seattle. They are twins (brother and sister) and they bring much joy to me. I decided not to get another bird for the time being (full time work and school and birds require a lot of attention), so I opted for cats since I grew up with cats. One day I hope to have a dog or two but until I have a house, I don’t think it would be fair to coop them up in a condo!

Thank you for letting me share my story. I miss Charlie everyday and will always remember her as my special parrot.

Christina from WA