Maynard vs. Shoes

Maynard is a 27 year old Amazon double-yellow-headed parrot. He’s relatively smart, affectionate to me, and entertaining when we have company. He learns quickly what I don’t want for him to do, and does it repetitively until I find a way to prevent him doing it. Did I mention he learns quickly?

Maynard loves shoes. He is not allowed in the bedroom alone because I will find bites out of each sole on each pair of shoes. But sometimes I want to go in there during his out time to put laundry away or clean something. He also showers with me almost every day. Rather than have him at the door biting, scratching, and yelling “HELP!” I bring him in with me.

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The first thing Maynard will do is throw all my shoes off the two-level rack in front of my dresser. Then he climbs up on the rack and shouts and laughs and has a great time. Then he climbs under my dresser. Under there is a big, empty space that would be perfect for nesting if he could just talk me into it. There’s not much he can get into back there, so I let him be while I do my own stuff.

When it’s time to shower, I just have to turn on the water, and Maynard comes to me. He does love his showers. We have a routine where I lower his perch twice so he can flap the water off, then he gets to run around on the floor for a while.

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But other times if I am just doing things in the room and need to leave, he can be very stubborn. He’s also a quick learner, which I may have mentioned before. What works once or even twice may not work a third time.

While Maynard loves to help me around the house, he hates any tools that are used in cleaning or even hang out with cleaning tools. He attacks plungers and mops alike. He put a hole in our vacuum cleaner hose. Brooms are the bane of his existence. So if I want him to come flying out from under the dresser, wings spread to make himself look bigger, I just have to get a cleaning instrument. We have a purple brush that is specially designed to remove ass bunting that the spiders decorate the house with. (I wish I could claim coining “ass bunting” but I did not. Steal it, yes, coin it, no.) The first two times he saw it in the bedroom, Maynard attacked, I scooped him up, and he was back in his cage.

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When the brush didn’t work, I went to the other side of the bed and opened the closet. The closet is his second favorite place in the bedroom. He came out to see what I was getting into, and I scooped.

Now I have been forced to put a dowel perch inside a shoe and walk it past him. He charges to the attack, and I can put him away. But I am running out of options. If the shoes fail to entice him, I may have to prevent him from getting under the dresser in the first place. He will be such a sad parrot then.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.


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