05 May 2010

Cher's on "the tube"

An abnormal gap in blog frequency is a sign of how busy the flock advisors have been of late. Apart from the end of the author's school semester, the tourist season ramping up (and thus, more work), weddings to attend, and cleaning bird cages, the flock advisors also got their new business venture off the ground and have been on an advertising spree. If you didn't get one of our flyers last week, ask your closest neighbor for one. If they don't have one either, leave a comment below so I can drive over with a van-full of them.

Of course, it isn't all capitalism and Madison Ave. around the Feather Dorm. The birds are eager to take our minds off such trivial things so that we may kneel at their alter of soiled cage liners. Kenobi has done his share as well, sampling some new cuisine around the Feather Dorm, and testing the structural soundness of the place in the process.

The most exciting progress has been with Sprite. He is stepping up from his cage with more confidence each session. We've tried a new reinforcement schedule with him that allows us to jackpot him for the best approximations, while still tokening him with rewards for mediocre approximations to avoid frustration and keep him trying. He is now standing on a handheld perch long enough to eat his peanut, and even accept a head scratch before inching back to the security of his cage. He'll be hopping on shoulders in no time, which the flock advisors will have to get used to.

Coconut and Cher were spotted clacking beaks through the cage bars the other day, which is a sign that they are bonding. Figures, the one bird Coconut finds that wants to spend time with him is the one bird the flock advisors wouldn't trust with a stone sculpture of a bird.

Kenobi has been enjoying more time out on the porch as the weather warms up. I've been doing a lot of my writing out there, and Kenobi hops out to lay in the sun and take in a feast of smells. He has also decided to feast on the 2x4s that make up the deck of the porch. Besides trashing the security deposit, he might eat his way to a 15 foot free fall down to the first floor if left unsupervised out there for long enough. Bunny-balls would be one disappointed lagomorph, though, to find that the downstairs porch has a floor of tasteless concrete.

Lennon has been getting plenty of exercise by flying laps around the dorm. The flock advisors have busied themselves (amongst everything else) with removing all hazards from his potential flight path. Ceiling fans off, check. Stove cooled off, check. Toilet lids down, check. We have to constantly go over that list because a cockatiel rarely checks for tower clearance.

After Sprite's video in the last post, Cher has also now found her way to Youtube.com. As part of our ceaseless efforts to promote Flippers to Paws, LLC, our new Youtube.com channel will feature videos of training sessions, training related discussions, and videos showcasing just how fun animals can be (and why you need one, and why it should be trained, and why we're just the ones to help!) Cher is the star of our first video, as she is actively learning a new behavior. Watch the video below, and then check out our Flippers to Paws Facebook site for updates. Not to give too much away, but there could be a painting puppy in the future of the Flippers to Paws Youtube channel.

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