Parrots have always been my favorite pet. It was as a child that I started liking them. My auntie had a very talkative, comical parrot. Last year, my husband died which left a very large gap in my life. The other day, I was looking at several old photographs and there was one of me as a girl and I was with my aunties parrot. It brought back favorable memories, so I decided to purchase one.

I should of looked into the care and training first, before I bought a parrot. However I remember my aunt telling me that they just needed care, attention, love and patience. I thought long and hard about patience as it was not one of my solid points. Before going to the pet shop, I wanted to stop by the library and take a look at certain books. I knew a parrot would make a marvellous pet if cared for properly. A cheerful and content parrot would give me love and friendship back.

There were countless good books in the library but one caught my eye. The first tip that the book suggested was to make the cage big so that the parrot had room to spread its wings. I was also to put paper on the bottom of the cage and change it everyday so that old food and bird droppings would not make the parrot sick. I would also need to buy lots of other things such as toys, food bowls and a large perch.

Reading on, the parrot would have to be washed once a week with water and dried with a towel. When the claws of the parrot grew too long, I was also advised not to clip them myself but to let the vet do it properly. The parrots diet would have to consist of fruit, vegetables, nuts and grain. Its water would have to be changed every day.

Wow, I never realised that there was so much to do when looking after a parrot. This did not put me off though and I was looking forward to the suggestion that I talk to the parrot every day so that it will in due course talk back. For a bird, social interaction is important and this was great as I was desperate for some company.

The next day I hurried to the pet shop. Spoke to the chap behind the counter, to my delight he had just what I was looking for, a stunning green and yellow Macaw. The shop assistant offered sound advice too, such as not cleaning out the cage with chemicals, just hot water. As I bought the cage, accessories and parrot all together, he gave me an terrific discount.

My new parrot is now called Dolly. We formed a loving bond very quickly; I can not imagine life without her. I checked out the internet for more ideas and advice on parrots. Interesting articles on training them, keeping them occupied, teaching them to talk, were all available for me to read, very helpful.

There are some specialist websites that have just been a goldmine when it comes to information. Dolly has bought joy and laughter back to my house. Anyone that wants a pet should buy themsleves a parrot.