Yes, we want it all. We want to clone ourselves and find the best bird sitter there is. We want the flippin’ Mary Poppins of Bird Sitters. We want someone who will dote on our birds, care for them, love them, spend time with them and actually give a damn about their welfare.
We actually want someone better than we are. These are difficult to come by. As far as I’m concerned, pretty much anyone can look after my dog Mattie. She’s not very particular. But the Greys? Umm, no. The birds are a different matter.
Is looking after birds that difficult? We don’t think so, but it’s a different world to other people. It’s a tad more involved. It ‘s crucial to understand that the longer you’re gone, the more expert your sitter must be.
10 things to look for in a good bird sitter:
1.) He or she doesn’t wince every time a bird hops from one perch to another.
2.) They don’t say, “I don’t have to do this every day, do I?
3.) They don’t ask you where you keep the leashes.
4.) They have birds of their own.
5.) They are understanding when you call three times a day and ask to be put on speaker phone.
6.) They make some notes about what they did while you were gone.
(See the column “Memo to Parker”Pepper in the January, 2011 issue of BIRD TALK Magazine for a fine example of this.)
7.) They go ahead and pick up your Cockatoo after asking if she can be handled like they were born to it.
8.) They don’t ask you about your home owner’s accident insurance.
9.) They realize bedtime rituals are important and don’t snicker when you teach them “Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” including the hand gestures.
10.) They dutifully study the phone number list for emergencies (two pages), the morning and bedtime schedule, the feeding schedule, the cleaning schedule and the “Who gets what treat” schedule that currently wallpapers the refrigerator.
And while I don’t subscribe to this, all of the Mommy blogs I’ve been getting blogging tips from, recommend that you keep the phone number of your Bird Sitter under lock and key. Apparently a lot of babysitter theft goes on in “Sippy-Cup Land.”