Swiss Family Robinson

Written By: B.D. Butler - Aug• 15•12


We love going to my fiancée’s family cabin, and it is a little rustic, with some modern flares here and there.  It’s a four-minute walk to the beach, and it is one of those places that makes you relax.  You can sit by the fire pit and look at the stars, while listening to music, and make a smore or two.  In the distance you can hear the quiet roar of the ocean waves, and hear the occasional sea-gull.  It’s an oasis, in an already busy and hectic world.

This past weekend we hit the road with the dogs and birds in tow.  We managed to find a deal (as we all know, I am a thrifty) and found some new Poquito Avian Hotels on clearance.  I love a great bargain and my three favorite words are, free, sale and clearance.  The new cages have a smaller bar width, which makes it almost impossible for Cooper to nip at the dogs, or chew on the leather seats.  This makes my fiancée very happy, because replacing anything BMW is expensive.  I see it as a win-win for everyone.

We also brought the other folding travel cages (to set them up in the cabin), because they are a little bigger, and the birds are used to being in them.  I try to make the experience as happy, and easy as possible.  Dexter loves to travel, and Cooper I am sure plots my demise, like Stewie from Family Guy.

I got my pic for Stewie Griffin here.

From the first time that we had Dex in the car, he has just relaxed, he’ll eat, preen and his known to play with some of his toys while on the road.  Cooper does not have the same gypsy mentality.  Coop loves to sit and go rounds in his cage, and attempt to chew on anything foreign he can get his beak or talons on… and then of course will settle down five minutes before we actually reach our destination.  Isn’t that the way that it always goes?

I got my photo for dreaming here.

I get some of my best ideas when I am dreaming, and I came up with a pretty good one the night before we went to the cabin.  We have a couple buffet tents, which could be easily turned into a bird oasis, especially since it was going to be a little warmer (and by warmer I mean 75…yeah I know, scorching!) and I wanted the birds to have some great time outdoors.  With this tent, it has screens all around that can be staked shut, and opt you to have one entrance/exit.

We waited for the temp to rise, and the sun came out, we seized the moment, and set up a table out in the tent, and out the birds went.  The sun was coming in at an angle, so they had access to direct sunlight if they wanted it.  It was perfect.

 I grabbed a portable thermometer to make sure if there was a sudden temperature change, because the Washington coast is known for plummeting to low temperatures when a storm rolls in.  Also this way, the birds would be safe from any predators (hawks, racoons, killer rabid squirrels, okay maybe not that one) and we could keep an eye on them.

Dexter and Cooper in their Swiss Family Robinson oasis.

I grabbed a chair and decided to make it a little training session.  I sat by Cooper and let him slowly come to me, I like to take different locations and try trust exercises.  It took about fifteen minutes, but he eventually came to me, wanting my attention.  It’s moments like this I don’t think that he totally hates my existence.  It’s just when I make him do something that he isn’t in the mood to do.

Out of the blue one of the dogs barked which caused a chain reaction and started the dog choir.  This caused Cooper to make a break for it and glide down on the grass, it was at that moment, I wondered if he had ever been on grass before.  So I let him walk his little pigeon-toed self over to me.  You could tell he was so curious about the texture of the grass, and it was “weird”.  He sashayed up to me, tried to chew on my shoe, and then said “step up”.  So I swiftly picked him up, praised the heck out of him, for asking to be picked up, and put him back on his roosting spot.   I eventually let Dexter have a stroll, and he loved it.  It’s the little things that we take for granted that our birds probably never experience.

What a way to spend some time on your vacation, sitting “outdoors-ish” and watching your birds listen to all of the wild bird calls, which Cooper has brought home a few new sounds”.  I can sit and watch them for hours, process and explore things they don’t get to hear and see at home.  I also find it awesome, taking Coop to new places, because he is much easier to handle and work with if there is a middle ground, and he has no “claim”.  The trust of your bird realizing that you are there, and will protect them, is so important.  That’s another reason why I think people should take their birds places, it gets them socialized, and increases your bond with them.

Dexter loving the great “outdoors”.


Traveling with your bird can be hard, and yet so rewarding.  I know people who take their birds everywhere, and once you get it down, it’s not hard.  It just takes a little preparation, and eventually it becomes just like you are packing for yourself.  I have blogged about it many times! click here

It’s a rough life.

Such a great weekend, and when we got home, Cooper didn’t want to come out of his cage, he actually sat in there for an extra hour, just relaxing.


Maybe we found a little gypsy in him after all?


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