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Author Topic: Sydney  (Read 5709 times)

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jayp

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Sydney
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:51:44 PM »

Hello all

My name is Jay, i am married and have two children, a boy Avi and a girl Maia, both are above 10 and Avi has just turned a teenager. As a family we have always been inclined towards pets but until now due to having a young family have limited the keeping of pets to tropical fish and in particularly an Amazonian originated species called discus.

Just before Christmas my daughter Maia had asked if she could keep Russian dwarf hamsters as pets. I had responded that she could have them as soon as her exam in February had finished we could go and get them. Maia had done all her research herself; she had selected the type of Russian Hamster, the colour and the breeder where she wanted to purchase them. She had read up on diets and requirements. Waiting till February proved a bit arduous so she used her political connections (her mommy!) to influence me into bringing the date forward. So off we went to the pet store to purchase a cage and a wonderful assistant helped but also reminded Maia that the hamsters were nocturnal and would not be able to interact properly – when she was awake and wanted to play with them they would be sleeping and when she was sleeping they would be making noise. I asked her if it was appropriate to be buying these pets before a period when she would need her rest and be at her best for the exams. We came home empty handed with an upset daughter who was feeling that an excuse may have been used from buying a pet. I reassured her that we could either buy the hamsters on the same day her exam finished or we could buy an alternative pet that was awake at the same time she was. I proposed budgies as one of her cousin has some and she had remarked how they came to his hand. She went off to think about it, and returned having researched on budgies and accepted my proposal. I found a breeder who due to the time of the year recommended a local family owned pet shop and immediately purchased 2 budgies, my son selected a blue budgie that was named sky and my daughter selected a yellow one that was named Sunny. Aptly the characters of the budgies are akin to those of my kids. Sky like Avi is adventurous, naughty and full of life; Sunny on the other hand like Maia shows a shy and timid posture. Whilst leaving the pet shop with all the necessary requirements i mentioned to my daughter that i would love to have an African grey parrot and depending on how things went we could have one within 12 months. Having been brought up in Kenya where many families kept African grey parrots as caged pets I had always yearned at some time to have one. My closest friend’s parrot would recite prayers with his mother during the mornings and when he came home in the evening from work would swear at him. My wife’s cousin was looking after a colleagues parrot whilst we were there and the children grew quite close wanting to feed him all the exotic fruits that the parrot was accustomed to.



Two weekend ago whilst browsing for toys and items for the budgies i came across an ad placed by a young family looking to sell their beloved pet because they could not give the requisite space, time and attention. They had bought the parrot from a friend who had got rescued them from an animal recovery shelter where he was living together with a female companion in dire conditions. The female was plucking her feathers and as a result was sold off first. The friend had named the parrot Sydney. Subsequent to getting Sydney the family discovered they were expecting a new addition to their family and as a result the parrot spent most of the last few months locked in his cage. The family wanted someone who would love him at least as much as they did but also give him the space, time and attention he deserved. We went to see the Sydney and he looked in pretty good condition and he came to the edge of the cage to greet us. They said he was very chatty in the mornings and as soon as we left the room he started talking and counting. He had been brought up on a diet of seeds with monkey nuts and cucumber his favourite and the occasional fresh fruit and sticks as a treat. He was about 4-6 years old and has a split ring on his left foot with xx - xxx marking embossed on it.  His cage was split level and tends to sit on the highest perch which is the normal stick given with cages. He did not like going to the lower perch or spending any time there. He would peck if fingers were put through the cage bars but did allow ladies to stroke him. He was very partial to the children and tolerated the dog that they had. We liked the family and we loved the parrot and decided that if they found us acceptable then we would be very happy to buy Sydney and hopefully give him our best. The next day Sydney was with us together with the cage and all his accessories, the family were clearly upset with the parting. They had assured us that once with us he would come around within a day and be at his usual chatty personality.



Sydney was quiet for the first few hours; he was out of his cage and perched on the top. Not wanting to distress him we left him there until the evening and had to gently coax him into going back into his cage. Monday morning saw Sydney exercising his vocals, he took to our children quite well and every time my daughter passes his cage he says “cooo” irrespective of the time. He flaps his wings for Avi and listens intently to my wife. He lets me put my hand in the cage with a monkey nut in the palm of my hand and picks it gently and then backs off. He has been trying various fruits including apple, grapes and bananas (his favourite), sharon fruit and tangerine. We have started slowly changing his diet with less of the seeds and successfully introduced the Harrison pellets today with vegetables the next step forward. He picks up words within 1 day and repeats them regularly. He went from Maia complaining that he was not saying her name on day 2 to calling her at regular intervals by the following day.

We completed all our weekend chores on Friday so that we could spend time indoors with him, we laid new flooring on Saturday to make it easier to keep the area clean and opened the cage on Sunday in anticipation of him wanting to come out and in case it took a long time to get him in back. He refused to leave his cage which whilst seemed disappointing at least left the option for him if he wanted to do so. I pursued with the same pattern and left the cage doors open after lunch yesterday, whilst I was standing he showed no interest. Over the last few days he has seen the budgies come in and out of their cages and step up when So i walked away and in a short while he was talking aloud attracting my attention finding him perched outside of his cage. With positive reinforcement i left him there for the various family members to trickle home and praise him. It took a little bit more of an effort to coax him back with the initial attempts using monkey nuts having failed. I left some on his perch within the cage and went down but returned just before dinner to find he had already gone in. He received a few more positive words. He still refuses to accept a new perch or spend time at lower levels or step up. He is extremely comfortable and exudes such an aura with my wife and children. When he is out in the open he tends to be a bit nervous in front of me.  However this is just a matter of time and with the right attention over the coming weeks and months we hope he will be as confident as he can be.





We have welcomed Sydney as part of our family and over the last 9 days he has more than repaid us with an amazing amount of love and affection.

From the few threads i have read at this forum I have found the information made available very knowledgeable. Hopefully over time i hope i can add to this contribution.

I have attached some pictures of our recent additions. 
 
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karen 2

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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 07:24:54 PM »

Hiya jay  and welcome to the forum,that was lovely reading your post,what a lovely thing you have done in giving Sydney a new forever home, your family sounds lovely ,kind and caring, looking forward to hearing how you get on with Sydney in the next few weeks and hoping to see lots of lovely photos. Xx
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 08:06:57 PM »

Hi I loved your post :) I too am looking to give a home to an African gray I think I'm going to foster one :) such beautiful creatures :) x
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rgoodchild84

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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 08:33:27 PM »

Welcome what a lovely post and story I hope everything continues as by the sounds of it your doing great. Sydney is a very lucky birdie. Loved the pictures. Everyone on this forum is brilliant and very helpful.


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Jo

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 08:50:10 PM »

Hi there, what a lovely thing you have done for Sydney.  :thumbsup: :clap: :clap:
Your post was fabulous.
It may be an idea to replace the dowel perches with an assortment of perches so that his feet can relax a little. There are many different perches on the market, sanded perches are really good and they help to trim nails and thier shape and texture mean that their feet can grip properly. They also tend to rub their beaks on the sanded perches to keep that trimmed too.
Monkey nuts are widely available and I used to give Charlie them until I joined this great forum and learned that the shells on monkey nuts may contain mould spores that can make our greys very ill so I stopped them straight away. If they have a peanut as a treat then I give them red skinned ones not the shelled ones. :nono:
Try to limit fruit to once or twice a week as a treat as its loaded with natural sugars. If possible try looking at the diet section on here and follow some of the recipes for chop/mash, birdy bread etc etc. This will help you provide an interesting and varied diet for your bird.
Sydney looks beautiful so keep her looking lovley by giving her a regular shower using warm water in a spray bottle.  :thumbsup: I spray my birds and it really does help especially when they are going through a moult.
i hope that helps you out a little bit. Your pics are lovely and its nice to have you on the forum. :hiya Its a great forum and we are all here to help you. :thumbsup:
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Jo, Charlie, George and Dexter xxxx

Lesley N

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 12:46:05 PM »

Hello Jay and familu and  :hiya to the forum form Lesley and Elliott.   :yahoo:
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LesleyR

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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 01:37:38 PM »

Hello Jay et al from me and Dexter 😃


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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emca

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 01:56:10 PM »

hi jay and family and of course sydney
welcome to the forum
my daughter is named sunni  :biggrin: :biggrin:
 eli xx
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Rachel.

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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2012, 06:56:29 PM »

Hello and welcome
Lovely to read the story of Sydney
Xx



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Esme

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2012, 07:10:53 PM »

Hello Jay, what a lovely story. I hope that you will keep writing about your lovely family, animals and human; it is very interesting. Your photos are great, too.
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Pat

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2012, 07:30:16 PM »

Hi welcome to the forum.  Have a look around at the diet section and the toy section you will find lots of interesting bits a pieces, parrots love toys!  One thing I would like to point out, budgies and parrots don't mix too well.  If a budgie lands on your parrots cage, Sydney could well harm the budgie by biting toes or pulling his beak off which is something that happened to a former member on here.  Please be very careful.

jayp

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2012, 07:53:55 AM »

Many thanks to all who read this thread and especially to karen2, Kittybb, rgoodchild84, Jo, Lesley N, Emca, Rachel., Esme and Pat for the welcome and the advice – it is certainly appreciated.

… I too am looking to give a home to an African gray I think I'm going to foster one :) such beautiful creatures :)

Kittybb – you will certainly love them – they return just as much joy as they are given. 


It may be an idea to replace the dowel perches with an assortment of perches so that his feet can relax a little. There are many different perches on the market, sanded perches are really good and they help to trim nails and thier shape and texture mean that their feet can grip properly. They also tend to rub their beaks on the sanded perches to keep that trimmed too.
Monkey nuts are widely available and I used to give Charlie them until I joined this great forum and learned that the shells on monkey nuts may contain mould spores that can make our greys very ill so I stopped them straight away. If they have a peanut as a treat then I give them red skinned ones not the shelled ones. :nono:
Try to limit fruit to once or twice a week as a treat as its loaded with natural sugars. If possible try looking at the diet section on here and follow some of the recipes for chop/mash, birdy bread etc etc. This will help you provide an interesting and varied diet for your bird.
Sydney looks beautiful so keep her looking lovely by giving her a regular shower using warm water in a spray bottle.  :thumbsup: I spray my birds and it really does help especially when they are going through a moult.
i hope that helps you out a little bit. Your pics are lovely and its nice to have you on the forum. :hiya Its a great forum and we are all here to help you. :thumbsup:

Jo many thanks on the advice – it is greatly appreciated and keep it coming, it is only from more experienced members that I can improve my experience and make the road ahead smoother.

From the previous owner’s comments, Sydney refused to sit on the different perches – there was a sanded perch which to-date he has absolutely refused to use. In addition he would not sit on the lower perches or spend any time at the lower levels other than to get his food. I bought a rope perch and replaced the dowel at the same height last weekend – despite that he clung to the cage all night and simply did not even try to test or venture onto the perch. He looked so miserable and I felt so guilty that I put his dowel back and put the rope perch at a lower level for him to get used to it. He has not sat on this perch and if he is forced to go to the lower levels he simply circumvents it. The same applies to a dowel perch on the lower level. I have made a few changes this weekend: the highest dowel perch has been lowered slightly so even when perched, he remains the shortest in the family – he didn’t like it but he has accepted; I have added a swing at the level that his perch was but he does not like new things and so far is yet to try it ; the lower dowel perches have been moved higher so they are in line with some food bowls and some new puzzle toys that I purchased last weekend – he is yet to interact and use them; I have purchased some java branches that I have added to the outside of the cage and a freestanding tree that I will introduce once he is more comfortable with the changes I have already made.

In relation to the monkey nuts, the quantity being given is now on a reducing scale and only as a treat – we remove the outer shell and give him the nuts with the red skin intact.

From a diet aspect – the fruit is also restricted to a daily portion of what he would be given 2-3 times a week, the sunflower seeds are used as a treat but in moderation as we try and wean him off his old diet. He has not really taken to the Harrison pellets although he did eat them on the first and second day but he may have been quite hungry, we have introduced cereal and toast in the mornings – both of which he loves. He is still turning up his beak to steamed (and cooled) vegetables and it seems he does not like broccoli – I may just have to make a mix of the pellets and vegetables and see if he likes that option and will persevere. In addition he was offered sprouted pulses and beans yesterday and that theme will continue over the next few days.

The showers have been interesting so far – every weekend the budgies cage without the bottom is placed in the bath and they get a lukewarm shower – Sydney cannot be handled (yet) so last weekend we took his cage into the bathroom and gave him a shower – that was an experience. I had previously used a spray bottle and he had been trying to hide but he became quite agitated by the shower. I used the spray bottle again yesterday and he went to various parts of the cage to hide – the spray was on quite a low setting – I increased the spray rate slightly and as a result he sat with his back to me and let the spray drip over him. After that his mood seemed to have changed for the better and he was a bit chattier than he had been since Thursday evening. Hopefully he will get used to it and associate it with good feeling.           

..
my daughter is named sunni  :biggrin: :biggrin:
 eli xx

A big hello to sunni as well

Hi welcome to the forum.  Have a look around at the diet section and the toy section you will find lots of interesting bits a pieces, parrots love toys!  One thing I would like to point out, budgies and parrots don't mix too well.  If a budgie lands on your parrots cage, Sydney could well harm the budgie by biting toes or pulling his beak off which is something that happened to a former member on here.  Please be very careful.

Pat many thanks for your comments, I have been reading up on other comments that you have made as well as many others and trying to incorporate it into our experience and journey to improving Sydney’s integration into the family. Sydney loves shredding although he is scared of new things – for eg he would even react to facing the inside of a kitchen roll – so I cut it into a size that would fit over the chain of his hanging toys and introduced his treats through it from outside the cage using my fingers. Once he had accepted the treats, I then placed it on his toy with the chain running through it and blocked the hole at the bottom and filled it with treats. When I came home from work the cardboard roll had been shredded to bits, resting on the bottom of his tray and he had devoured his treats. I will hopefully be looking to incorporate more toys soon.

In relation to the budgies straying onto a parrot’s cage, the consequences would be dire and as you have mentioned there has already been an experience. We have stopped letting the budgies out in the space that they share but bring the budgies downstairs in their cage and then open them within closed doors and away from Sydney. The budgies are never allowed outside their cage when Sydney is open. So far they are wary of each other but as you have pointed out one should rather be safe than sorry.

We have managed to get Sydney to come out and return to his cage each day – this however has been on his terms – he tends not to emerge or return if we are present but we did have to try and convince him for a long time on Thursday to return to his cage. My wife said he should not have been allowed out as he seemed moody and upset and we should have read the signs properly – as a result he was very quiet on Friday and Saturday until his shower. He is still subdued with all the changes that are happening and I cannot help but wonder if he may be feeling that there are too many changes happening all at once. Amazingly despite this the one constant through all of this has been his affinity towards my kids, he still “coos” whenever he sees Maia and gets excited and ready to dance when Avi approaches his cage.
He is still not ready to be tickled or stroked, he takes some food off our hands but is also prone to biting us – he demonstrated that to me on Thursday when I had my hand near him with some food – but he was not his usual self. He has previously made a few false pecks for which I have kept my hand in the same place and he withdrew after testing the hand. I look forward to continuing the building of trust so that he can let us stroke him and venture onto our hands. 
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Pat

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 08:08:07 AM »

I think Sydney has found himself a wonderful home.  You are taking time to do things properly, you are taking advice and you are more than willing to learn.  We all make mistakes but if we can learn through others mistakes, then it might just save some heartache further down the line.

If Sydney likes shredding that's good, hand a telephone directory on the side of his cage and he'll love to shred that to bits.  A paper cup with some treats inside, cut down into the cup about an inch all the way around, then fold the cut bits into the cup so making a kind of lid, show him that you've put treats in there first, he'll love to rip that to pieces and get the treats.  There are lots of videos in the training section and loads of toy treats in the Enrichment threads. Keep up the good work and please continue to update us with Sydney's progress.

I have a Grey, Penny, it has taken her around 9 months to sit on one of her perches, she has two perches that she sits on, the rest of them she avoids like the plague by climbing around the bars, roof of the cage or even walking across the floor  :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: strange little things aren't they?  One day she will sit on those perches, it just all takes time and patience.

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2012, 08:17:06 AM »

not sure if iv already welcomed you to the forum so  :hiya from me
sounds like your doin a fantastic job with sydney  :cheekkiss:
for now if he only likes dowel perches maybe you can rough them up a bit
it wont take much effort or time but it will be ok whilst he gets used to the others
all you have to do is hack at it with a pen knife , so there are chunks missing makin it more natural and not so smooth , just make sure you give it a little rub with sand paper after so not to leave it splintery  :thumbsup:
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Re: Sydney
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2012, 02:42:15 PM »

Hi  :hiya I use apple, plum, and hazel branches in my cage.just a good scrub,then trimmed to fit,Nelson loves them,and strips the bark of at his lesure,it also stops him getting bored! good luck with your new bird,Brian and Nelson.
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Re: Sydney 3 months on
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2012, 10:41:44 AM »

This weekend Sydney has been with us 3 months. As a family we cannot imagine life without him or our budgies sunnie and skie.

These are some of the pics i have taken over the last 10 days :

Poser:


Sydney has taken a shine to both my children - this is with Maia


having some breakfast on the kitchen counter


Looking back at these pictures it is amazing how accepting to change Sydney has been - these are some of the hang-ups or restrictions were were told about or found as to his behaviour and patterns followed by where we are with him today:

Quote
1.   Only ate sunflower seeds and monkey nuts - including shredding of the monkey-nut case - cucumber and some cheese
   
Quote

a.   Monkey-nuts eradicated from diet especially shells - as a treat once in a week/fortninght a peanut is given or finds them in the animal zone meusli.
b.   Shelled sunflower seeds only given as a treat and introduced almonds, walnuts and pistachioes as alternative treats.
c.   Vegetables and legumes now part of the evening diet - steamed and blended to stop him from being selective and mixed into harrison's shredded (pellet)food.
d.   Introduced Animal Zone Meusli and Plumage Enhancer - forages through for his favourites (bits of bread, corn, red and green pellets in that order but finishes it after replenishment from the floor of what he has thrown out)
e.   On a weekend gets to eat a boiled egg and toast with palm spread but not his fav - so bal gets blended into an alternative evening mash.


Quote
2   Could not clean cage or enter cage to clean.

Quote
a.   Allows us to clean and do whatever is necessary - in fact gets out of our way. Change occurred within week 1


Quote
3   Would not return into cage once he had been allowed out
   
Quote
a.   Flies from one room to the other ; has favourite spots in the study and in our bedroom - returns into the cage using treats or touch.


Quote
4   cannot be handled ;
   is afraid of perches to carry him on;
   refused to step up and would strike out if hand was near
   
Quote
Still will not step up but massive progress made :
a.   responds very postively to touch ;
b.   getting used to new perches although cannot be carried on or approached with;
c.   allows hand fairly close (just below feet); and since last weekend
d.   steps up onto a cushion - this last achievement means i do not need the travel cage to take him downstairs but easily moves from the cushion although still has problem fully trusting it.


Quote
5   Afraid of water / spray / bath - squealed and screamed the house down on the first attempt   

Quote
a.   Weekly sprays shrieks and strong resistance has turned into a mild attempt to turn his back to the spray or run away but enjoying it non-the-less
b.   was in the travel cage yesterday so plonked it into the bath and gave him a shower only for a significantly mild response compared to his first spraying session
   


Quote
6   Unpredictable when hand fed - risk of striking out / biting

Quote
a.   will take shelled sunflowed seeds or other food with great care and preciseness from my fingers rarely even touching them whether inside his cage or out.

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2012, 12:11:21 PM »

HI and  :hiya to the forum, Sydney seems to be settling in well
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Re: Sydney - 6 months on
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2012, 11:06:52 PM »

This weekend has been 6 months since we added Sydney to our family.

The change in him (and in us) has been nothing short of spectacular.

These are some of the pictures from today - he is especially fond of my son Avi.

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Re: Sydney - 6 months on
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2012, 11:16:55 PM »

This weekend has been 6 months since we added Sydney to our family.

The change in him (and in us) has been nothing short of spectacular.

These are some of the pictures from today - he is especially fond of my son Avi.

......

Picture 1

Sydney tends to follow Avi around - but does not like fingers or sleeveless arms. Sydney is a bit intimidating as he tends to bite my wife if she gets near him lately and the children have been a bit apprehensive. So i encouraged Avi to put on a large sweat-top and cover his fingers to see what Sydney would do if he placed his arm on the bannister.



Picture 2:

Oh Yes ! had to go and see if he could find those dreaded fingers !!!



Picture 3:

That wasn't so bad so let me see where i can get to if I climb up the other way - this is cool !



Picture 4:

It may be cool for you but i think the fun is over and can you now get off my back !!!!

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DebraH

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Re: Sydney
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2012, 11:31:24 PM »

He sure has came along way for you! He is lucky to have you as his family!
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