Rueben goes on a field trip!

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The first year that I adopted Rue, I used to take him on field trips regularly. Over time I started taking him with me less and less. The past couple of years we’ve only gone somewhere together during trips to the vet. Not ideal. So when the opportunity presented itself to take Rue with me to visit a friend I hopped right on it. Since Rue hasn’t been on an outing in awhile I asked myself the following questions before deciding if I should take him with me:

  • Do we have a good relationship built on trust?
  • Does Rue enjoy going into a carrier?
  • Is Rue comfortable riding in a car?
  • Is Rue comfortable experiencing the types of things we’ll encounter at our destination? For example, new places, people, sounds, dogs, objects, etc.

Since the answer to all of these questions was “yes” I loaded Rue into the car and off we went.


Rue has his seat belt on and is ready to go!

When we first arrived I let Rue get acclimated to his new surroundings while safely in his carrier. After about 40 minutes had passed, and it was clear he was comfortable, I opened the carrier door.


Rue decides to come out of the carrier on his own and earns a tiny piece of walnut

Rue happily hopped right out of his carrier and then we practiced some of his tricks (wave, spin, and flying to my hand from a close distance). My friends were impressed and Rue acted like he had lived in their home his whole life. I was most proud of how comfortable and happy he was somewhere new.


Nigel, my friend’s superbly trained adolescent Collie, politely watches from a safe distance

At the end of our visit Rueben easily hopped back into his carrier and we said goodbye. I was one proud momma. Here’s video of him loading up just before we departed.


For more information on how outings can benefit your parrot, check out the awesome Barbara Heidenreich’s webinar titled “Solutions for Parrot Behavior Problems Related to Hormones.”

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