• Felicia

When Ollie Met Donnie

Updated: Aug 26

How Two Rescues, A Parrot and Dog Became Brothers And Are Living Life Together.

People who visit our home for the first time are amazed that our two pet family members live a harmonious and fun life together. I believe that a docile personality dog and a parrot can cohabitate with the right caring and continuous introduction. It becomes a wonderful thing to experience when they live in sync and provide companionship for each other.

Years ago we adopted a Quaker parrot, Mario (my first baby) and 15 years later he welcomed a senior shelter Malamute, Ginny Girl into his abode. They lived together for 4 years, with Ginny passing in October and Mario following 2 months later. Then a rescued Malamute Buddy Boy, who brought so much love to our home grew old till he crossed the rainbow bridge in 2016.

Meet Donnie and Ollie

Today our house, once again, is filled with pet family members who deserved a second chance. We have an Amazon parrot and a Hovawort dog living together. It's truly a delight to watch them every day living the joyful and carefree lifestyles.

We rescued Ollie in December 2016. He was 22 years old and had spent the last 17 years of his life in a closed cage. He was very leery of humans, when we brought him home and I worked with him to understand trust, which he still has difficulty with at times. After a few bites (and yes an Amazon can get you good) he has become more chill than ever, owns the whole kitchen and sitting area. He is a die-hard Alvin & The Chipmunks and Frozen fan. He loves learning (big fan of PBS Kindergarten series) and don't judge him, as he does like catching up on the news every night. He looks forward to his adventures outside of his cage: I call it his casita. And one thing is for sure, he's only closed in his casita when it's bedtime.

In April 2019, one of my sons found a dog, online, that needed rescuing and talked my hubby and I into meeting him. Well, that night Donnie (Donatello), a 6 month Hovawart pup, no one wanted, won our hearts and made his way to his furever home. My son said "Mom, he's a pup and skittish so it'll be easy to introduce him to Ollie". Donnie was and is the most docile dog you'll ever meet. He barks only when someone is at the door, or something startles him. We also call him the therapy dog, as he's so good to other dogs who visit.

Well here we are a few years later and the two have become brothers. There was an indifference at the beginning, which I think is important when introducing a dog to a parrot. I also believe, that bringing Donnie, a pup, into a home with a parrot allowed him to understand the family dynamics from the beginning. He would sit below Donnie's perch waiting to catch the strips of paper Ollie would shred and drop. Ollie would just watch each time. Then something happened. Ollie decided to be the big brother and wanted to socialize so he would climb down his cage and try to approach Donnie. He needed to learn more about this 4-legged thing that was roaming around the house and got to go outside with mom. At first Donnie would run away, then he would just move away. These days he lies there, still a nervous nelly and watches as Ollie walks by, walks up to him, or even tries to preen him.

"Mom, Is it Cheese Time?"

Meal time is a blast in my house. Well let's just say anytime someone has a snack or even when I'm sipping on a cup of tea. Both of my boys are quick to see if they'll be offered a snack. Donnie tends to look at me and lick his chops and Ollie says "Hi Ol". Every time.

It's always fun when the Ring goes off, Donnie barks and Ollie follows with a Squawk.

"Mom, Someone Is Here!"

Sometimes their alert us in unison. Somehow they both know when I'm taking any kind of cheese, with Mozzarella being their fav, out of the refrigerator because Donnie will come across the house and Ollie will find his way, down his cage, across the floor , across a table, or hop to a chair making sure he gets his snack. Best is they wait patiently as I say "One for you and one for your brother".

Two Brothers From Different Mothers

As days go on, Ollie stays true to "Ollie the Explorer" with Donnie sometimes watching him. I think Donnie is amazed at how his big brother can hop from chair to chair. Ollie can fly but chooses to hop and climb or just plays lazy and waits for me to pick him up and plop him somewhere to hang out for a while. If something startles Ollie and he flies like a deer crossing the road, zigzaggy, Donnie nervously jumps up and doesn't know where to run first, but always ends up near Ollie making sure he is okay. Then he watches Ollie make his way back to his happy spot.

So, how can a dog and parrot live together? For these two it is easy. I think they both share something in common as so many recues do: they want a home and family to call their own, who will love them unconditionally.

Their my boys and they give each other their space while keeping each company. They're in tune to how mom does things, know when mom means business and I cherish every moment with them. There is truly something to having two different pet species in a home, and the unique interactions and memories they will leave us with, will forever be close to our hearts.

Do you have two pets living together. Reach out and maybe we might feature them on an upcoming pet article.

Check out DonnieOllieandFriends on TikTok. Also, learn why we call Donnie the therapy dog. It'll make you chuckle, I promise.