Back in the early 1990s Rob and I lived in Maryland with our three dogs Pylon, Bentley and Lucy. We also had two budgies, Schroeder and Vandal. On the Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend Bentley had a vet appointment. When we arrived at the vet's office I took him into the exam room and Rob sat in the waiting room chatting with the receptionist. When Bentley and I came out Rob was still sitting there, but he was chatting with a new friend. There was a little gray Cockatiel on his shoulder munching on a treat that Rob was holding for him. We asked the vet about him and she told us a sad tale.
Buddy had belonged to an old man who also had three cats. The man had owned Buddy for many years, either eight or ten, but Buddy had learned how to call the cats and the man didn't feel it was safe to keep him any more. He told our vet that he was going to just release the bird outside, but she talked him out of it. She offered him free rabies vaccinations for his cats if he'd give Buddy to her. She didn't really want him, but knew releasing him would be certain death for the little guy.
Now with the long weekend approaching, she asked us if we'd take him home for the weekend. If he got along with our other birds, we could keep him, if not we'd take him back to her on Tuesday. Rob was quite taken with the little fellow, so we loaded his cage into the car beside Bentley and went home.
Everyone got along well. All the birds were curious about each other, but didn't get nasty, so Buddy stayed. I'd put the dogs on the deck and let him walk around the house. His favorite activity was picking up dog biscuit crumbs that the dogs left behind on the carpet.
The vet told us that Buddy could talk, but a couple weeks went by and we didn't hear a peep out of him except that promptly at four every afternoon, he'd screech until I covered his cage. He did this his entire life and even seemed to know about daylight savings time. I didn't need a clock around with Buddy. I always knew when it was 4:00.
After Buddy had been with us about three weeks I was working in the office one day when I heard a man's voice downstairs. I wasn't expecting Rob home for several hours so I sneaked halfway down the stairs and peeked around the corner. The three dogs were all sitting in a row in front of the bird cage and Buddy was talking to them. " Hello Baby", "Pretty Baby", and my favorite "Here kitty, kitty". He sounded like a little old man, the voice he remembered from his earlier life.
Buddy had accepted his new home and started talking to us every day. He'd also sing. He had a terrible singing voice, but when we covered him at 4, he'd climb off his perch, sit on the bottom of his cage and sing for about an hour.
We both grew very fond of Buddy and we felt a little sorry for him. He was so sweet but we thought he must be lonely, so one night just before Christmas, Rob came home with a female Cockatiel. Because of the season and because of Buddy Holly, we named her Holly.
One morning a few months later we found an egg on the bottom of the cage. We weren't too pleased, but Buddy was thrilled. He sat on the egg around the clock. Soon there were six eggs and Buddy was totally involved with them. He never left them, even to eat. We worried that he'd starve, but Holly started feeding him as he attended his nest. Unfortunately, his eggs didn't hatch. You see, Buddy had been a bachelor for a very long time and he didn't know just what to do with his lady friend. She tried to teach him, but Buddy never learned. Eventually when the eggs didn't hatch, he'd give up and I'd remove the eggs. Then they'd start over. Holly would lay another six eggs and Buddy would try to hatch them.