The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog by Nancy Ellis-Bell is the lovely story of the bond between humans and animals. Peg Leg, a one-legged, blue-and-gold macaw, joins Ellis-Bell’s already large menagerie of animals in her rural northern California home. Peg Leg, quickly renamed Sarah, was a rescued bird. She wasn’t the bird Ellis-Bell was hoping for – she had set her sights on an African grey she had met at a parrot rescue weekend, but that wasn’t to be. This bird desperately needed a home and Ellis-Bell had long been a rescuer of needy animals.
Sarah had issues, many issues. Her leg was lost when she was snared in a net as a wild bird in the jungle and her life hadn’t improved since her capture. She’s had several homes, the last in a pet store where the two-foot tall parrot with a four-foot wingspan lived in a cage that was five-by-four feet. She was ill and hadn’t had the opportunity to bath or fly in the four years. And along the way she had picked up a salty vocabulary. As Ellis-Bell did most of her work by phone this was not a desirable macaw trait.
Sarah was allowed to be free of her cage and soon took over the kitchen and then the house. She dominated everyone and everything. She ate the dogs’ food and made their lives miserable, she sent the cats running for the safety of the outdoors and she destroyed furniture. But Sarah was a very smart bird and Ellis-Bell grew more and more attached to her. A decision was made to let her spread her wings. You will need to read the book to discover the outcome of this decision and make up your mind whether it was the right choice.