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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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New apartment and conures won't stop screaming! HELP!

Hi all,

I haven't been on here in awhile, but have a new problem I need some major help with! I got my first green cheek (Pineapple) about 3 years ago, and have had the second (Typhoon) for about 2 years now. They are in a HQ flight cage, tonnes of toys (switched out every week or two), on pellets, seeds & mixed veg/fruit, etc. They were loud at my previous home when they could hear me outside my room, and my mother encouraged this by responding back whenever they called out. However, when I went into my room, they were always pretty quiet.

Now I have moved out into an apartment (about 2.5 weeks ago) and they are SCREAMING non-stop! I don't know what they're like when I'm gone, but I have them in the main room where I spend most of my time and it's literal non-stop screaming from the second I walk in to the second all of the lights are turned off at night (yesterday- one of my days off - was 8am-11pm non-stop ear-piercing screeching, as an example). Covering them with a dark blanket makes no difference, ignoring them makes no difference - I'm at a loss for what to do, and there are other tenants here who I'm going to run into trouble with eventually, I'm sure.

I have major headaches from the second I get home until morning because of it, and am getting to the end of my rope - this is quickly turning into me hating these awful birds and wanting to get rid of them asap! Does anyone have any ideas at all?? I'm seriously losing it over here, and the stress these birds are causing is getting out of hand. HELP!


Pineapple, Loko, & Typhoon
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 04:13 AM



 
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I would say that it may have something to do with moving and being in a new environment. They may be scared/stressed and want your comfort so they're trying to get your attention by yelling at you. I can't say much other than that but I've grabbed a few links that should give you at least a little bit of information to help

http://www.howcast.com/videos/512652...arrot-Training

http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.co.uk/20...aming-for.html

http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-beha...he-squawk.aspx

The main problem is you have the two together, which I also did too They seem to encourage one another more than anything!

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 09:39 AM


 
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I am sorry I don't have any idea what would help... Good luck.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 10:40 AM
 
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just to clarify, so now they are screaming when they see you too, not just when you leave the room? Do you leave a radio or even tv on for them so it's not silent all day (even though I know they are breaking the silence drastically )

I've never had a conure but my cockatiel will scream her head off for the first 5 minutes when we get home and when we leave the room (especially when we are on the phone, we have to shut ourselves in the bedroom). Calling back doesn't help with her, we just have to ignore it and eventually she will stop (when we are out of the room long enough).

I wonder if yours are feeding off each other as well, my mom has 3 little dogs and if one starts barking they all bark, even though they don't know what they are barking at (result = 3 barking yapping dogs basically all day long)

sorry, I'm not much help are there some things you can give to them that will distract, like foraging toys or chewing treats? (like vegetables even)
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 01:35 PM


 
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I also think the screaming has to do with the new enviroment.
They might feel not safe.
Where did you put the cage in the new living room? Could you post a picture?
Perhaps they don't like the place.
It should be near the window but also in a quiet corner with at least one wall behind it.

Do you say them goodbye when you go and hello when you come back?
When I come home and don't say hello immediately Paulchen (blue) sometimes screams.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

Thanks for the support & ideas! They are in the living room, not directly looking out a window or door, backing onto a wall, and there's nobody else in the apartment (but a cat, who ignores the cage). They have lots of different toys, including foraging/destructive types, and I switch them around weekly for variety. I thought they were quieter when I left the room last night to test it, but it was a fluke - they keep on constant squawking (I mean, with no more than a few seconds' break) regardless of whether I'm sitting out there, in the bathroom, in my room, etc. The ONLY time they shut up briefly if if I'm giving them direct attention, which they get for a few hours a day (incl. out of cage flight time), but I can't have them out all the time and can't always be giving them constant attention either! I do go see them for a few minutes when I leave and when I come home as well.

I'm really at a loss as to what to do...I'm currently wearing ear plugs, but I can hear the squawking loud enough to give me a headache right through them (as an idea of how loud they're being). When I go out, they're squawking with their heads down & winds shaking, which is pretty typical attention-seeking behaviour from them, but they're getting much more attention than in the past and they've never been nearly as noisy. I'm starting to wonder if the tenants above (I'm in a basement apartment, a nice one though - it looks & feels ground level) are making some sort of noise or something I can't hear? Ugh...

I honestly don't know what to do. Even ignoring the stress of having neighbours possibly complain about the incessant screeching, I am absolutely losing my mind here. After an hour or two of being home I have to take advil and hide in bed with the lights off and ear plugs because my head is pounding so bad...and I can hear the screeching continue through the ear plugs which usually gets me so frustrated I'm crying! I've loved these birds for years and am so torn at even the thought of giving them away (to a possibly bad home), but they're also really starting to affect my wellbeing :'(


Pineapple, Loko, & Typhoon
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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I should also add that's it's primarily Pineapple (95% of the time) who is screeching. They're in the same cage, and I haven't changed it around yet since the move to help keep things more comfortable while they adjust. I feel so horrible...I tried to ask on other bird sites, and all I got were "you shouldn't be anywhere near parrots, you're a bad pet owner" type of responses...I guess getting rid of them the second they're noisy like most people is better? :'(

I have an extra smaller cage and just put Pineapple (the noisy one) in it, and covered it with a blanket in my bedroom, and...silence. Not an ideal solution at all, but it'll let me calm down a bit while I figure out what to do :S If the other one or the budgie makes even a peep though, she starts screaming again. I'm at the point where I feel I'm about to kill someone!


Pineapple, Loko, & Typhoon

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 04:50 PM
 
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sorry to hear that you are going through this frustration I understand how it is with the neighbors because I worry about ours complaining too. Luckily I have a nice guy on one side, he says he can hear her but didn't say it in a complaining way.

I also understand about other forums, people can be so cruel and judgemental! That is why I absolutely love the "Talk" forums (I am on budgies and cockatiels too) I feel like people are so supportive and if there is criticism then it is constructive and members only want the best for us as "parronts"

it's interesting that Pineapple is screaming more now and you said she's been getting more attention too, it's like because she's been getting more she wants even more! (greedy ) but makes sense. I think it might just be a hard process where she is just going to have to get used to you not running to her whenever she is screaming, so she doesn't always get her way.

In my personal experience, I was home all summer with the birds and they became extremely dependent on me being in the same room with them (because their cages are right next to our couches) and were driving me nuts with the calling if I went to the bathroom or whatever else. Once I started working again in the fall, they seemed to adjust a little to being without me during the day and seemed to become more independent over the last 3-4 months. Maybe this will happen with your birds too?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 05:04 PM



 
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Although a lot of birds do feel safer up against a wall, perhaps you could try putting them closer to the window so they can have a look outside? Sometimes birds DO like it It is always changing, there's always something new to see!

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 02:34 PM


 
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I am not sure I can help much with this.
But will throw a few ideas at you.
First I would make contact with the other tenants and apologise about the noise and explain this is not normal and they will settle down it is more than likely the change in environment that is sending them off. You are working hard to try and figure out 'Why" and once they have adjusted all should be good.
Doing this will stop some of the complaints for now at least. And put them at ease, that you know they are causing them some stress.

As for the screaming. Two birds should be company for each other, but in this situation it sounds like one could be setting the other off.
I am not sure what Babara has to say about this, but my guess would be distraction and entertainment.
I feel covering is not an answer, but does seem to be recommended often enough.
I take it they are quiet when eating.
Normally happy birds do not scream, they talk and sing. Flock calling mornings and before dusk is normal. And you can expect welcome home calling. From this we could consider there must be something they are not happy about. Finding that may not be very easy.
If they are on edge about something then reassurance from you may help. I know this may sound hard, but you need to relax or at least ooze a calm presence while near them. Don't let them feed off your stress. It has to be the reverse. They need to feed off your calm personality.
Talking to them in a calm manner, playing music can all help. given time they should settle down.
They are in their old cage and this should give them some sort of comfort.
I would try covering it on top and three sides and see what their body language indicates.
Don't give up, keep calm and keep trying things.
I take it that was a facebook group that told you this. "you shouldn't be anywhere near parrots, you're a bad pet owner"
Take heart you are not that sort of person. You are trying to figure this out and asking for help is great.

Forgot to say I know that prone body flapping (shimmering) wings thing, is like. They sure do that well. I see it in Poppy (Sun Conure) here. (That is a story I have not shared here. But she came in because of her screaming). She was easy meat for me. and is doing great.


A tribute to my lost ones. RIP.

Last edited by clawnz; 02-17-2015 at 05:17 PM.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 04:58 AM



 
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Oh I know that angry I WANT THAT flappy wings conure behaviour. They can be so demanding

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 04:12 AM


 
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I'm not sure there is anything here that may help, but this turned up on another forum.
It is very well put together and does give a little insight into a bird in general.
Thanks to J.L.

Quote "
Discipline/punishment. Just bad advice.

11-25-10, 04:17 AM


I put this together with the help of the wise members of our board and thought it would be a good sticky for new members.

A Birds natural response to stimulus that scares them, is something they don't like or makes them nervous is to scream to let the rest of their flock know that there is something there that will harm them. To quash a bird using any form of punishment is just wrong. A Bird is not something that should be trained in this way where their natural instincts are taken away from them and they are made to feel scared of doing something natural. It scares me that anyone thinks that it is ok to spray a bird and or use darkness to "punish" the bird, regardless of how much praise/reward/comfort is given afterwords.

I liken this "punishment" to an abusive human situation. If a guy hits a woman that they are in a relationship with, but later makes it up to them with roses, a nice romantic dinner and apologies does not make it right regardless of the stuff that happens afterwords.

All anyone is going to do by disciplining that way is end up with a nervous twitchy untrusting bird that will eventually pluck/mutilate and become overwhelmingly depressed..

The same principles that work to hold a behavior if the reward is good are in play in a punishment situation. Punishment works for the "person" so they repeat it. What they don't see is that it does not work for the animal because the animal still does not know what to do, only what not to do in that moment. The side effects are increased anxiety and increased aggression. Down the road when the bird bites, the person will probably not have any idea why. They will just say that the bird has changed or become hormonal or any number of attempts to blame the bird without realizing how they directly limited the bird's ability to respond to a situation in a behavioral healthy and appropriate way.

When you don't like something what do you do? Do you cry, sulk, get loud, get quiet? You do something that is behaviorally significant in response to how you feel. Birds are no different but people don't ask themselves why. It is easier to punish than to teach. It is easier to do the thing which works the fastest and allows us to release our negative feelings. It seems to work in the moment and we don't connect the dots down the road when a host of side effects present themselves.

It's also used as an acceptable training method for dogs (although there are better ways to do that now too) and following the old-fashioned advice that was predominant among parrot owners for years made up by the same uninformed people who came up with clipping "for the birds safety" or putting a bird in a darkened and/or unfamiliar room to subdue aggression or the totally false height dominance crap and the "parrots can eat the same food as people". Dogs are animals that have been domesticated for over 15,000 years, belong to a hierarchical society that is genetically predisposed to accept authority and obey interaction rules, which have been bred for thousands of generations to establish traits that reinforce their desire to please us. Parrots are not like that.

It's a matter of love. If you really love birds, you will accept them as they are and will not try to change them into something they are not. The right info is all over the place and anybody who has the slightest interest in learning has all the material at their fingertips and if they don't it's because they don't want to.

Thank you to the people who contributed."


A tribute to my lost ones. RIP.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 06:21 AM
 
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I understand your frustration and worry about the neighbors. I live in a third floor apartment
Not sure about conures and screaming behavior, but I just thought you may try something. How about you get several bunches of herbs like parsley, basil and such and just hang them in the cage when they start screaming. You know, just as a distraction.
Maybe they will nibble at it and it's something else to look at, lol.
I do like Clive's suggestion to apologize and check in with the neighbors.

My Fids -Candy and Tony
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 01:26 PM


 
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I think the situation has become so bad that Bucky might need a professional parrot consultant who visits him at home, analyses the situation and offers solutions.
Bucky, could you afford to order one?

Another question is:
Could the conures be afraid of the cat although it ignores the cage?
Their instinct tells them that it's a predator.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 12:43 PM
 
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That does sound really stressful. I'm wondering if being in the main room is stressing them out, since they are used to being in the bedroom. Is it possible to move the cage in the bedroom, at least for a while to see if it cuts down on the screaming? If you can, then every time you enter the room and they scream, stop, turn around, go out. If you come in, and they are quiet, reward them with their very favorite treat. Don't give the treat at any other time. When they are quiet, speak quietly to them. One of my birds favorite things to do is whisper to me. Continue to ignore the screaming even if you don't feel like it's helping.

http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.com/2008...aming-for.html

Also, did you change the toys or perch locations since you moved? Maybe that, on top of the new environment is causing stress. It's also possible they hear more/different birds outside. I know my conures react to the wild birds sometimes.

Good luck, I hope this helps!
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clawnz View Post
I am not sure I can help much with this.
But will throw a few ideas at you.
First I would make contact with the other tenants and apologise about the noise and explain this is not normal and they will settle down it is more than likely the change in environment that is sending them off. You are working hard to try and figure out 'Why" and once they have adjusted all should be good.
Doing this will stop some of the complaints for now at least. And put them at ease, that you know they are causing them some stress.

As for the screaming. Two birds should be company for each other, but in this situation it sounds like one could be setting the other off.
I am not sure what Babara has to say about this, but my guess would be distraction and entertainment.
I feel covering is not an answer, but does seem to be recommended often enough.
I take it they are quiet when eating.
Normally happy birds do not scream, they talk and sing. Flock calling mornings and before dusk is normal. And you can expect welcome home calling. From this we could consider there must be something they are not happy about. Finding that may not be very easy.
If they are on edge about something then reassurance from you may help. I know this may sound hard, but you need to relax or at least ooze a calm presence while near them. Don't let them feed off your stress. It has to be the reverse. They need to feed off your calm personality.
Talking to them in a calm manner, playing music can all help. given time they should settle down.
They are in their old cage and this should give them some sort of comfort.
I would try covering it on top and three sides and see what their body language indicates.
Don't give up, keep calm and keep trying things.
I take it that was a facebook group that told you this. "you shouldn't be anywhere near parrots, you're a bad pet owner"
Take heart you are not that sort of person. You are trying to figure this out and asking for help is great.

Forgot to say I know that prone body flapping (shimmering) wings thing, is like. They sure do that well. I see it in Poppy (Sun Conure) here. (That is a story I have not shared here. But she came in because of her screaming). She was easy meat for me. and is doing great.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clawnz View Post
I'm not sure there is anything here that may help, but this turned up on another forum.
It is very well put together and does give a little insight into a bird in general.
Thanks to J.L.

Quote "
Discipline/punishment. Just bad advice.

11-25-10, 04:17 AM


I put this together with the help of the wise members of our board and thought it would be a good sticky for new members.

A Birds natural response to stimulus that scares them, is something they don't like or makes them nervous is to scream to let the rest of their flock know that there is something there that will harm them. To quash a bird using any form of punishment is just wrong. A Bird is not something that should be trained in this way where their natural instincts are taken away from them and they are made to feel scared of doing something natural. It scares me that anyone thinks that it is ok to spray a bird and or use darkness to "punish" the bird, regardless of how much praise/reward/comfort is given afterwords.

I liken this "punishment" to an abusive human situation. If a guy hits a woman that they are in a relationship with, but later makes it up to them with roses, a nice romantic dinner and apologies does not make it right regardless of the stuff that happens afterwords.

All anyone is going to do by disciplining that way is end up with a nervous twitchy untrusting bird that will eventually pluck/mutilate and become overwhelmingly depressed..

The same principles that work to hold a behavior if the reward is good are in play in a punishment situation. Punishment works for the "person" so they repeat it. What they don't see is that it does not work for the animal because the animal still does not know what to do, only what not to do in that moment. The side effects are increased anxiety and increased aggression. Down the road when the bird bites, the person will probably not have any idea why. They will just say that the bird has changed or become hormonal or any number of attempts to blame the bird without realizing how they directly limited the bird's ability to respond to a situation in a behavioral healthy and appropriate way.

When you don't like something what do you do? Do you cry, sulk, get loud, get quiet? You do something that is behaviorally significant in response to how you feel. Birds are no different but people don't ask themselves why. It is easier to punish than to teach. It is easier to do the thing which works the fastest and allows us to release our negative feelings. It seems to work in the moment and we don't connect the dots down the road when a host of side effects present themselves.

It's also used as an acceptable training method for dogs (although there are better ways to do that now too) and following the old-fashioned advice that was predominant among parrot owners for years made up by the same uninformed people who came up with clipping "for the birds safety" or putting a bird in a darkened and/or unfamiliar room to subdue aggression or the totally false height dominance crap and the "parrots can eat the same food as people". Dogs are animals that have been domesticated for over 15,000 years, belong to a hierarchical society that is genetically predisposed to accept authority and obey interaction rules, which have been bred for thousands of generations to establish traits that reinforce their desire to please us. Parrots are not like that.

It's a matter of love. If you really love birds, you will accept them as they are and will not try to change them into something they are not. The right info is all over the place and anybody who has the slightest interest in learning has all the material at their fingertips and if they don't it's because they don't want to.

Thank you to the people who contributed."

It seems odd to me that you replied with a supportive post then switched faces and shared a post from another site with some pretty nasty insinuations as to the way I treat my parrots/the reasons behind their behaviour change. I will assume that you have good intentions, but I really have thank all of those who have given such great suggestions in a way that actually helped me feel better (and importantly, more empowered) about the situation.


Pineapple, Loko, & Typhoon

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama'sMenagerie View Post
That does sound really stressful. I'm wondering if being in the main room is stressing them out, since they are used to being in the bedroom. Is it possible to move the cage in the bedroom, at least for a while to see if it cuts down on the screaming? If you can, then every time you enter the room and they scream, stop, turn around, go out. If you come in, and they are quiet, reward them with their very favorite treat. Don't give the treat at any other time. When they are quiet, speak quietly to them. One of my birds favorite things to do is whisper to me. Continue to ignore the screaming even if you don't feel like it's helping.

http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.com/2008...aming-for.html

Also, did you change the toys or perch locations since you moved? Maybe that, on top of the new environment is causing stress. It's also possible they hear more/different birds outside. I know my conures react to the wild birds sometimes.

Good luck, I hope this helps!
I'm wondering the same thing as you! They were definitely quieter in the bedroom, and I moved them out here as soon as I could (after a week or so) because I spend more time in this room and they would get more attention as a result...this seems to have turned into constant screaming for attention though! It feels like they're getting better with shorter loud periods (maybe 5-10min of screamy-goodness then quiet for awhile, which is more normal for them & birds in general), so I'm super thankful for that!

Also, to the person who mentioned them possibly feeding off my own stress, it could definitely be a factor too. Their behaviour seems much better when I'm not tired/worn out/stressed, but whether that's just me noticing less because I feel better and have more patience, or them actually going off of it, I don't know - but either way it's a net benefit and I am making that a priority. Should be anyways, but my health tends to be last on the list compared to work, volunteering, school, etc.!


Pineapple, Loko, & Typhoon
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 12:10 AM


 
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I only posted that quote as it came up on another forum, not my own opinions.
And did not mean to offend you.
But sometimes taking a different slant on things can help.
JL is not known for his tactful approach on things. I am sorry.

I fully support you trying to find an answer, only knowing how this effects others, not first hand. I am glad to say I have not been in this situation.
I do agree the chances are good they could be picking up on your own stress. But feel that may not be the root cause, that is what you need to find and as I said above, that is not an easy one.
Keep an open mind consider all and any aspects of what has happened before and after this change.
I do not know you, your birds or what they like or dislike.
There will be a reason for screaming, and if you do not find an answer, then it could end badly for the birds.
One of the reasons I took Poppy on. I do not want her getting passed from one home to another because of her screaming. Which is common with Sun Conures.
Yet here she is super. Only today I see her trying to take a Chilli from Dexter. A sun who follows an Alexandrine everywhere. Even seen her present to him. Silly girl, but is now super quiet.
I am sure we are all her to support you in any way we can.


A tribute to my lost ones. RIP.
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wyrinth (02-24-2015)
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