Do great looks or personality impulsively influence you? Are you ready for a significant other? Are you prepared for a "give and take" relationship? Are you willing to sacrifice your personal time to provide for the happiness and well being of another? Can you commit to sharing the good times and the bad?

If you answered NO to the first, and YES to the last four, you may be ready for a BIRD. All the concerns identified by those five questions apply not only to your human relationships, but to those you establish with your BIRD.

If you are comfortable in your current lifestyle, and aren’t sure you want to significantly change it, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T GET A BIRD. BIRDS are delicate and vivacious, and they need companionship and care. In fact, if you are willing to give, you will soon find that what you receive from your BIRD is far more than you may have expected. BIRDS, just as most PETS, have a unique ability to be companions when you most need a companion, and to give you affection without saying a word. And, when you really become a part of your pet’s life, you’ll find they are irreplaceable.

PGAA™ doesn’t want you to acquire a BIRD on a whim. We want you to look before you leap, examine the facts, understand what you’ll be getting into….and then….think again.

Give it careful thought and do some research. Determine the kind of BIRD that best suits your personality, home and lifestyle. For instance, Canaries are much smaller and much quieter than a McCaw. You should find someone who has the same kind of BIRD and go visit. Observe the relationship between the OWNER and the BIRD. If it’s alright with the OWNER, handle the BIRD. Get familiar with it. Ask questions, listen with an open mind to the "pros and cons".

When you get home see if you feel the same way about the BIRD as before your visit. If you don’t, you may need to do some more investigation, or you may need to consider a different kind of BIRD, or a different PET altogether.

If you’ve decided that you’re still after a BIRD, Good For You! BIRDS are lots of fun. Have you figured out the cost yet? Review the initial cost of the BIRD. Pedigree BIRDS purchased from Breeders may be more expensive initially, but pet store BIRDS may not be as healthy as they should be. Identify all of the necessities you will need to care for the BIRD (housing, food, medical), “treats” and toys. Look toward the future–how much will it cost a year? Food costs and medical costs may not be cheap.

Can you do it? Really? Then GREAT, and enjoy a long life with you new feathered friend!

Written by Ron Lueth, Pet Guardian Angels of America