Golden Retriever and girl giving high five working together.

Risk Management and Multiple Companion Animals

Risk Management and Multiple Companion Animals

I've been asked if I'll "give rides" on my motorcycle. It's one thing for me to take chances, that's my choice and my price to pay for the end result. But for me to gamble with someone else's future, that's not right. I'm a firm believer in my rights to take any chances I deem acceptable for myself, but I won't include others in that decision. When asked for a ride, I reply, no.

I knew that was a solid choice the day I was hit by a car. My Ducati and I went down, but no one else. The accident wasn't my fault, but I knew the chances of being a rider. 

What's this got to do with parrots and other companion animals? Common sense and risk management. I was hit in 2006, before healthcare and insurance was massively broken or completely scary. It's 2022. I don't ride motorcycles anymore. Not because I am not a good rider. Not because I don't trust my bike. I stopped riding because of the state of healthcare and its dismal promise of taking care of me. I don't trust that part of the equation anymore. I was forced to change my risk because the environment and implications changed. Risk management requirements is what we do with our money and health every day. 

It's easy to look at our companion pets and realize the risk management that needs to take place for and with them as well. The better we know our companions, and the more honest we are with the general risks of cohabitation the easier to create rules and simple practices for safety. It requires an honest heart to what the word accident means. An accident is an unintended result of actions or choices not planned nor corroborated to create that result. Generally, "accident"" is applied to negative happenings. 

We have two dogs and eight fully flighted parrots. One house rabbit, one guinea pig, and two lizards round out our personal zoo. The way our house is laid out structurally and the way we live daily has these companions mixed all day, every day.

It's our job to inventory our companion personality habits.

  • Two of our parrots like walkabouts on the floors.
  • One parrot likes to throw things on the dog's heads.
  • One of our dogs is a hound. Born to hunt.
  • The other dog is a big baby and fears his own tail. Literally.
  • The other parrots are fast, noisy, and perfect hunting material.
  • The house rabbit has his own condo, although quite easily visited on his first floor by both dogs. Albeit, separated by condo fencing.
  • The guinea pig lives in an open C&C cage that sits on a large display table above the heads of both dogs, for a reason.
  • Lizards are boring to dogs and parrots. They do their gecko thing unmolested.

It's our job to set the limits and rules of space sharing.

  • Parrot Walkabout appointments necessary while dogs nap in kennels.
  • Dogs are not allowed under a certain parrot who shall remain nameless, FELIX.
  • Fluttery fast fliers are not allowed to flutter and fly over a hound.
  • Dogs may visit house rabbit if invited by said rabbit. No barking allowed.
  • Guinea Pig, also known as Basil Exposition, is not allowed near hound. May be visited for hellos by big baby Staffordshire by appointment.
  • Lizards share their mealworms with parrots that like to eat only the heads of said mealworms. (Duly note, lizards have no idea this is happening).

You cannot autopilot cohabitation. You can schedule successful cohabitation.

To this day I don't think the girl in the Mercedes that hit me intended to slam into me. I know because she was far too busy talking on her cell phone. I saw her chatting as my helmeted head hit her driver's side window. It was an accident. Who passes a motorcyclist on the right while the motorcyclist is signaling and turning right? If that driver had chosen to wait to use the phone, that would have made all the difference in my world. 

Our companions rely on us to make all the differences in theirs.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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