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I talk a lot about my puppy Jake. However, I do have another pet. We met in April 1982 when I was 6 1/2 years old and she was 5 1/2 months old. Today, it’s amazing that we are still celebrating our birthdays together. Bogie turns 34 in November, I turn 40 in December.

I must admit, I am a very shy person. My shyness was so bad that it caused such anxiety and panic in me that I would burst out crying if someone so much as looked at me. In a way, I am still that person, minus the tears. I’ve coped with it the best I can without ever being on medication and can say that I’ve come out of my shell somewhat. However, I’m still too shy and awkward around people, the anxiety and panic are still in my life. My parents, for whatever reason, never dealt with my ordeal, except for deciding I needed a pet as a friend. That friend turned out to be an Amazon Red Lorie named Bogie.

One of my earliest memories of Bogie happened not long after my mom and stepdad brought her home. One of the few childhood friends I did have, Mollie, had come over to play with me. We were walking down the hall from my bedroom to the dining room. For some reason, I was dragging a blanket with me. Bogie was on the part of the blanket that was still on the floor being dragged behind me, and she was enjoying every moment of it.

At one point, Mom tried to teach Bogie how to talk. It consisted of one of those cassette tapes where a woman’s voice would repeat words and phrases. Well, I guess Bogie had other ideas. The only thing Bogie was interested in was stealing Mom’s jewelry and hiding whatever she stole in her cage. It wasn’t until years later, after I left home with Bogie, that she learned to say “hello” and mimic my laugh. She learned both on her own.

Bogie and Jake

Bogie eats sunflower seeds and a parrot blend that I get at a discount store. Of course, she likes chili, spaghetti, banana bread, pizza and an occasional piece of my cheeseburger. Go figure!

Having Bogie is a lifetime commitment. She has already outlived three of my pet dogs and my biological father. Since her lifespan will be about 60 to 80 years, Bogie will also more than likely outlive Mom, my stepdad and even Jake. That’s a long time, considering that if she had been born in the wild instead of being born in captivity by a breeder, I think her lifespan would have been about five years.

I’m in no hurry to get to the end of my lifespan. I don’t think Bogie is either. We still want that pizza that we share for our birthdays!