Over the past year, we have been working on building our new website and blog–and now that it is finally done, we think it’s only fitting to dedicate it to the bird that started it all—our Senegal parrot, Pook.
Our beloved Pook left us on August 2nd, 2013—and we are still very much mourning his loss. But, we are also eternally grateful for the joy and love he gave us—and for the things he taught us each and every day.
Pook is the reason the Wingdow® Seat—and our company–exist. We tell the whole story of Wingdow® on our website, if you’re interested—but if you don’t have time, here’s the Cliff Notes version:
“Senegal parrot named Pook with sharp and inquisitive beak decides to modify our window woodwork. We build a protective plastic shell with perch and suction cup that allows Pook to continue enjoying our windows without the damage. Pook loves it. Our bird-owning friends and their birds love it. Wingdow® is born.”
So, you see, Pook was more than just a bird-friend to us. He was our product designer, tester, and business partner—and with one day of inspired beak-artwork on our windows, he put our careers and lives on a whole new path.
Pets are like kids. We all think we have the most extraordinary one alive. Prejudice aside, Pook was one EXTRAORDINARY parrot. He was extremely verbal, mastering over 100 words and phrases—mostly out of frustration and impatience because we were too dumb to learn his language. We were greeted every morning with choruses of “I love you”, “there’s my John”, “hi, sweetheart” (although his was more a Bogey-esk “hi, schweetheart”), “got treat?”, “want shower”, “want apple”, “tank-ku” (parrot for “thank you”)—and more. At night, he would announce bedtime with a “go to bed” command or a “wanna go to bed?” question. Occasionally, he would string phrases together—like when he greeted a female friend of ours with “Hi, schweetheart. Wanna go to bed?” Of course, it can be argued that he didn’t know what he was saying—but you’ll never convince us of that. He was one smart bird—not to mention a major stud-muffin.
He was also a super athlete. Like many Poicephalus parrots, he loved to swing. He would spend hours in his house every day just swinging and chireeeping for joy. He would pump that swing—making it go higher and higher—and then do a pole dance around the arm of the swing while it was still in motion. It was awesome to watch! He loved swinging so much that we designed what is probably the most over-engineered and expensive bird swing ever made—just to satisfy Pook’s need-for-speed.
We also always knew exactly where Pook stood on things. If he liked something, there would be a joyful “squeak-o!” and tongue wagging. If he didn’t like something, he would give it the “evil eye” and/or immediately voice his disapproval with a ear-splitting “aaaaak!”. That’s also what made Pook such a good test-bird for Wingdow® Seat and our other products. We always got an immediate “let it live”–or “hell no”.
Most important, he taught us—and especially me–to love birds. Husband John had birds in his life off and on—but I grew up with a Dutch mother in a super clean Dutch household where pets and their messes were not allowed. And, although I had the world’s greatest and well-meaning mother, I missed a lot by not being allowed a pet. Pook was a gift from my husband, who felt sorry about my pet-deprived early life. Pook was my first bird—and my first pet—and like many first time bird owners, I was totally blown away by his intelligence, sensitivity, and sense of humor. I also felt deeply privileged by his acceptance of me as friend and flock member—and by the love both John and I received from him every day. Pook was my first bird-love—and you never forget your first love.
After Pook passed, we contacted the International Star Registry and had a star named after him. It was our way of dealing with the pain of our loss–and immortalizing an extraordinary bird and friend. Fittingly, the star is named “Pook”. For those of you into stargazing, the Pook star can be found close to the handle of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) constellation at coordinates RA13h31m11.44s D57°50’8.86”—and it can be seen with the naked eye. So, if you’re ever outside on a clear, starry night, look up at the Big Dipper and say “hi” to our Pook. He’s undoubtedly looking down on you.