We’re not (going to be) in Austin anymore, Toto.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my 34 years on this earth, it’s that life is entirely unpredictable.  If you had told me a month ago that I’d be leaving Austin, I would have laughed in your face.  I was quite comfortable here, perfectly content to build up my behavior consulting business, tend my yard, take care of my animals, and of course, take care of Austin Parrot Society.

But when the opportunity to apply for a dream job pops up, there’s no turning that down.  A few weeks ago, I found out that the Parrot Garden at Best Friends Animal Society was hiring.  I’ve had a relationship with Best Friends for almost three years, ever since they contacted me to ask permission to give a copy of the Bird Owner’s Manual to everyone who adopted a bird from them.  Getting to work with parrots in a rescue setting every day is pretty much my dream job.  I can’t imagine anything I’d rather be doing.  I’ll get to keep doing behavior consults, which is my other dream job, of course, but also getting to work directly with parrots themselves and not just primarily the people who own them?  Awesome.    So of course I applied.  I applied, and the next week flew up to Kanab for my two week working evaluation.  As it turns out, we’re a match made in heaven.  I adore the staff there, and surprisingly enough, they’re willing to put up with me and even seem to like me, too!  So I got the job, and now I’ll be packing up all my stuff and moving there at the end of this month.

So I’m saying goodbye to my beloved hometown, as well as this wonderful group, which I have had the privilege of co-founding, nurturing, and watching grow by leaps and bounds.  I will miss APS.  But I am also ready to let it go, and let those of you who remain decide what you want to do with it.  This is not my group.  This is your group–all 150+ of you.  I’ll still be lurking in the background.  I’ll make sure the websites stay updated and will still be available for phone and email advice and consults.  Whenever I’m able to come back and visit, I’ll be happy to host a Bird Ownership Class or a workshop about whatever topic you would like me to speak about.  I’d be equally as happy to just meet up for dinner or tea and have a more casual, social chat.  But aside from those infrequent visits, I’ll be gone, which means it’s up to you all what you want to do with the group.

My general impression is that most of you don’t have the time or inclination to take on a more active role in the group.  It seems that most of you have busy lives and other priorities, and are mostly wanting to use APS as a source for information and exchange, etc.  That is totally fine.  If you guys just want me to keep the websites going so you can come here for information or to ask each other questions, do that.  You can always email the whole group by sending an email to our mailing list at: Austin-Parrot-Society-list at meetup dot com or me personally at austinparrotsociety at gmail dot com.

However, if any of you decide you’d like to host a meetup – be it just a social gathering or a more formal meeting where you can share ideas, information, and skills – let me know.  I’m more than happy to help you post your information on our meetup group and give you ideas about where and how to host your event.  If you find that you enjoy hosting meetings and would like to take on an even more active role, we can chat about that, too.

And of course, if anyone is willing and interesting in keeping our Foster and Adoption Network going, please let me know.  I can do a lot of things remotely, but in order for it to become a fully functional operation, we need people in Austin who are willing to process applications, do home checks, foster birds, promote the group, and otherwise facilitate bird surrenders and adoptions.  But like I said, this is YOUR group, so if that’s not something that any of you want to do, APS doesn’t have to keep their Foster/Adoption Network running.

You have the power.  You make the decisions.  I’ll just pretty much be hanging out in the background, watching APS do its thing and cheering from afar.

Have fun, everyone!  And if you ever want to come visit southern Utah, you’re welcome to stay in our guest bedroom!


5 thoughts on “We’re not (going to be) in Austin anymore, Toto.

  1. Pingback: We’re not (going to be) in Austin anymore, Toto. | What's happening at FBTB HQ.

  2. Jenny Pollard

    oh wow, Emily, what a wonderful opportunity! You will be SO missed, but it’s also exciting to think about you heading toward something/somewhere new. I envy your new position at the Parrot Garden – I know you’ll live it to the fullest! Much love & best wishes, Jenny.


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