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Razzle Dazzles


By Pat & Jeff Levine


One day my wife came home to inform me that the young lady who does her nails had tried to rescue a cockatoo a few months back, and found the bird to be so aggressive that she was afraid for her young children.  She asked if we could help.  Pat and I went to her house, assessed the situation and decided to take the cockatoo home with us to see if we could give him a better life.


We decided to call him Razzle Dazzle because of his attitude; he's a male Umbrella Cockatoo approximately four years old.  After a vet visit, we got him home and he was very friendly.  Little did we know that as time went by and he got more comfortable in his new surroundings, he would become more and more aggressive.  


Hard Case


We tried everything we could think of and it just got worse.  We were at the end of our rope.  Finally, a friend suggested we try Ken Globus, The Bird Whisperer.  We found out that Ken was going to conduct a workshop in our area and immediately signed up. 

Because Razzle was such a “hard case” Ken decided to work with him during his demonstrations at the coinciding bird mart; this would give Ken extra time.  It was a difficult session.  Razzle screamed, fought, bit and resisted with all he had.  But by the end of the second demonstration Ken had gotten through. Razzle calmed down and started to trust.  Ken got to the point where he was able to hold Razzle and nuzzle him. 


Moment of Truth


The next day was the workshop.  Ken had a great group of people and an assortment of birds and issues that promised to make it a very interesting day.  Ken worked with a couple of other birds first.  Then it was Razzle’s turn.  Ken took Razzle out of his cage and worked with him for awhile, calming him even more.  Then the moment of truth came.  Ken wanted to blend me into the process.  I was going to handle Razzle.  I was a little nervous, as it had been a year since I had been able to work with him without getting severely bitten.  Ken handed Razzle to me and gave me some handling instructions.  Within minutes Razzle and I connected.  We became friends.  I was able to pet him and hold him without getting bitten.  I then handed him to my wife.  He was calm with her as well and she was able to hold and pet him.  My wife and I were so happy, words couldn’t describe it. All I could say was, “It’s a Miracle”.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house



A Star is Born


During all this, we realized how much we enjoyed helping birds in need, so we started a bird rescue, The Bailey Foundation.  We took what we learned from Ken and put it to good use helping other birds. 

Once Razzle got through his “wall of fear” he learned that people were not going to harm him.  We started taking him with us to our outreach programs to meet people and improve on his socialization skills.  He became very popular and enjoyed the attention.  A real ham.

After a few months, a friend of ours who likes cockatoos, Burnetta Clarke, came over and went right to Razzle.  It was love at first sight.  After a few more visits, we could see that Burnetta and Razzle were becoming attached.   So, we decided that Burnetta would be perfect to adopt Razzle through our foundation.  Razzle is now living a full and fun life with Burnetta.  Thanks to Ken’s training, this marvelous bird is enjoying life for the first time.   Jeff Levine, The Bailey Foundation




From Ken


Here's a great a follow up to this story: in January 2005 I did a program and workshop in Timonium, MD.  The man who relayed the previous story, Jeff Levine, attended along with the woman who adopted Razzle, Burnetta Clarke.  She and Jeff wanted to show me how well Razzle was doing, so they brought Razzle along.  At the demonstration, in front of a hundred or so people, Burnetta took Razzle out of his cage and set him on the floor.  He hopped onto center stage like an old pro.  Burnetta called out, “Dance, Razzle, dance.”  And he did, bobbing up and down, laughing and hopping around, to the laughter and applause of the delighted crowd.  It was clear that Razzle now loved being around people.  It was hard to  believe it was the same bird.




 Razzle with Burnetta Clarke visiting World of Pets Expo in Timonium, MD















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