Wal-Mart isn’t the only store in town with friendly greeters. The Animal Care Center located on Dinah Shore Blvd. in Winchester has a couple of greeters that you won’t soon forget.
July 23, 2010
By Linda Stacy, Staff Writer
Wal-Mart isn’t the only store in town with friendly greeters. The Animal Care Center located on Dinah Shore Blvd. in Winchester has a couple of greeters that you won’t soon forget. One of them says “Hello!” and “Goodbye!” while another one just glares at you with her huge green eyes and might possibly rub against your leg.
Rico the greeter is a middle-aged yellow-naped Amazon parrot, around 30 to 40-years old. Amanda Curty, the clinic’s office manager, said this kind of parrots lives to be about 80 years old. Rico came in the deal with the veterinary clinic when it was bought, and he’s actually been bought and sold a few times with the clinic in the past couple of decades, so getting out of his cage makes him feel a bit unsettled and ornery, perhaps because he senses something could be up, maybe another sale?
At any rate, when Amanda takes him out of his cage for this photographer to get a better picture, he seems to grin and pose for the camera, and then decides that’s enough and pinches Amanda so she will let him back in the cage. Once back inside, he resumes chanting “Hello’s” and “Rico’s a good boy.” Amanda says he also has learned to imitate a cat and dog with a remarkable bark and meow, which could come in handy since there are at least three cat greeters wandering around the office also.
“He’s not afraid of the cats,” said Amanda. “He just ignores them.”
Of course, that’s going to be easier for Rico to do if he’s inside the cage – this bird is no dummy. He looks much happier once back inside and continues posing and chatting during his photo shoot.
Over on the counter across the room is an odd cat that appears to be naked as a jaybird – a hairless variety? Amanda says no it is actually not from the hairless cat family, but is a regular calico that just happens to have no hair.
“Some people brought her in to us about two years ago after finding her in the Wal-Mart parking lot. It was a cold November day and she had lost most of her hair and the people said she was probably old and suggested we should just put her to sleep,” said Amanda.
But after a thorough checkup, it turned out this bald, rat-tailed critter was only about five months old and is simply a genetic misfit and totally healthy otherwise. They named her “Miss America” and she is now a greeter and resident of the clinic. She probably won’t ever grow any hair, regardless of what vitamins or lotions they might try on her. And she couldn’t care less, after all she now has no reason to go out in the cold or in the heat where she could get sunburned. Besides, being bald definitely calls more attention to those big gorgeous green eyes and she surely gets more looks than the other two fluffy cat greeters.
Clients who bring their animals into the clinic for checkups look forward to seeing these remarkable store greeters. Amanda says to check out their website www.accvets.net for more pictures.