When we first brought Tilly home with us from Emerald Forest, it was almost as big an event as was bringing home my now ten-year-old daughter from the hospital for the first time. And now, Tilly has been an important member of our family for more than three years. She is a delight, in every way. And we love to take her along with us on outings. Her favorites are trips to the local Petco, where she rides on the push handle of the shopping cart as we shop and soaks up all the attention she invariably gets from the store personnel (who love her visits so much they often neglect their duties just a bit when she is there) and the other shoppers in the store. She loves to go for rides in the car, too. She sits on top of the front passenger seat headrest and ducks her head low so that she can get the best view of the passing landscape as we drive along. Without a doubt, however, her very favorite outings are bicycle rides around our neighborhood or to the nearby park. She climbs aboard my shoulder or rides on the handlebars (safely tethered, of course) and extends her wings just so in order to feel the breeze as we sail along.

It goes without saying that she attracts so much attention whenever we take her out that we never expect to get anything done in a hurry when she is with us. But that is half the fun, so we don’t mind. And when people ask us what she’s like, we usually describe her as a “puppy with wings”. She is playful (she even plays catch!), mischievous, affectionate and gentle with children. She is a joy to share our home with and, based on our very happy experiences with her, we recommend toucans as companion pets to anyone who has the means to provide them with a proper home.

Joanne Gifford