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Pet Parrot For Parkinsons


The 24th Annual 5K Walk and Fun Run, hosted by the Parkinson’s Disease Association of San Diego, will be held on Saturday, April 17, at 9am, at NTC Park at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Among the festivities, live music, raffle, and snacks, many participants bring their dogs along too. But, without a dog, one couple, Mick and Sue Burdge, decide each year to bring their pet parrot Meka along to support the cause.


Meka is a great addition to the San Diego MG Car Clubs team. The members of the MG Car Clubs were inspired by their fellow MG owner and Parkinson’s patient, Dick Moss, to form a walk team. Their participation started five years ago and as soon as the “parrot taxi” was created, Meka joined in support. The “parrot taxi,” which was originally created from a baby stroller, is decorated with dangling toys, a water dish, and snacks. Sue refers to this as Meka’s “snack and water bar.”


Meka is the life of the party. He loves getting rides and is often found strolling through the Burdge’s retirement village entertaining the residents. Don’t be surprised if you hear him say “hang on baby” or “do you want to go out?” These lines are only the beginning to all the fun noises and catchy phrases Meka shares.


“Glug, glug, glug” Meka goes, when watching Mick pour a two-liter Coca-Cola bottle, along with other imitations such as garage trucks backing up, other animal noises, and interesting car sounds. Meka can even imitate funny human noises — he can cough, laugh, blow his nose, and burp!


This is a Congo African Parrot you cannot miss. “Meka is very friendly and gets excited about the walk each year,” said Sue, “he likes getting rides in his parrot taxi and the 5K is a perfect opportunity to walk him.”


Half of the proceeds from the walk will stay in San Diego to support valuable programs and services for local families. The balance goes to the American Parkinson Disease Association to be used exclusively for funding to support promising medical research seeking more effective treatments and a cure for the disease. (877/737-7576, www.psasd.org)


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