Alright, so you know about my fear of birds which stemmed from childhood. Well, this was not the end of my dislike for the species. Fast forward a few years to one of my college breaks, and a neighbor at home needed me to watch their golden retriever. I jumped at the opportunity since I love dogs and was great to make some extra cash. During the orientation visit, I was told that the family (tropical) bird had free reign of the house, and just needed food/water changed while they were away.
The week was going fine, until one day, as I opened the door ever-so-slightly to let the dog inside (we're talking SECONDS of time here), I heard flapping at a rapid pace. The next thing I knew, the bird flew to the very top of the nearest pine tree, during the dead of winter. After calling outside at it like an idiot for hours, recruiting family members and neighbors for assistance, hope was lost. There was no way it was going to last in the brutal New England frost.
Telling the family was tough. Any pet is like a family member and I felt beyond awful. In retrospect, I should have asked for the bird to be kept in its cage. Needless to say, they did not hire me back...