Hobo finds a new home

Brendan Penno is developing a name for himself as Swan Hill's wildlife warrior. Here he is pictured with his pet galah Captain.

Brendan Penno is developing a name for himself as Swan Hill's wildlife warrior. Here he is pictured with his pet galah Captain.

Hobo Taylor had a unique bond with his owners Ron and Lorraine Taylor for more than 30 years until ill health took it’s toll on the elderly couple.

It was then Brendan Penno stepped into the carers role and offered Hobo the feisty galah, a new home.

Hobo was just a chick when he fell from his mother’s nest in Lake Boga and was rescued by the Taylors.

He was nursed back to health and spent the next three decades with the doting carers until a few weeks ago when he moved in with Brendan.

As he grew he developed some quirky behaviours and a great love for his adopted parents.

In a handwritten note given to Brendan, Lorraine describes Hobo’s journey.

“He only had his pin feathers at the time we found him and we spoon fed him porridge until he was strong enough to fl y,” she wrote.

“As he grew he started to get out of his cage and would follow us around.

“We did the gardening together and I would chatter away to him and eventually he talked too.

“I was working at the Lake Boga Bakery two doors down from our home and when I would knock off early in the morning I would open the bakery back door, whistle and yell out ‘I’ll be home soon'.

“I’d then walk home up the back lane to find a very excited Galah in the yard.”

Hobo spent many afternoons in the garden with Lorraine.

She wore the right gardening glove and he carried the left along beside her in his beak.

When the magpies were in season they would try to dive bomb him, but Hobo discovered a way to keep himself safe.

“He’d carry the gardening bucket out to the lawn and lift it with his beak and slip underneath.

He would dig up the lawn under the safety of the bucket,” Lorraine wrote.

Hobo’s chatter often drew a raised eyebrow from those who heard him.

One of his favourite words was an expletive that he used to get his owners attention.

Sadly, Lorraine had a stroke several years ago and as a result was away from home for three months.

When she returned, Hobo was shy and would not approach her.

The stroke and rehabilitation had taken a toll upon her and her left hand had been affected.

“I sat in the chair one day and Hobo finally came to me and climbed on my knee,” she wrote.

“He grabbed my left hand as if he knew I had changed.

“He tried to lift my hand.

“I eventually beat the scourge of stroke and returned to gardening.

“After all I only needed my right glove as Hobo had always taken the left.”

As time passed both Ron and Lorraine made the decision to move into a retirement village.

They took Hobo with them but he did not adjust too well. 

When they are not out in the yard with him he frets and calls out to them.

So they made the decision to fi nd Hobo a new home, where he could enjoy a more active lifestyle.

“The decision to find Hobo a new person to love him wasn’t easy,” Lorraine wrote.

“After I’d battled disability for 25 years and Ron having cancer we had slowed down a lot.

“We didn’t want to leave this world not knowing we had found a home for Hobo and someone to love him and care for him.”

And so they chose Brendan.

Tracey Wareham teaches Brendan transitional life skills at SuniTAFE in Swan Hill.

She said the elderly couple could not have chosen a better person for the job.

“He just loves all animals,” she said.

“He is passionate about wildlife and gives talks to other classes here at TAFE and local kindergartens,” she said.

“He is also a very spiritual person and an inspiration to those around him.”

To read more about this story, grab a copy of Wednesday's Guardian (May 3).

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