WHEN North Richmond's Sarah Andronicos first met Gary the Galah he was in a cage out the back of the North Richmond vet surgery.
He had been handed in my a member of the public, reportedly fallen from his nest, and had been found in the middle of the road.
"He couldn't fly, and he was just sitting in the corner of the cage looking terrified while all the dogs were barking," Sarah said.
"I opened the cage and picked him up and he didn't bite me or anything, he just sat in my hand and looked at me, and I fell in love with him straight away."
Gary and Sarah have been best friends ever since.
If you're ever passing the North Richmond pet shop, you might be lucky enough to meet Gary; Sarah works there now and while she's on shift, Gary spends the day sitting on his perch and meeting customers.
He just sat in my hand and looked at me, and I fell in love with him straight away.Sarah Andronicos
"Galahs are known as the clowns of the bird world," she said. "They're the smallest of the cockatoo family but the most silliest in the wild."
A bird enthusiast, Sarah has numerous birds at home, but Gary is the only one who sleeps in her room.
"He doesn't like any of the other birds, I can't have him in the aviary or he'll try to attack them. Galahs bond for life, and when I take him to the vet clinic for checkups, he has to jump on me and be close to me when he's scared."
Gary loves to lie upside down and scream, Sarah said, and plays with things while lying on his back.
"I have a massive perch in my bedroom which he sleeps on, and in the morning he hops down, runs over to my bed, and tunnels underneath my blanket, screams and wakes me up," she said.
Galahs can live to 60 years old, so Sarah truly has a friend for life in her pet.
"He's not in a cage all day, he comes everywhere with me, he even comes to my grandma's nursing home with me. He likes being social, talking to different people and seeing different places," Sarah said.
Sarah doesn't drive, and all the taxis in the area know Sarah and Gary.
"All the taxi drivers love Gary!" Sarah said.
Sarah has two tattoos on her left forearm: the word 'Gary' and a cartoon depiction of a Galah.
- Sarah and Gary's story is the first part in a series on Hawkesbury people and their pets, featuring the work of Gazette and Courier photographer Geoff Jones.