One of the great things about sharing our lives with birds is that they are adaptable companions. Some of them live with us in urban high rises, some are nestled in suburban homes. Some birds have their own rooms and some live in outdoor aviaries. And then there are those that live in recreational vehicles, where traveling with their humans is all they know!
Alan Townsend and his wife Melissa live full-time in an RV with four geese (Abby, Charlotte, Blossom and Lucy), two Goffin’s Cockatoos and a bunny. “They all live in the RV, travel and sleep with us, and generally keep us busy,” Alan says.
But that’s not the only thing that makes them unusual. Alan and Melissa are in partnership with Avian Fashions, making, filling and mailing all duck and goose diaper harnesses while traveling the United States year-round, attending Renaissance Festivals where they delight children and promote ducks and geese as pets.
When they first met over twenty years ago, Alan and his first wife Nancy (sadly deceased) made quite an impression on Lorraine, the founder of Avian Fashions. They pulled up in front of Lorraine’s suburban home and paraded out of the RV all in a line: humans, ducks and geese.
Alan and Nancy came up with the duck and goose diaper harness “to make diapering downy bottoms a ducky experience.” “We have been selling diapers and accessories since 1995,” Alan says. “We actually started working on the diapers in 1993.” They have created a wide range of products for the smallest duckling to a full-grown goose, even including Christmas costumes.
Today, Melissa sews all the diapers, covers and costumes. Alan was performing at the Arizona Festival when they first met. It didn’t take long before they realized that they had so much in common and were actually married at the North Carolina Festival onstage during the show! It’s a life on the go, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
To catch up with Alan and Melissa in person:
Arizona Renaissance Festival: February 9 – March 31, 2019
Georgia Renaissance Festival: April 3 – June 2, 2019
Great Lakes Medieval Faire: July 14 – August 19, 2019
Carolina Renaissance Festival: September 29 – November 18, 2019