Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall
                                Tiki’s perch at Totem Lake and the store in its early years.

Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall Tiki’s perch at Totem Lake and the store in its early years.

Denny’s Pet World mascot dies at 45

The scarlet macaw, Tiki, was the pet store’s mascot for over 43 years.

A community is mourning the loss of a longtime pet store mascot.

Tiki, a female scarlet macaw, became Denny’s Pet World official mascot a few years after the store opened in 1974. She died Feb. 4. She was 45 years old.

John Fleshman, the owner of Denny’s Pet World, said he and his staff knew it was coming.

“She was getting older and getting sick and losing weight,” he said. “But it’s still hard even though we knew it was coming. She’s been with us for so long—been a part of the family.”

Tiki was never caged. In the store, she had a large, open perch in a corner of the store. Customers would interact with her and take pictures.

“She was a big hit with the customers. She liked the attention. She had a limited vocabulary but would usually say, ‘Hi,’ ‘Hello,’ ‘Pretty bird,’ and ‘Mamma,’” Fleshman said.

Fleshman said Tiki had a lasting effect on the community. Over the years, Fleshman would bring Tiki to convalescent homes to share her with patients. He also collected her feathers because children wanted to use her feathers for constructing kites.

“Everyone loved her,” he said.

Upon announcing Tiki’s passing on the store’s Facebook page, Fleshman said he was overwhelmed by the large number of comments from the community.

“I was blown away…I had no idea how attached the customers were to her,” he said.

As of Feb. 10, the Facebook post has about 400 comments — each expressing sorrow for Tiki’s passing as well as numerous customer photos and memories.

Most of the commenters said they grew up with Tiki and they always looked forward to seeing her at the store.

Laura Hook has been the manager for Denny’s Pet Store for 25 years.

“It’s so quiet around here without her,” she said. “She was such a lovey, snuggly bird. She had such a sense of humor too. She would do something naughty and then giggle…She’s definitely left a hole in our hearts.”

Hook said customers have been coming in an expressing their condolences for Tiki.

“She was a real bird of the community,” she said. “She touched everybody. It’s been amazing to see how she’s touched several generations in the community.”

Fleshman’s fiancée, Julia Marshall, said flowers and a small plaque have been placed by Tiki’s perch.

The sign reads:

“It is with great sadness that we announce that Tiki passed away Feb. 4. She was with Denny’s Pet World for over 43 years and will be greatly missed.”

Marshall said her remains are being cremated. There will be a formal memorial service for Tiki within the next few weeks.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Tiki taking a car ride with John Fleshman and Julia Marshall. Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall

Tiki taking a car ride with John Fleshman and Julia Marshall. Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall

Tiki’s perch at Denny’s Pet World with flowers and a memorial plaque. Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall

Tiki’s perch at Denny’s Pet World with flowers and a memorial plaque. Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall

John Fleshman, Denny’s Pet World owner, with Tiki at his home. Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall

John Fleshman, Denny’s Pet World owner, with Tiki at his home. Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall

More in Life

From left, Evan Shouse, Lauren Shouse and Ellienn Tatar stand outside their Kirkland residence. Courtesy photo
Making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic

LWTech Foundation COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund lends a helping hand.

Savannah Lynn and Will Chadek in the Second Story Repertory of Redmond’s production of “The Fantasticks.” “The Fantasticks” had been performed three times by the organization until coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancellation of the remaining dates. Photo by Michael Brunk
How is the coronavirus affecting the arts?

Representatives from Eastside arts institutions discuss their experiences.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology. File photo
LWTech students place fourth in national Codebreaker Challenge

CSNT program recently placed fourth at the NSA Codebreaker Challenge online competition.

Madison Miller / staff photo
                                Melissa Jones-Goetz and her husband, Rich Ralls, returned to contra dancing for the first time in about two years on Feb. 8.
Contra dancing brings community together in Kirkland

Folk Horizons celebrates its 10th year.

Photo courtesy of Julia Marshall
                                Tiki’s perch at Totem Lake and the store in its early years.
Denny’s Pet World mascot dies at 45

The scarlet macaw, Tiki, was the pet store’s mascot for over 43 years.

Making a human connection in a sea of social media

A monthly health column about natural medicine.

Eastside Community Musical debuts ‘Mamma Mia!’

Studio East and KPC are presenting “Mamma Mia” Feb. 7-8 and 14-16.

Photo courtesy Studio East
                                Shot from a 2012 performance of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
Studio East, StoryBook theater announce winter shows

Programming includes “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “The Tempest” and “Little Red.”