Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, 17 Barker Road, Lebanon, CT, 06249

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Majestic Diary

July 31, 2013

I've been doting over Nelly-nell today. Did you know I named her and Jodie after Jodie Foster's movie?

I went nightcrawling this morning and caught a whole pile of worms. I let Nelly eat as many as she wanted along with Jodie-dee and Young Jeffrey. Then I shared the rest with our other sanctuary ducks (the geese don't like them--they think they're disgusting and are appalled by the whole ordeal).

I also brought Nelly a bag of leaf lettuce, which she ate yesterday and today along with her friends and I cut up a watermelon for everyone as well, although she only barely nibbled at it.

I called the vet, but judging by her behavior, knew her test results weren't going to be good. Her legs were still giving out on her, she wasn't eating any of her Mazuri feed, she wasn't waddling around her pen... just standing in the same place, not even wanting to sit down... tummy ache? <sigh> Her eyes were squinting closed in discomfort.

Our vet confirmed our worst suspicions. Nelly had cancer and it was the cause of everything. Her blood work was irreparable and unhealthy. Clearly she was at the end.

I went back outside to the pens and opened the gate to encourage Nelly up towards the barn. She went alone through the gate, but then Billy-cha and Bella immediately greeted her at their door and they each walked one on each side alongside her all the way up to the barn. It was like she had an escort. Isabel and I watched in awe... tears in our eyes... We've never seen Billy or Bella do anything like that before. They could obviously tell she was sick and wanted to help her. They walked her all the way inside and stood and watched as I helped Nelly into her carrier and left the barn... and they were still there inside.

Isabel has never gone with me before. I usually go alone, but I couldn't leave her at the house. Our vet came in and immediately sedated her and she fell asleep a minute later on a blanket on the table, with her head and bill resting in the palms of my hand. I let Isabel take over cradling her head while we both petted her and spoke to her gently until our vet came back and made sure we were ready. Then I had Isabel step back a little while I held her head again and he gave her the dose of medication to help ease her gently over.

I let Isabel hold her head again and I whispered in her ear that she would be able to feel when Nelly's soul left her body and to tell me when she did.

Isabel told me when she felt her leave and our vet, with his stethoscope on her heart, confirmed it.

Our little Nelly-nell was gone... to a place without any pain... I'm sure my darling Young Matthew was there waiting for her, ready to greet her and welcome her to that marvelous fountain where the splashing and quacking goes on all day...

Tay ina win, chicobee... Tay ina win...

When I came home and checked on Young Jeffrey he was VERY angry with me for not bringing her back, so I let him bite my hand a few times to get out his frustration.

Beside him, Jodie-dee was panting and trembling. The poor dear has always had her "sister" with her. When they came up to the barn a little later for bed, I gave her a mild sedative to help prevent her from overstressing. Don't you leave me, little girl... not yet...

I think they could both benefit from having another Pekin hen around. I'm looking around to find a girl for them to try to cheer them up a bit... make the place a little less lonely for them.

Jodie-dee (R), Nelly-nell (C) and Young Jeffrey (L)

Jodie sneaks a bit of melon past her sister Nelly




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