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

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Majestic Diary

January 5, 2009

Miri went to the vet today. She's been going every week for nearly a month now, since I found blood in her poop. We could see a small tumor inside her vent, but she nearly had a heart attack when our vet tried to do a cloacal exam, so he didn't do it. We started with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to rule out an infection, but it came without results.

Today she went in for surgery to remove the tumor and have a biopsy done.

I have to admit, back in the Spring I began to see the signs and told friends and visitors that I suspected that cancer had taken a hold of her. She was breathing a little different and walking slower. We brought her to the vet back then, but he found nothing wrong with her. We opted against an x-ray since he would have to put her under to do it, to control her stress levels, and she is so old that we thought the dangers didn't warrant it. I was sure what it was and let it be at that.

So when the call came this afternoon and the vet told me that the visible part of Miri's tumor was just "the tip of the iceberg," I was not surprised. Very upset, but not surprised. He did not perform the surgery since the mass was so large and confirmed that it was cancer.

I brought her home and let her into the barn with Benny and the girls and she settled down beside him.

She looks pretty good, but her feathers are a little unkept around the edges, which is one of the first signs that the end is drawing near. Still, as long as she seems comfortable and is eating, drinking, walking and swimming, we are not going to interfere and we will leave her be and let her enjoy the last of her days with us, which hopefully are many.

Last year after we lost Glory, Elijah and Daisy May within the course of a couple of months, I looked at Miri and said, "Don't you dare, little girl. Don't you dare leave me now." And part of me thinks she has hung on for 2009 for my sake more than hers--to give her Momma Duck a rest from all the losses. And Benny's arrival just helped her do it for me. Is that crazy? That a beautiful little animal would hang on to keep me from having a break down... I don't think so...

Benny (front) and Miri (back)


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