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

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Majestic Diary

February 9, 2009

Today we had to say good-bye to Miri. I've emailed and talked to friends, updated the website and wrote her eulogy in our March newsletter.

We had to increase her dosages on her meds on Saturday and then I took advantage of the spring-like weather and brought Miri and Benny out for a swim on the pond--and I am so glad I did.

By Sunday she was barely eating. Her eyes were tired, her breathing labored and I could see pain beginning to ebb over discomfort. This morning I brought her in for a warm bath to get a closer look and really evaluate her. Normally she lets me know when she wants to come out of the tub and it is usually within 5-10 minutes and she only lets me blow-dry her for about 15 minutes before absolutely insisting that I take her back to the barn. Today… nothing… I lifted her out of the tub and blow dried her until she was thoroughly fluffy and then brought her back out to the barn to sit with Benny for a few last minutes while I called the vet.

As with the others who have gone before her, I held her in my arms, on a blanket and pet her and talked to her even after I saw her last breath ease out of her lungs.  I’m sure her best friend Glory, who died last August, was there waiting for her and was there to take care of her for a change. Even so, she did not let go of her last breath until I promised her that I would take good care of Benny and she didn't need to worry about him.

February 9, 2009 ... This is one of the last photos taken of our beautiful girl

She really fought the good fight. I suspected she had cancer last spring, I could tell by her behavior. The vet only confirmed it in December and we predicted she would only survive another week or so. She made it all the way to February and enjoyed every bit of it until yesterday and today—and even then, she was cuddled up with her boyfriend Benny. Her ashes will be returned here and she will forever lay in peace beside her life-long friend Glory.

February 9, 2009 ... This is one of the last photos taken of our beautiful girl

I dare say a breath of relief came into Miri’s lungs the day she came here and we embraced both her and Glory. And I know how happy she was. The only sad time for her was after losing Glory and before meeting Benny… just that one month and I doted over her left and right during those weeks. But once Benny came, she found herself again and lived every single day happily and safely. When I came home, I went out to the pens and topped off all the food and refreshed all the hay and waters and I wondered if she came to take a last peek--to see things from a different perspective. I hope she enjoyed watching Benny walk out to the pond and then swim with the girls:  Jezebel, Princess, Vida, Deirdre and Jelina out on the pond. I’m sure it made her smile and know that she can move on and know that Benny boy will be just fine.

Splashing Miri February 2, 2009

I went out to the barn in the hopes the other ducks would bring a smile back to my face and shine their light into my heart.

I let Benny walk to the pond with ALL of the barn hens and they had a blast together. He hasn’t been out with all the girls since fall. For months he has only gone swimming with Miri. Jezebel and Jelina seem to prefer his company most. Jelina likes all boys, but I suspect Jezebel sees a bit of Elijah in Benny. I saw them talking together for a few minutes.

After following them all back up to the barn they began preening and relaxing… and that is my healing...

But I can't help but wonder what Benny is thinking now that Miri is missing. And then I began thinking... what was Miri like as a duckling. So innocent and so trusting, so happy... She and Glory both came from the same home. Originally there was a boy with them. Three little ducklings. When the owners moved away and left them behind, a predator (probably a fox) took the boy. Neighbors picked up the two girls, built them a pen and took them in for years before Glory's legs buckled and they no longer wanted to care for them. I could tell they favored Miri and I could see the way Miri fawned over Glory. But what were they like as little ducklings, before the pain came... before their lives changed... I wonder... What were they like before they learned fear and sorrow... And is that the happiness they both feel now that they are together again today... That's what I wonder...

I have to save more. I have to help more. I must take this pain away from these abandoned and mistreated animals and show them that there are people who will never stop caring, who will never leave them behind or grow weary of them. Some of us will love them and remember them forever. FOREVER...



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