Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ducks, Dogs and Doctors

I have this weird thing about me. Well, I guess I have several weird things about me but the one I'm specifically talking about is this:

If I spend time with an animal doctoring it, or trying to help it through a situation, I get way too attached. I've always had the 'I can rehabilitate you' attitude about people and animals. Does that make sense?

For example, several years ago my mother gave my (at the time) three girls 3 baby ducks for Easter. We named them Rack, Shack and Benny. (You mom's should get that one.) They stayed inside till they got too big and stinky. Then we moved them outside into a old bunny cage until they got a little older and strong enough to run around the yard by themselves. There was a pond on the church property and we lived in the parsonage. We had beautiful visions of these ducks swimming on the pond and helping to beautify the church property.

Well, they got sick, bad sick almost like a bad drunk. They couldn't hold their head up and their eyes rolled back in their heads. I searched the internet...what was wrong with my ducks? I ran to the local farm store and got a huge bag of antibiotics they sold for cows and figured out how to treat my precious ducks. They wouldn't swallow, so with a syringe and towel, I sat on my back porch all day with their little heads in my lap as I forced antibiotics down their throat drop by drop. After several hours they began to 'sober up' and I was amazed at their recovery.

Well a few weeks later the same thing happened...This time I found them laying at the edge of the pond. One of them had it's head bobbing up and down out of the water. It couldn't control it's head and it was trying not to drown. The others were near by (they were inseparable) and both also showing signs of distress. So I again played a vet and nursed them back to health. It was
after this that I realized the problem. I made the changes in their diet and they grew to be big beautiful white peeking ducks. They wouldn't ever go back to the pond for some reason and would sleep with our cat. They would waddle behind us as we walked over to the church. Everyone loved them. They were so sweet and would eat out of your hand. Although we never had the beautiful scene of them swimming on the pond, and they ate every single flower that was in my yard, we still loved them.

One day, a friend came over and said, "What's wrong with Benny?" I ran outside and saw Benny hiding under the porch and the two others no where in sight. Benny was hurt. Had blood oozing, but dutifully came to me when I called. She(yes, they were all girls) was so sad and scared. We later found a trail of blood and feathers going down the yard and out into the woods. It was obvious that something had dragged off Rack and Shack and had tried to get Benny too.
I grieved and doctored Benny. Every two hours I was up and giving her antibiotics for two days and trying to treat her wounds...she wouldn't eat & started getting really bad. I was devastated. Michael had to 'put her down' and I couldn't stand to even hear the sound of the gun. So I went and sat in the mall parking lot and waited until he called me telling me it was over. I remember calling my Grandma from there and crying my eyes out. She was so sweet and offered to pay for me to have a vet do it.

I grieved for weeks and still grieve when I think about them.

Well, this morning. My sweet dog whom I've loved through his problems and difficulties came up missing. (He's adopted and came with some issues) He's had his share of mental and physical problems and I've done all I can to help him. Doing all this only made my love for him stronger, as it did with my ducks.

We went to chain him up this morning cause we were about to leave and he was nowhere to be found. Our neighbor helped us look and told us another neighbor saw him with another dog(female?) heading out through a vineyard. We drove all over the entire village calling his name. As we went along other men helped us. Calling his difficult as it is for a Portuguese person to say 'Major'. Eventually and not without the help of the others we found him. He was relieved to see us. I told him that women weren't worth all this trouble and we brought him home.

Tonight, again as I was doctoring a boo boo on his elbow and giving him the 'talk' about lady dogs I was reminded of how attached I get to animals. I've never been a 'animal person' really. Maybe it's because I know I'll get too attached. Who knows....maybe I'm just weird. Maybe I just need pets like fish that I won't have to doctor and rehabilitate, just flush them down the toilet.

So, after typing the longest post in history, I am happy to say that Major is inside and laying on his blue blanket. Hopefully he is considering his actions today and deciding he doesn't want to do that again.

Special thanks to The Domestic Fringe for hosting the carnival and and to the AMNH for donating the prizes.


Anonymous said...

My son likes Major. He read your post with me. So sorry about your ducks. I think it's so cute that you named them Rack, Shack, and Benny. I can't believe they responded to their names! That's so great. I once had chickens that were eaten (not by me) and I still am sad when I think about them. We also had a sick puppy that died and I LOVED that little puppy. Glad you found Major!!

Anonymous said...

Nina, your so funny. Yep your correct that you have never been an animal person. I remember when you brought Mabry home. Why did you do that? Knowing you would not take care of her. But she was such a sweet dog.
The part about Rack,Shack, and Benny still brings tears to my eyes. I so wanted to get you some more ducks, but knew better. Animals will steal your heart, I know my Maggie did. I think about Grandma and Hermie.. how no one liked that dog but I know she loved him dearly.
I'm glad Major is safe at home and didnt get hurt on his journey with THE LADY?.
Love Mom

Erica Lynn said...

Your dog is so cute! I get very attached to animals too. I wanted to be a vet for a long time until I realized I would have to 'put down' animals and I could never do that so that occupation went out the window. I'm glad your dog is ok!

Sandy Sellers said...

Wow, another side of you I did not know. It is so neat the way you took care of the Ducks and now Major.

Heather said...

Hi Ms.Nina! I'm glad you all finally found Major.

The last part of your post - about fish- reminded me of this past weekend. We were helping at a friend's church outreach on Saturday afternoon and one of the game prizes happened to be a gold fish and guess what?!? Lezley bought home one of those little gill/fin died Sunday morning and had its little burial at sea (*down the toliet!).

Funny you should mention about animals- our dog is 7yr. and I'm really having a hard time dealing with the thought that something could happen to her within the next few's so sad! The last dog we had lived for 5yrs.

One last comment :) - One morning last summer I was standing in my bedroom at 6am brushing my hair and for some reason glanced out the window. I saw a black dog running around in the yard beside us and didn't think much of it. Then all of a sudden I realized that black 4-legged animal belonged to us!!! So I headed outside to call for her and of course like all "obedient" good dogs--she ran (enjoying her freedom, I guess)! After we caught her, we found out she had scrapped her leg (jumping over the fence) and blood was gushing out everywhere with each heartbeat!!! I almost passed out and felt very lightheaded seeing her blood. LOL- I know you probably think I'm crazy - I can handle seeing surgeries and human blood, but there is something different about seeing an animal suffer - they can't tell you what is wrong and where they hurt.

Anyway, said all that to say, I'm glad you finally caught that dog! How is the kitty?

Anonymous said...

Major, a doggy male, has no remorse for his lady-chasing actions. Those big brown eyes are just telling you "Wait 'til I see Her again....I'll be gone" :-)

I really want to be your pet when I grow up.

Love you,

Amrita said...

Hi Nina,
I 'm subscribing to you by bloglines .com.

I 'm an animal lover too and know the feeling.

I still grieve for my German Spitz who died of toxic poisoning last April. But I 've got my Sheeba. Can 't bear to think of life without her.

Last week I took her to the vet 3 times for shots for a fungal infection. Set me back by 12 $s but I couldn 't avoid it.

Sometimes I too tell her I 'm gonna keep fishes. But I know i won' t.

I' ve always wanted ducks too. Can 't have them as they wipe our garden clean. I 'd love sheep for pets.

I like your style of write , very intersting and engaging. The post didn 't seem long to me.

Merryheart said...

Hi Nina,

I found your blog through FringeGirl's Blog. It's really cute. I love your black lab.

Cesar Milan and Victoria Stillwell helped me get control of my dogs. They have books and videos and are on Cable TV here in America. They teach you how to be the pack leader and make your dogs respect you.

I'm sorry about your ducks. I'm sure that was very painful. But you'd be surprised, you can even grieve for fish.


Merryheart said...

Oh, and I loved the ducks' names: Rack, Shack and Benny! We saw that Veggie Tales!