Hello everybody and a warm welcome to my first ever blog story!
Today, I want to share with you (and in the future too) ONE (at a time) of many of my various stories and thoughts regarding my life experiences with my own three children as a passionate, enthused and very proud fulltime mum.
So far, during the following years we have taken in ten more rescue dogs from other people in our “for ever” care, because we have never given away one of our beloved (rescue) pets, but kept them with us all the years, up to their old age and natural death.
To that time my youngest son was about fifteen years of age and always busy at school and at home too, but mainly in front of his computer screen and my husband of more than three decades was also very busy with the obligations to his very own “retirement hobbies”.
Consequently, I needed each day about five (or more ) hours to feed, brush or bathe regularly - one after one - our then thirteen, then eighteen (later twenty-three) dogs, as well as cleaning their bowls and kennels and/or changing their bed-mats and so on.
Because of our many animals, we live in a rural area and news stories in the local papers of “mouse plagues” are common. We keep the mouse population on our property under control with over-the-counter rat poison. What we didn’t know was just how awful the poison is – not only does it take days to kill the pitiable mice and rats, but it generally also kills the animals that eat the dead or dying rodents.
We found this out after my favourite pet drake “Pancake” has started acting sluggish and developed alarming, deeply red swellings on and in his throat, face and tongue.
After this surprising discovery, we immediately took him to the local vet, who had his cages filled with animals (mostly cats) that had been poisoned from eating dying mice or rats.
To complete the vet’s thorough inspection, he has asked us to turn our very tame pet-drake on his back and this happened without any problems.
After our visit at the veterinary clinic, “Pancake” had refused the following three days his familiar food. Because of this, I have diluted the quality food pellets in lukewarm water. Within this thinly, watery “porridge” given into his bill by a syringe, he got nevertheless most of the nutrition he needed. (Analysis: protein = 15.0%, minimum, fat = 2.0% minimum, fibre = 10.0% minimum, lysine = 0.8% minimum)
Luckily, the tremendous swelling in his throat, as well tongue and face was gone after a few days, but a hard knot had remained under his bill, which didn’t bother him at all.
However, I have to mention too that it was a daily hard piece of work to give him the ‘liquid food” and medicine, because he was never prepared to properly swallow it. In fact, he was very good in fooling my son and me, by keeping the (good tasting) medicine in his bill without swallowing it, as long as we held him, with his closed beak upwards.
Unfortunately, in the same moment we let him go, he heftily shook his head so that at least half of the medicine was spread around the room.
Fortunately, he was the only one of all of our pets that was unlucky enough to have swallowed a poisoned mouse.
In addition, two of our white and neutered Angora tom-cats are also living with us in the house for nearly two decades and our sixteen other old cats enjoy too a protected life in their licensed cattery.
Below are some nice photos, made by me during “Pancake’s” recovery.
On the warmer and sunny days, he was brought outside for enjoying rumbling and shuffling around under the trees and bushes in the secured, though highly fenced front yard.
On those occasions he has been regularly visited by his curious, but very bossy fellow drakes, always seeking a “sporty” fight with him through the fence.
So, his favourite and most pleasant game was to get their attention by waddling up and down behind the separating fence to provoke them into offering their unprotected heads and necks, reaching through the fence meshes in the hope of catching him in some way.
In fact, their unprotected heads looked like pearls of unique jewellery, neatly and closely positioned, just right for picking each of them without being in danger of getting harmed himself.
Yippee, this wonderful sight was indeed, the greatest pleasure for the good-natured “Pancake”, since the tables have turned on him always having been bossed around, especially by those very same drakes.
In case his previous perpetrators have not been quick enough in pulling back their heads again, “Pancake” has done his best to teach them a lesson, to not take on those less fortunate who are unable to be self-confident enough to stand up for themselves.
In the end, each game becomes boring if repeated too often, so that’s why we have offered “Pancake” a very quiet female companion - the peaceful duck with the exclamation mark on her back and good to see on the photo below.
One day in 1995, when we still lived in another state on a farm, because of our dog - and cat-sanctuary, she flew to us from probably another farm and stayed with our other ducks to this day. At that time, when I had shown her photo around in our neighbourhood, nobody had missed her or knew where she belonged to, even though she must have already been two or probably three years of age.
PS: By the way, the first and last time I have eaten a bit of duck-meat was in a hotel’s dining room in 1974!