When we think about ducks (and really, who doesn’t?), we don’t usually think of them as leading rich lives filled with joys and tragedies. But apparently, they do.
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Wasatch Wanderers is an animal rescue service that saves abandoned and neglected domestic animals in Utah. When a domestic waterfowl is abandoned, which happens pretty frequently, they capture the animal, provide veterinary care, and help them find homes.
A few years ago, a male Pekin duck named Puddles was abandoned in the Brigham Young University duck pond. Wasatch Wanderers took him in and found him a foster home, where he met a female duck called Jerry. They quickly formed a bond, and Puddles always took excellent care of his mate.
“Puddles had a mate for several years at the BYU duck pond, and he was so sweet to her,” explained Adison Smith of Wasatch Wanderers. “He never over-mated her. He always wanted to be by her. I’ve never seen a duck relationship like Puddles and Jerry. Most male ducks are hormonal and are aggressive with the females. He never did that with Jerry. He was always such a gentleman.”
Sadly, Jerry passed away due to health problems. Puddles was devastated and visibly mourned the loss.
“After Jerry passed away, Puddles was just so sad,” Adison said. “His appetite went down, and he would go around looking for her.”
That’s when Puddles met Gompers, a fellow Pekin duck who had also been abandoned at a pond in Highland. That’s when love knocked on his door again.
Gompers suffered from a badly infected foot that required surgery, but the rescue was able to raise the $800 they needed from their fowl-loving fans. The only problem was surgery would separate these two lovebirds for days, and Puddles was not happy about it!
“When Gompers went in to have her surgery, Puddles was distraught,” Adison explained. “He was acting down, and was really upset when she was gone. “They both had a rough start and were illegally abandoned. Now Puddles and Gompers are best friends.”
Thankfully, Puddles’ sadness was short lived this time around. Gompers sailed through her surgery and was back in their foster home with her bestie in just a few days. She has seen positive changes in both animals, making us realize that companionship is important in all of our lives, even animals’.
“Gompers helped Puddles get out of his slump and showed him that he could still have a good life even without his beloved,” Adison said.
Adison hopes that stories like these will help people “look past the barriers we’ve built for ourselves” and understand that animals lead richer lives than we might think.
“People see them as food or disposable, but a lot of people get ducks because they are pets,” she said. “Just like cats or dogs, they can show just as much love, are extremely intelligent, and a lot of people find them to be very therapeutic.”
Good news! Wasatch Wanderers announced that Puddles and Gompers will go to live at animal sanctuary Hoof & Feather Co, where they can live the rest of their lives together. After all they’ve been through, it’s nice to know these two sweethearts will have happy trails from here on out.
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