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

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Majestic Diary

February 15, 2013

We lost Gloria yesterday... He was at least 22 years old and we were goose-sitting him and Lulu for Mystic Village for the winter. We knew going in that he was not well and about a week and a half ago his breathing began to get more labored.

We brought him to the vet and had him on antibiotics, but they didn't help. She could hear that one of his air sacs was not filling/emptying correctly, so we assumed it was pneumonia. We switched out his antibiotics when the first prescription didn't work, but there was no improvement.

Yesterday, I brought him back for some in-house specialized care at the vet's. He wasn't eating or drinking properly and I could tell he was in pain, and I wanted him to get tube fed, rehydrated and prescribed some pain meds. I called the vet a few hours later and she said she did an x-ray and found a large mass in his abdomen... probably cancer... He is too old and fragile for surgery and we all opted (myself, the vet and his family at Mystic Village) to have him euthanized, so he wouldn't be in pain anymore.

A very sad day... Lots of tears... Having to call and let his Mystic family know... They all went to see him and the vet stayed open late to allow them to come in and say good-bye...

And this morning it was difficult letting Lulu outside because she keep calling for Gloria and then looking at me as if to say, “What have you done with my friend?” It’s so hard when you can’t explain to them… That their game of Marco Polo that went on randomly throughout the day with a loud call as she swam on the pond and his response back as he relaxed in the barn--their way of checking in on each other, could no longer be played.

And the routine was so completely different as I let everyone out to the barn and topped of feed bowls and changed out water buckets. Gloria didn’t see very well and was blind in one eye, so I always sang Laura Branigan’s song “Gloria” as I walked in and out of the barn, so he would know it was just me and he was safe. It was very quiet outside this morning… without that… boy do I miss that old boy and the way he shook his head "no" and meant just that if you got too close and he wasn't in the mood for a petting... or for his breakfast. I had wanted to capture it on video, but missed the chance. I do regret that. I thought I had more time...

I started thinking last night while lying in bed… About what God might be saying to Gloria… 

“She loved you from the very first time she saw you, two years ago at Mystic Village, and she told her friend who was with her, I wish I could have him! And when she heard you were lonely a year later, she searched all over New England for a girl for you and then drove for five hours to pick up Lulu and bring her to you. And then she delivered your feed every couple of months to make sure you and Lulu would have the best brand on the market to keep you strong. And when your Mystic Village family asked if she would take you and Lulu for the winter, she couldn’t believe her dream was finally coming true and you would actually be staying with her. And then she loved you every second of every day… Even when she had to give you your pills and you bit her really hard… She looks at her boo-boo finger and feels the marks your bill made in her skin and smiles when she thinks of you… wishing that it would scar and stay with her forever… So she could always feel you there… That’s how much she loves you…”

Gloria... hatched sometime in the late 1980's was surrendered to Mystic Village 22 years ago when his family could no longer care for him. Who knows how old he really was, but he's been around for a long time and he is dearly and greatly missed...


Lulu this morning...

And now my search begins to find Lulu a new best friend... a female grey goose (no babies!).


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