Sigh... we came home from Ottawa yesterday to find that Squishy the duck had keeled over dead in the duck run.
Squishy got his named after Gordon accidentally stepped on him when he was just a little duckling. It was a complete accident and Gordon felt awful. He walked into my office with Squishy in a box and asked me to help. At first Gordon thought Squishy was dead. He couldn't walk properly but was feebly attempting to propel himself around the box. I wasn't particularly hopeful for his recovery, but after a couple of days, he was doing fine: walking, eating, and being an adorable duckling!
...and grew! He always had a slightly tipsy gate, and rolled a bit to the side whenever he lay down but otherwise, he seemed fully recovered.
He tried to get it on with the ladies, but it always seemed to be a bit of an issue for him. Usually he'd fall off his conquest before reaching any sort of, er, culmination. In this pic, he's the guy in the back on the right, having a little rest. He often did that. I think his structure was a little damaged after his childhood mishap, and he needed a little lie-down every so often.
Sometime this spring he lost his tail feathers. I'm not sure what happened; another duck might have pulled them out, but apart from one little spat between Squishy and Warren, I hadn't noticed the ducks picking on him.
The past couple of days he seemed a little quiet; not particularly ill, but not himself. He was eating and drinking and doing his usual things and we were only just starting to wonder if something was wrong. Then yesterday we came home to find him dead. It looked like he just keeled over near a water dish outside.
Gordon's taking it a little hard; Squishy was his favourite, and we were both pretty impressed that he survived being stepped on! I hope Squishy's up in duck heaven, swimming on a nice big pond and eating bugs and Swiss chard (his favourite treat) on a silver platter every night!
Life goes on. I think Ronna-duck will be hatching out her babies any day now. I will keep you posted!