Here’s a mother — or at least an expectant one — who made sure she’d have plenty of flowers on Mother’s Day, building her nest of pine needles under this budding bush.
I came across her Sunday while visiting my own mom, who has a view of the nesting duck from her living room window and reports that’s she’s been dutifully sitting atop her eggs — about ten of them — for weeks now.
It’s baby duck season at Arbor Acres, the retirement community in which my mother lives, where residents eagerly await the appearance of the year’s first ducklings.
Nobody’s sure who the father is, but many suspect it’s the fellow to the left — he of the poofy hairdo – who is well-known for his amorous behavior and apparently considers himself quite the ladies man.
Then again, if I had hair like that, maybe I would, too.
He is believed to have fathered many of the baby ducks that were born last year, and indications are he’s at it again.
Yesterday, as the nesting mother sat atop her eggs, amid the blooming flowers, it appeared to me — though I’m better at interpreting dog behavior than duck behavior — that poofy head had moved on to new interests.
Shane Morehouse, 52, of Fort Edward, was charged Saturday with animal cruelty and abandoning an animal — both misdemeanors, the Saratogian reported.
Police say the dog belonged to an acquaintance of Morehouse who could no longer care for the dog.
“The dog’s owner said he was going to be released on the farm,” state police Sgt. Chuck Salaway said. “Morehouse apparently changed his mind and left it along the side of the road without any concern over what was going to happen to it.”
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
The dog, a 12-year-old malamute mix named Chubby, was taken to a local SPCA, where he was euthanized after he was found to be suffering from an unrelated illness.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, chubby, country, cruelty to animals, ditch, dog, dogs, duck, duct, elderly, euthanized, farm, fort edward, malamute, mix, new york, pets, shane morehouse, sick, spca, tape, taped, thrown
Robert Cottingham was duck hunting when he took a shotgun blast to his buttocks — fired, from all indications, by Piper, a yellow Labrador that belonged to a hunting companion.
The 46-year-old resident of Brigham City, Utah, was was hunting Sunday with his son and brother-in-law at the north end of the Great Salt Lake near a bird refuge, said Box Elder County Sherriff’s Chief Deputy Kevin Potter.
The victim told Fox 13 that the dog was in a marshy area of the lake and jumped into the boat, triggering a 12-gauge shotgun resting inside of it.
Cottingham was taken to the hospital where 27 birdshot pellets — most but not all of those he was struck by – were removed from his backside.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, blast, boat, box elder county, buttocks, dog, dog shoots hunter, dogs, duck, ducks best friend, gun safety, hunter, hunting, hunting accident, news, pets, robert cottingham, shot, shotgun, utah, video, yellow lab
This video of an orangutan gently pulling a duckling out of a pond appears headed for viral status — even though no one really knows what the outcome was.
But not knowing the story isn’t stopping the media from spreading one.
The Daily Mail, for instance, reports — based on nothing more than viewing the video — that the orangutan is rescuing the duckling from drowning and seems to “kiss life into its new friend.”
But many Internet commenters note that the duckling didn’t appear in need of rescue and are wondering if, once the camera stopped taping, it became lunch.
Not even the setting is known: Some reports say it took place at a U.S. zoo, others say an unknown zoo, others say it was a Dublin zoo.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal behavior, animals, compassion, daily mail, duck, duckling, journalism, lunch, myths, news media, orangutan, orangutan and duck, pond, rescue, saves, saving, video, viral, zoo
Over at Arbor Acres, the retirement community where my mother lives, there’s a population explosion looming.
Our duck friends, whose importation we told you about last summer, have produced a second generation, and several mama ducks are now poised atop their eggs.
Arbor Acres has always had ducks and geese — sometimes too many, sometimes not enough. They stay along a pond and an azalea-lined canal that feeds the pond. The geese come and go, but most of the ducks seem to like it enough to make it home.
The ducks serve as conversation pieces, and much more. They give residents something to watch that’s far more interesting than television, let them stay in touch with nature, and take part in the excitement of a new cycle of life starting up. When the baby ducks start showing up at Arbor Acres, all other news takes a back seat.
(I am of the opinion that every center for the elderly, a group I am in hopes of joining one day, should get massive and regular doses of two things — young people and animals, and that bringing them together greatly benefits all three. )
Last year, when the numbers dwindled and most of the newborns were being gobbled up by predators — a turtle who lives in the pond is the top suspect — one resident took steps to re-establish a flock.
He bought 16 of various breeds, cared for them at home and released them when they were old enough to get by on their own. The new ducks were all named after residents — one of them after my mother, Jo Woestendiek, whose room overlooks the canal.
For a week now, Jo Woestendiek, the duck, has been laying atop her eggs in a nest she made with pine needles — just outside the window of Jo Woestendiek, the human, who leans over her couch and cranes her neck in hopes of getting a glimpse of them.
The births are always followed by a period of concern for the residents — walking on eggshells would be one way to put it — as they wait to see how many of the eggs, then ducklings, are going to survive the turtle, coyote, fox and heron that see them as breakfast.
One summer a few years ago, my mother — apparently not the first to do so – took a group of newborns in, secretly keeping them in a cardboard box in her room. (Ace, during a visit, was fascinated by them, slowly approaching and giving each a delicate sniff.)
This year, a good batch of eggs has shown up around campus and, depending on how many escape the predators, the duck population could triple, with a strong contingent of what my mother has already taken to calling — even before they hatch — the Woestenducks.
There aren’t too many things in the world cuter than baby ducks, and how they steadfastly follow their mother, on land and water, no matter how much she zigs and zags.
As I watched them Sunday, mother duck swam across the canal, her babies following closely. When the mother duck climbed up a series of rocks and into the pine needles under a bush, the baby ducks struggled, falling over each other, off the rocks, then fighting to get up again, almost reaching the top only to tumble back down.
I wanted to lend a hand, especially to the last one trying to make it up — clearly the klutz of the bunch. He’d slap a webbed foot on a wet rock, only to have it slide off as he somersaulted back into the water.
I kept thinking his mother should get up and help him.
Then I realized, by not going to his aid, she was.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arbor acres, assisted living, babies, baby ducks, birds, birth, communities, cycles, dogs, duck, ducklings, ducks, eggs, elderly, explosion, geese, hatched, independence, instititutions, jo woestendiek, motherhood, mothers, nature, nursing homes, pets, photography, population, retirement homes, survival, wildlife
If that one got you all worked up — what with all that high energy and yapping — here’s one to calm you down again.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, baby duck, behavior, dog, dogs, duck, ducks, ducks and dogs, funny, interaction, interspecies, pets, terrier, video
The kindness of strangers has gotten Ozzie a long way. Now the Great Pyrenees — abandoned as a pup — is ready for his next big step.
Ozzie was one of three pups abandoned by a breeder. For five months, they wandered North Carolina’s coast, until a stranger coralled them and called Carolina Great Pyrenees Rescue.
The rescue’s president Martha Rehmeyer, of Winston-Salem, took the three brothers in.
The dogs were dirty and emaciated, didn’t trust people, and had never worn collars. They were also big — the gentle breed commonly surpasses the 100-pound mark.
Rehmeyer and other volunteers spent months training and socializing the pets and, once that was accomplished, Ozzie’s brothers, Big Um and Titan, quickly found adoptive homes.
But Ozzie didn’t, mainly because he walked funny – like a duck, Rehmeyer explained to the Winston-Salem Journal. His back paws splayed out at 90-degree angles. X-rays showed that the knee ligaments in his back legs weren’t properly developed. Ozzie underwent surgery on his right leg, to insert a pin that would hold his knee in place, and thereby straighten out one of his paws. A few months later he had the same surgery on his left leg. He’s now staying temporarily in Greensboro with a foster mom, Susan Tanzer, who calls him a “bionic” dog. The rescue organization is seeking a forever home for him.
Carolina Great Pyrenees Rescue charges a $250 adoption fee for each dog, an amount meant to cover the cost of spaying or neutering, as well as house training and socializing the animals for adoption.
Rehmeyer wouldn’t divulge how much Ozzie’s surgeries cost, saying that wasn’t important. “We do it for the love of the breed, for the love of the dogs.”
To learn about Ozzie and the rescue’s other dogs, visit its website.
(Photo courtesy of Carolina Great Pyrenees Rescue)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animals, big, bionic, carolina great pyrenees rescue, dog, dogs, duck, funny, great pyrenees, knee, large, legs, ligaments, malformed, martha rehmeyer, north carolina, ozzie, paws, pets, pin, pyr, pyrs, rescue, stray, surgery, veterinarian, veterinary, walked, white
Less than three hours after posting our contest, we’ve already got all five winners.
The winners will be getting a “Fido Friendly Holiday Feast” from K-9 Kraving, makers of the only USDA-certified, natural, vitamin enriched raw diet dog food.
The Fido Friendly Holiday Feast is a treat bag stuffed with the festive flavors of the holiday season – an 8 oz. bag of turkey and cranberry canine cookies, a sweet potato canine cookie, a duck and pumpkin canine cookie, and a K-9 Kraving flying disc thrown in so you and your dog can work off your meal.
Thanks to all that entered, and to K-9 Kraving for providing the prizes. Feel free to continue to play, but be advised all the prizes have been awarded.
Here are the correct answers.
2. Any of these
3. Any of these
7. Norah Jones
9. Owen Wilson
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: answers, contest, cranberry, dog treats, duck, feast, fido friendly, holiday, k-9 kraving, ohmidog!, pumpkin, raw diet dog food, sweet potato, treats, turkey, winners
A 1-year-old duck and a 7-year-old Labrador retriever have become best friends in Iowa.
Owner Tiffany Smith, 17, introduced Sterling the duck to Cleo the dog shortly after the duck’s mate died, and the two hit it off immediately. Smith says the animals are now inseparable and even eat and sleep together.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, buddies, dine, dog, dogs, duck, eat, friends, iowa, labrador, pets, relationships, retriever, sleep, together, video
An oldie but a goodie:
A woman brought a very limp duck into the office of a veterinary surgeon. She laid her pet on the table and the vet pulled out his stethoscope to listen to the bird’s chest.
After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, your duck has passed away.”
The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure,” replied the vet. “The duck is dead,” .
“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “He might just be in a coma or something.”
The vet left the room and returned a few minutes later with a Labrador Retriever.
As the duck’s owner looked on, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table, sniffed the duck and barked twice. The vet took the dog out of the room, returning with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and looked the duck over, then jumped back down and strolled out of the room.
The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, your duck is dead.”
Turning to his computer terminal, the vet hit a few keys and printed out a bill, which he handed to the owner.
“One hundred and fifty dollars!” she cried, “just to tell me my duck is dead?”
The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan it’s now $150.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bill, cat, dead, death, duck, humor, joke, jokes, lab, labrador, medical, report, retriever, scan, vet, veterinarian, veterinary