Peggy's experience is a testament to the complex emotions of waterfowl. Peggy was supposed to arrive to the sanctuary with her sister Ethel, though the condition of that sister was too poor to withstand the transport. Unfortunately, euthanasia was the only compassionate option, and we were never able to meet her sister Ethel. Peggy was very distraught for months after losing her sister and being transported somewhere new, and she often called out for her, choosing to isolate herself rather than make new friends here at the sanctuary.
After a long period of mourning her sister, Peggy began to settle into the flock and socialize. Within a few months of her new life we noticed that she had trouble walking. We had two x-rays done on her legs to determine that she had degenerative arthritis, for which she was treated with anti-inflammatory medication and a therapy chair that she used periodically. This treatment helped her walk very well, and she never had to rely on a wheelchair!
When we accepted Hope into our flock, another disabled Pekin, she & Peggy became fast friends. Though their disabilities made them less active than other ducks, they still enjoyed many activities together, such as swimming, eating, resting, and even sleeping together side-by-side each night in the coop. When Hope passed away from her disability in March 2023, Peggy followed her best friend soon after. I believe that Peggy, Hope, and Ethel have all reunited beyond the rainbow bridge and are swimming and preening together happily and pain-free.