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Allen6764

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Posts: 1
 #1 
My wife and I bought a house a year ago this month. With the house came two white Muscovy Ducks, one male and one female. The female eventually became my favorite duck. Their coop needed work. The first night we owned the home, we came over to find 4 raccoons in the coop! We fixed the problems with the coop, one after another, over the past year. Finally we were down to pretty much just one problem area where animals could get in. We temporarily "fixed" the issue. Then, last week, I noticed something was getting back into the coop. Two nights in a row something had gotten inside. I did nothing but talk about fixing the problem. Animals had gotten in before, and all they ever did was eat the ducks' food. Muscovies are also known for being large (about the size of a goose) and tough (some chicken farmers use them to protect their flock from predators; there are anecdotal stories of them chasing off coyotes!).

Two nights ago, I checked on the ducks at midnight and they were fine. They were up on their perch (Muscovies perch in trees in the wild). I went back out at 2am and found Pretzel, the female duck, dead. She had been killed by a raccoon. I have never felt like I had caused the death of a living thing that I did not intend to cause. These ducks trusted us to protect them and I failed them. The former owners of the property and the ducks trusted us to protect them. And we failed them. In particular, I failed them.

I have sobbed probably a dozen times since Pretzel's death 48 hours ago. I never thought I would feel this way about a bird. I was already depressed at the beginning of the week, and now this has hit hard. Pretzel was a beautiful bird. A graceful flier. Always a hungry girl. And of course, the mate of the other duck, Mo. I am not sure when I will be able to move on from this...
Butch

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Posts: 17
 #2 
I'm very sorry to hear what happened to Pretzel.  It sounds like you loved her very much.  I think it was reasonable for you to believe that the ducks were not in any immediate danger, and it's obvious that if you had thought they were you would have fixed their coop sooner.  So I don't see that this is in any way your fault. 
grievingmom

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Posts: 639
 #3 
When we are part of the reason that our pet has died, the guilt is unbearable. it is going to take a while (months at the least) for you to gain some perspective on this. 

I had an experience with my cat Pearl where for years I couldn't deal with the fact that I was partly to blame for her death.

I am still not happy about what happened but I know I was not the root cause of why she died.

And you will come to that understanding with Pretzel too.

When you begin to, living with her death and how it occurred will be much easier for you to live with.


yippee1999

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Posts: 21
 #4 
I would have to reiterate that I too see no reason for you to be blaming yourself, even partially.  As you said, in the past all the raccoons would do would be eat the ducks' food.  Also, you said that muscovy can be the size of geese, and we all know how aggressive geese can be, on land.  And you indicated that muscovy are often used to protect farms.  So I think it was very reasonable, that you thought the ducks could 'take care of themselves'.

Also, is it not possible that it was not in fact a raccoon that got to the duck?  Do you have coyote or anything in your area?

Either way, you obviously cared for the duck, and if you seriously thought they were in any risk of danger, you would have tended to the coop sooner.  Sadly, sometimes in life bad things simply happen, through no fault of our own..
yippee1999

Registered:
Posts: 21
 #5 
I would have to reiterate that I too see no reason for you to be blaming yourself, even partially.  As you said, in the past all the raccoons would do would be eat the ducks' food.  Also, you said that muscovy can be the size of geese, and we all know how aggressive geese can be, on land.  And you indicated that muscovy are often used to protect farms.  So I think it was very reasonable, that you thought the ducks could 'take care of themselves'.

Also, is it not possible that it was not in fact a raccoon that got to the duck?  Do you have coyote or anything in your area?

Either way, you obviously cared for the duck, and if you seriously thought they were in any risk of danger, you would have tended to the coop sooner.  Sadly, sometimes in life bad things simply happen, through no fault of our own..
yippee1999

Registered:
Posts: 21
 #6 
I would have to reiterate that I too see no reason for you to be blaming yourself, even partially.  As you said, in the past all the raccoons would do would be eat the ducks' food.  Also, you said that muscovy can be the size of geese, and we all know how aggressive geese can be, on land.  And you indicated that muscovy are often used to protect farms.  So I think it was very reasonable, that you thought the ducks could 'take care of themselves'.

Also, is it not possible that it was not in fact a raccoon that got to the duck?  Do you have coyote or anything in your area?

Either way, you obviously cared for the duck, and if you seriously thought they were in any risk of danger, you would have tended to the coop sooner.  Sadly, sometimes in life bad things simply happen, through no fault of our own..
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