Duck Amuck

For weeks now, some of our Waters neighbors have been seeing Aflac on Sweet Tea lake, or Jake Lake. I’ve been skeptical because Aflac can’t fly and it seems unimaginable that he could walk that far to another lake. Plus this mystery duck has been cavorting with GEESE, and Aflac hangs exclusively with mallards and wood duck in Lake Cameron.

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These be my PEEPS!

For non-neighbors, I refer you to an earlier post where I introduced our celebrity water fowl last October.

https://kittybunnychicken.com/2016/06/10/animal-updates/

So imagine my surprise when I spotted a white duck among a flock of geese in Lake Sweet Tea this morning. Well I’ll be gobsmacked! Aflac CAN walk and he DOES enjoy the company of geese!

And then I got a little closer…

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Notice the black on his tail.

The picture is fuzzy since I couldn’t get very close, but this new “duck” is completely white and he has black feather’s on his tail. You wouldn’t see the black spot at all if you saw him swimming with his geese buddies, so from a distance he would look almost exactly like Aflac. I did a few tests to confirm my suspicions that he was indeed NOT our pet duck and then I was convinced. First I called him. AAAAAAFFFLAAAAAAC! You’ve no doubt heard a deranged middle-aged mad-woman screaming off her front porch several days a week. When I call for this guy he answers me…WAAAANK, WANK! And he makes a bee-line for my cup full of corn. This fellow walked calmly away from the crazy lady and didn’t even look back.

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Is this chick for real?

Another clue to his identity was that he does not waddle like our portly friend. Aflac is, shall we say, “gravitationally challenged” and he walks much like yours truly after a very long and heavy Thanksgiving dinner. This guy strolls smoothly like his geese pals. And the final piece of the puzzle…although I couldn’t capture it on camera, our new friend “flew” a bit as he made his way to the water.

Aflac can’t fly. 😦

So who is this new member of the Waters’ family?

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I’m a Snow Goose you dummy!

I googled “white duck with black tail” and was able to identify this guy. Wikipedia has some interesting info on his migration patterns. Knock yourself out.

This information explains his propensity to hang with geese as well. So I say welcome neighbor! We hope you have fun here on your layover and we’d love it if you’d stay a while. There’s always room in Aflac’s posse for another birdy buddy.

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And don’t be skeered of that weird lady. She feeds us CORN!

The next order of biz-ness is naming our new friend. Ideas?

(A kind neighbor, Tina, corrected his breed. He’s a Ross’ Goose. Exactly the same duck but a smaller size.) Thanks Tina! So with this new information I think the name of our new friend is clear.

ROSS he is! Now we need to find him a “Rachel”. 🙂

Buster Burlingame 2007-2017

Buster crossed the rainbow bridge today. He had been sick for a very long while and with the help of our beloved vet, Dr. Glasscock, we attempted all kinds of remedies and treatments. During the last year he’s had a variety of illnesses but this last one was hard to treat and he was not getting better. It’s called “head tilt”. I won’t go into the details here, but it’s a difficult disease to treat. It causes them to lose their equilibrium and their heads are turned at an angle.

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Notice his head is almost upside down. This was his last day outdoors.

Eventually he could not get upright and Jim had to feed him by hand and give him water in a plastic syringe. He stopped using his litter box so we had to keep him clean by washing his bottom in the sink. He quit eating his pellets and hay and would only eat salads. Jim got up in the middle of the night to give him a salad in case he was hungry.

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Eventually we realized that it was time to let go of our sweet little pet. Buster lived with us for nine and a half years. He made his home in the laundry room and played outdoors in our backyard on nice weather days. He made friends with chickens, ducks, cats, kittens, turtles and dogs.

This morning he had lost the ability to move around and he looked very tired and sad.

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I had been thinking that we should let him go for a few weeks but Jim wanted to try everything before he came to that decision. After seeing his condition when we woke up, he said, “It’s time”. We spent the morning taking turns holding and petting him. Buster never liked to be held but without any control over his movement we were able to put him in our laps and pet his soft fur. He seemed to enjoy it. It’s the only time we were ever able to hold him like that.

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First Easter!

He provided so many years of love, humor and gentleness to our family. He tolerated pesky kittens and baby chicks. He allowed us to indulge our silly human indignities.

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Buster and Scarlett

We took him to Dr. Glasscock and carried a small piece of banana with us. We broke it into pieces and fed it to him while we waited in the exam room. He loved it. He seemed peaceful and relaxed. After it was over, we took him home and buried him in our pet cemetery. I put his memorial bunny on his grave and Jim got Boo Boo’s bunny from hers and put them together.

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Some of you may remember Boo Boo. She was a very sweet little sister to Buster and they really loved each other. Now they’re together with Dave, Missy, Boots, Rosie, Daisy & Violet…and Hannah.

 

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Buster and his best friend Boo Boo. She died five years ago. 😦

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Good bye sweet Buster Man. We’ll miss you, Mommy, Daddy, Rowdy, Sammy, Tony & Mr. Mulder.

One Year

Today we are going to chop down our Christmas tree. This has been a family tradition for almost every year of our marriage. Jim pretends to be a lumberjack and he saws down a mighty pine tree with his manly saw.  Later he poses beside his “kill” and we have great fun dragging it home and decorating.

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Christmas 2014

 

Continuing this tradition last year was nearly impossible, but we knew we had to do it. Hannah would have wanted that.

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Christmas 2015

Our family has goofy Christmas traditions just like any other. We always “forced” her to pose with one of our menagerie for a Christmas card.

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Christmas 2007 Hannah & Boots

 

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Christmas 2011

Hi Daisy! 🙂

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Hannah & Tony 2014

 This year has changed us. Hannah left us a year ago to be with God in Heaven and we remain to create the best life we can on Earth without her. We are trying. For anyone who has not lost a child there is no way to explain the grief. But overcoming it is possible in some small way if we try to be strong and live a life Hannah would be proud of. We’ve experienced miracles and wonders this year. Recalling them here would make a list that some would shake their heads at. I’ll just leave you with this promise: God has wrapped his arms around us and shown us that Hannah is with him, and that we will see her again. Those who know Jim and me, know that we have never been religious people. We still aren’t. But we have been shown the secret of life that was always right before our eyes.

All there is…is Love.

That sustains us. We feel it from God and from the loving family and friends who have helped us through this experience.

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The Burlingame family wishes you and your loved ones a warm and happy Christmas.

God bless you Hannah B. We know He already has. Love, Mommy & Daddy

Buster Under the Weather

Buster is nine years old. Bunnies usually live to be around ten, so we weren’t surprised when he began to have “old man” problems. For a couple of years, he has slowed down in his rambunctiousness in the yard. He’s gotten a bit gray around the face and his appetite has dwindled from what it was in his youth. He also makes “old man” noises now. (So does Jim) But lately Buster has actually been quite sick on top of being old, and Jim and I are making efforts to get him well and keep him comfortable.

It started with the sniffles and some weight loss. We took him to see Dr. Glasscock as soon as we saw these symptoms.

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Hi Dr. G.

She gave him a thorough exam including poking his tummy to see if he had internal problems.

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That Tickles!

She put him on an antibiotic to clear up his sinus infection and a probiotic to keep his digestive tract moving. As you can imagine he HATES this. I have to wrap his little body in a towel while Jim administers the meds. Other than that, Dr. G said to keep him quiet and comfortable and give him lots of affection.

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We do this anyway. 🙂

Things got worse from there. He completed the course of antibiotics and his cold/sinus infection seemed better, but then he started having equilibrium problems (falling over, stumbling when he hopped, etc.) and he completely stopped eating pellets and hay. He also, quit using his litter box altogether since he couldn’t balance enough to get in it. So we went back to Dr. G.

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We’ve got to stop meeting like this.

This time she gave him an X-ray. She didn’t even have to sedate him since he was too weak to struggle. She checked for internal issues, especially his teeth which can become ingrown cause serious pain for bunnies. She saw nothing of concern on the X-ray but she found he had lost a half pound since his last visit. She instructed us on how to grind his pellets and mix them with apple juice and force feed him. She put him on a different antibiotic and continued probiotic.

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Buster’s personal herb garden

She wanted us to try to let him have some exercise in the yard to help his digestion. (he basically stopped pooping, sorry, TMI?)

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That’s too embarrassing mom!

Jim fixed up our office for the bunny ICU. There’s more room in there, plus the kitties like hanging out with him here.

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Sammy & Mulder supervise

Despite our efforts, he’s not gaining weight and he seems unable to eat anything but very soft, fresh herbs and small pieces of fruit. He does NOT seem to be in any pain, and we both feel like he still has a good quality of life. When the time comes to let him go, we will. It will be very sad, but we are well versed in this area, and will do what needs to be done for our sweet little guy. We’ve had him since he was a baby and he has enriched our lives immeasurably. In the meantime, Buster remains the most pampered wabbit on the planet. Dr. G gave him a very nice massage before we left her office, and as you can see from this short video, Buster was in Heaven. 🙂

Love you Buster Man!

 

Adieu Mew Mew

 

Max found a forever home!

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Can’t he stay here?

Sorry Mr. Mulder. Max has a new home and a new mommy. Why don’t you give him a good bath before she comes so he’ll be fresh and clean?

Good Job Mulder!

We will miss you very much Little Max. You have been the smartest, sweetest little foster kitten we’ve ever had! (except for Mr. M of course)

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Savannah and her grandmom, my friend Judy.

I know Max will squirm into your heart and be a good brother to Pikachu!

I love a happy ending. 🙂

This is Your Kitten

This is your kitten on drugs.

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No, he’s just loses all muscle control when he sleeps. 🙂

Meet Max, my awesome foster kitten!

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Max has entered our home and our hearts.

This is one awesome guy, and he has taken control of the B’game household.

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…and then there were FIVE!

A kind neighbor found Max roaming around her house. He was scared and sad, but in pretty good shape for a homeless guy. After she delivered him to the Burlingame kittybunnychicken rescue ranch and turtle rehabilitation center, his luck began to change.

His first friend in the house was Mr. Mulder.

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At first Mulder was not sure about this little hellion.

But then…

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They became true friends

Of course Max’s BEST friend is Jim.

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Max’s favorite spot.

Soon he began finding all the secret hideouts of our other cats.

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Rowdy’s super secret retreat on the closet deep freeze! Invaded by a little fur ball!

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And Mulder’s laundry basket hide-a-way!

But Max’s idyllic lifestyle is about to take a very different turn…

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What???

Yes. Today I took him back to the shelter to get his SURGERY!

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Noooooo!

It’s OK Max. Go with this nice lady and I’ll pick you up tomorrow afternoon. After that, this guy is ready to be adopted from my house. Come one, come all, and make this amazing creature your newest family member! He’s been trained by Mr. Mulder and he will be a wonderful little pet. Hang tuff Max! See you tomorrow! Foster Mommy, Deb