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Friday, October 21, 2011

Rest Peacefully, My Cheyenne.

As most of you know, seeing that my readers mostly consist of our poultry loving facebook friends, Cheyenne passed away a few days ago.

I sent her and Goonie to their outside pen. I noticed the grass was overgrown and made a metal note to cut it later. A day later Cheyenne wasn't acting like herself. She wouldn't tuck her head in her wing as she slept. She wasn't upbeat and excited as usual. She wasn't "talking" to me as she always did. I knew something was wrong. She then stopped eating and would only lay down between drinking excessive amounts of water. Her poop turned into a bright green pastel liquid.... almost fluorescent. I brought her out at one point. She wouldn't follow me. She walked painfully to my dark closet, laid down, and rested her beak on the floor. I brought her to my lap and she hung her head limp over my legs.
I had my husband come home early from work and immediately took her to an Avian veterinarian an hour away. I wasn't sure what was wrong, but thought maybe she had eaten something outside that was stuck in the grass... unseen by me. My suspicions were confirmed when I took her from her cage and found undigested grass she had spit up, which was woven with a piece of plastic bag. We payed a decent vet bill. She was hospitalized, examined and given xrays and radiographs at the hospital while we waited not so patiently at home for a phone call.
A few hours later the vet phoned to pick her up. The Xrays clearly showed mass in her stomach and lower intestinal tract. It actually looked like plastic bag. We were sent home with antibiotics, syringes, and liquid fiber to see if she passed anything over night. I was expected to report back the next morning with any results and if she hadn't passed anything, we were looking at surgery. My poor baby was wrapped up in a towel, with water leaking out her beak like a dripping faucet. I hoped it was the pain meds. But, it wasn't.

When we arrived home, I had her in my arms. I tried giving her a dose of fiber, which clearly upset her and caused her to pass out in my arms. I told her to come back to me, and she did. I placed her back in her cage. She began throwing up water. I knew then that she was badly impacted and not even water was making it to her digestive tract. I hoped for the best and went to bed three hours after our return from the vet. I laid in bed and cried for a few minutes until I heard her cage walls get banged around. I jumped out of bed and ran to her as fast as my legs would take me. My thoughts immediately told me "seizure".
And it was. I grabbed her up in my arms. Asked my husband for a moment alone. I showered her in my tears. Told her how much a loved her. How much joy she brought to me every day. And I told her to take flight with her friends Desi and Fritz, who recently went to Rainbow Bridge. Right after I said that I felt her soul leave her body. She was gone. She was gone forever. She died looking me straight in the eye. I was the last thing she saw and felt. I'm so thankful she left feeling the comfort of my love surround her. I have never cried so hard in my life as I did hovering over her that night.

Her radiographs were sent to an expert at UC Davis.  He reviewed them the day after he death and said that even had she gone under surgery immediately, she probably wouldn't have made it through.  I did everything I could.
It has been several days. I miss her so much. There is nothing easy about losing a companion with so much personality that was with you every waking and sleeping minute... a companion you expected to have with you for years to come. But I'm thankful I was able to say goodbye. Each day brings a bit more comfort. We've got a ways to go. Goonie also lost her "mom", as she imprinted on her and not I, but she's coming around, poor girl. I will look into getting her another friend, but not just yet. This was hard to write! Ugh.
A huge thanks to all who cared so much about her and for the support you gave.  It helped a lot.
(please forgive any typos and bad writing.... I can't bring myself to proof read).


  1. Hello, I am Bonnie and Clydes "mom". Alisa. It took me a bit to get the courage to read your tragic story. How so painful for you to go through and the helplessness you must of felt. My heart goes out to you. I cried reading what you wrote so I can only imagine what you went through living it.


  2. My name is Laura and I have Cuddles my beakless duck, We all send our love and I wish you the best memories and peace. I am so sorry to hear for your loss, I am sure she is waiting for you in a glade of wonderful greens enjoying the rainbow bridge of love! Much love and memories from all of my babies to you and Cheyenne.

  3. My heart hurts for you, darling. I just bought blue black acrylic paint today especially for the painting of Cheyenne I plan to do for you.

    Yesterday, I sat on my kitchen floor with Juneberry in my lap, giving her a back rub... I told her about Cheyenne and how much she ment to you, and that Cheyenne was the reason I got her, and I swear she understood me and the sadness I was feeling, because she leaned her sweet warm body into my stomach and, unusual for her, stopped nibbling on me for a few minutes.

    Your experience with Cheyenne has touched many people around the country, and she will not be forgotten, lovely one.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss! Cheyenne was a beautiful duck, and I looked forward to reading about her and Goonie. I live where I can't have a duck of my own, so she was the closest thing that I have; hearing this news has hit me really hard as well. I'm going to go clean up the local duck park in her honor this week, and make sure this won't happen to any of the lovely ducks there. My thoughts are with you.


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