wings and things

Difficult decision

on February 6, 2013

Before I even took Gutsy9 to the vet today, I did a bit of research and discovered that his feet are slightly splayed, especially one, mostly due to being brought up inside rather than outside. The injury to his toe is insignificant in comparison to the structural damage caused by him mostly walking on a floor instead of grass and dirt.

The vet gave me some calcium mix for Gutsy9 (which of course he won’t eat!) but she and her consultant seemed to think his legs might never be normal. The photo I posted of Gutsy9 on the table was taken a few weeks ago. Since then, all of his toes have gradually become crooked and one leg goes backwards instead of forwards. It is possible, that he was born with a defect but I don’t know.

What I do know, however, is that he is unlikely to ever be able to survive outside. I took him out for 3 hours this afternoon and, if I hadn’t been watching, he would have been pecked to death by the adult peas and the gang, he would have drowned in the pond, or he would have been taken by a crow.

He is sitting on my lap now, nearly asleep, but cheeping more than usual. His legs don’t seem strong enough to hold his growing body and I am worried that he might be in pain.

Ming and I will decide tomorrow. I think we will have to put Gutsy9 down.

93 responses to “Difficult decision

  1. Oh Julie, I am so sorry. I know that Gutsy9 has brooding a lot of joy to your life, and it is NEVER easy to say goodbye to a beloved animal. Keeping a good thought…

  2. Good grief, that darn autocorrect–it was supposed to say “brought a lot of joy”–grrrrr…

  3. dealingwithcopd says:

    Julie, My heart goes out to you, your facing a difficult decision, that will have an impact. But as we know important decisions are always difficult. I am sure you and Ming will make the appropriate one, considering your needs and those of Gutsy. — Take care, Bill

  4. Oh that’s tough. Tough indeed. Is there someone perhaps, with less on their plate, who may wish to take him in and raise him? I’ve had wonderful people take and raise birds, calves and a lamb that all needed help beyond what I could give them.

    It takes strength, wisdom and kindness to end the suffering of another. Thinking of you all, and wishing you courage for the journey, and peace in your heart, no matter what your decision.
    Much love to you xx

  5. So don’t like this news. All strength in making that decision.

  6. victoriaaphotography says:

    I’m sorry to hear this news Julie, but know that you & Ming will make the right decision.

    Thinking of one’s own emotional pain before the physical health of a feathered friend fails, would be unthinkable.

    Kindness takes many forms and ending suffering before it becomes such that Gutsy could no longer stand would be one Kindness that you could deliver with a clear mind, if not an empty heart.

  7. TBM says:

    Oh no. I am so sorry. My thoughts are with all of you.

  8. Rachel's writing blog says:

    What did the vet say? Did they offer any hope? Maybe make a pen for him nearby on grass

  9. Rachel's writing blog says:


  10. niasunset says:

    I am so sorry… How sad story. Not easy decision I know, my thoughts are with you too. Love, nia

  11. Oh I’m so sorry Julie, not a fun thing to have to decide. I know you will make the right decision though… HUGS

  12. I am so sorry. You and Ming will make the hard decision and whatever it is it will be the right one. Gutsy-9 is extremely lucky to have a mother like you.:)

  13. Oh, no. This is so sad. I’m sorry.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh, that is sad, but possibly kinder in the end than the life that would lie ahead. Difficult decision. 😦

  15. bulldog says:

    Oh no I don’t want to hear that…

  16. rohan7things says:

    Aww, that’s terribly sad 😦 Still it’s better than him living in pain. You’ve shared some lovely times, and he’s brought smile to lot’s of people’s faces through your blog as well πŸ™‚

    Poor fella, he won’t be forgotten if you guys decide to put him down!

    Take care.


  17. We’ve grown as you have to love Gutsy9, but every ‘owner/parent’ of a beloved ‘pet’ needs to at some point make a decision like you’re faced with….If you need to, just realize what a special life he has had with you regardless of how long..and better you do it than he faces a not so pleasant demise…thoughts are with you Julie and Ming…Diane

  18. Probably going to be harder on you than on Gutsy.

  19. Years ago I found a baby Blue Jay that had “fallen out of the nest” and took it in. I raised it but it also had weak legs and couldn’t perch well. The vet told me that the mother probably saw this and pushed it out of the nest on purpose because there is a congenital malformation in some birds that the mother may have noticed. They can’t afford the energy to raise a bird that is deformed. I hadn’t noticed anything wrong and suspect it really was a vitamin D deficiency, which has now been found to contribute to weakness in the legs. It has been lovely to hear about the adventures of little Gutsy-9 and I don’t envy you the decision. Perhaps he’ll start eating the calcium chow and it will help.

  20. Oh, Julie, I am sorry. It’s so hard to take this decision. Gutsy has been quite special to you both.

  21. Jules, I am so sorry. I know he is your little feathered baby.

  22. robincoyle says:

    Oh dear. That kind of decision isn’t easy.

  23. Trisha says:

    Oh no. I can’t “like” this post. So sad. I’ll be thinking of you and wishing comfort and strength.

  24. terry1954 says:

    oh that is just so sad. What a terrible thing to have happen

  25. lucewriter says:

    Julie, I’m so sorry for what you and Gutsy9 are going through. Many hugs to you. What a sweet little blessing he’s been.

  26. Robyn Lee says:

    Oh my goodness Julie ~ this is so sad. The vet thinks it is really because he did not get to walk in natural environment through critical developmental period?? Or might he have just had this deformity from birth? I am keeping Gutsy9 and you and Ming in heart and prayer while you consider what to doe from here ~ xoxo RL

  27. Anonymous says:

    I am crying over here for you, for Ming, for Anthony and most of all for little 9. I know he has brought so much joy to you all but he has also managed to brighten many a day for me too.

  28. Among the hardest decisions of my life has been to have 3 of my dogs put down. I’m sorry. You will do what’s right for him, I know.

  29. viveka says:

    So sad news …. what a decision to take for you both. It has been a lovely journey I have been able to share .. with Gusty9 – I’m going to miss him! Heartbreaking news …. but you guys knows you birds better then we do.

  30. meagan mac says:

    NOOOOO! I’m so sorry, Julie.

  31. diannegray says:

    I’m so sorry, Julie 😦 Sometimes it’s kinder to do that than to let him suffer…

  32. To put it bluntly, that sucks. Darn it.

  33. elizabeth says:

    So sorry Julie.

  34. No poor Gutesy that is such terrible news but if it’s for the best then it has to be

  35. rumpydog says:

    I’m so sorry my friend….

  36. artsifrtsy says:

    Julie – I hope the pen works. When we were kids we hatched some geese and ducks in an incubator. One goose hatched while we were away for the weekend and the incubator was too short for it to stand upright. It’s legs were splayed and it was unable to stand. My mom used popsicle sticks to splint the gooses legs together so it could stand. It took about a week, but the goose recovered and lived a normal life.

  37. shoreacres says:

    It’s so hard when decisions like this have to be made. But, as so many noted, Gutsy’s dependent on you to do the right thing for him. So many little creatures die so soon, but it’s nature’s way of caring for them – and for the whole flock, or herd, or covey. When we rescue one that nature would have let go, sometimes we just have to bow to her wisdom.

    • jmgoyder says:

      I just looked at some earlier photos of G9 and can see now that one leg (quite apart from the toe injury), was wonky to begin with – argh, I am so stupid!

  38. Oh no! That makes me so sad. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.

  39. fgassette says:

    Praying for you.


  40. Julie, I am so sorry. I have just found that your posts have been going to my Spam… it hurt me that I didn’t know that all this time. I know it now. Love, Gloria/Granny Gee

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