wings and things

The loss of Gutsy 9, our pet peahen

on April 17, 2015

The evening before last, Ming found Gutsy 9’s body just in front of his shed. He came over to the house to tell me that he wasn’t quite sure that it was Gutsy but he’d taken the body to the woodpile. He had two friends over to stay, so he said they would leave me alone and they retired to his shed.

Once the boys had gone, I did the crying thing, then I took a torch and went out to the woodpile, but I couldn’t find her, so I came back inside and cried some more. I felt bewildered, because, despite the danger of wild foxes, the peafowl have always ranged free because they can fly up and away. Our dogs, too, had become so used to their presence that they would drink from the same water trough.

I will never know what happened that evening, or how it happened, but at dawn yesterday I went over to the woodpile and there she was – her crooked left foot and her white feathers making it easy to identify her body. I picked her up, but couldn’t find where she had been wounded; her eyes were closed and her neck flopped against mine in a last hug.

As a pied peachick (half white, half blue) G9 was rejected by her mother nearly three years ago, so I raised her, and we all loved her. Just the other day, we had some visitors and I picked her up and put her on my lap and she purred her unique hello.



I feel absolutely devastated, but am now beginning to appreciate G9’s fantastic presence in our lives … in retrospect – my beautiful bird.


53 responses to “The loss of Gutsy 9, our pet peahen

  1. Ms. Boice says:

    Oh how sad I was to read this. Such devastating news. You had a wonderful experience with Gutsy. Such a treasure to remember.

  2. tersiaburger says:

    What can I say? Hugs and much love my dear friend.

  3. Vicki says:

    So sorry to hear about Gutsy’s death, Julie.
    I know she was part of your family and brought a lot of joy into your life at a difficult time.

    And I’m sure your followers will miss her as well.

    I guess it’s no consolation, but at least you have some great photos to remember her by.


  4. So sad, I remember your stories and I was fond of her

  5. Oh Julie, I am so saddened. It was like he was a ‘virtual’ pet to so many, including me. That likely sounds silly, but for me very true…. I’m so sorry for you as you were his ‘adopted mother’…. Diane

  6. Rhonda says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Gutsy’s passing Jules. She was a beautiful part of your feathered family with a special place in your heart. She’ll be missed. xoxo

  7. Yvonne says:

    Oh, what a sad thing to happen, losing a most unique friend.

  8. KDKH says:

    I’m so sorry. How devastating. It’s amazing what a wonderful influence pets can have, even when they aren’t in our laps and beds. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

  9. Oh no no no 😦

  10. mimijk says:

    Oh I am so, so sorry – how these stories of Gutsy melted all of our hearts and gave s uch joy. Over time, I hope those memories serve as a blessing.

  11. goodbye Gutsy9 — you were one lucky peahen to be so loved

  12. Amy says:

    I’m sad for you. A couple of nights ago I had a dream about bird Etta’s death. She was a beautiful cockatiel that I had for years who died shortly after I moved. I was so sad in the dream, and now I know why. I must have been have sympathy pains for you. 😦

  13. bulldog says:

    Such sad news… I remember well all your posts on the bird… hell is it nearly 3 years now…? How time flies

  14. Hugs for you Julie. ❤ I'm so sorry for your loss.
    Diana xo

  15. D. Parker says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. G9 left you, but left you with many memories. 🙂

  16. so sad to hear this Julie. You must be devastated. thinking of you and sending a cyber hug

  17. Oh how sad. You are going to miss her very much.

  18. frangipani says:

    I’m so sorry she’s gone. I feel privileged to have known her through you.

  19. Oh no, I’m so sorry to read this. Sending you lots of love.

  20. Rae says:

    My condolences! I will really miss Gutsy! She was a true inspiration!

  21. I’m so sorry to hear that, Julie. We all loved your Gutsy. You gave her a good life.

  22. Trisha says:

    I am so sorry, Julie. It’s so hard to lose our pets, especially the ones that are extra special and Gutsy9 was definitely that. You gave her a good life and so much love. May knowing that she lived her life so surrounded by love bring you some comfort. Hugs to you, dear Julie. I will hold you and Gutsy9 close to my heart during these difficult days.

  23. Judy says:

    I am crying. What a loss! I’m so sorry, Julie.

    • Judy says:

      I also wanted to add – if you email me a favorite photo of her, I will make you an art print. It would be a pleasure for me to do that for you.

  24. Terry says:

    I didn’t click on like because this post broke my heart. I will never forget him. So sorry for your loss. He was a great Gutsy9

  25. niasunset says:

    I am crying now, you made me to love her, I met with her in your amazing writtten posts, and also lovely photographs. I know the story… I am so sorry to hear this dear Julie, But it was the most beautiful expeerience with her, never will be forgotten… Hugs and love, nia

  26. I’m so sorry, Julie. I was feeling the pain.

  27. ksbeth says:

    awww , i’m sorry –

  28. So sorry for your loss, Julie! Our pets are our dear friends indeed. x

  29. susanpoozan says:

    So very very sorry for you in your loss.

  30. tootlepedal says:

    I shall miss Gutsy after you have made us so familiar with her.

  31. So regal Julie. I love the one with Anthony. I’m so sorry.

  32. Sad, but heartwarming. Beautiful post Julie.

  33. gutsy was one lucky little bird who had 3 yrs of love and care, a short life but well lived life my friend. i am so sorry for your loss.

  34. As soon as I saw the title of the post I was upset, this is terrible news

  35. batgurrl says:

    J – OMG I am crying right now & my husband is wondering what is wrong with me. I am so sorry. But remember she is in bird heaven waiting for us all. Robiin

  36. My Heartsong says:

    Sad to hear-enjoyed the stories about this little one.Sorry for your loss.

  37. Oh Jules I am so sorry!!! My heart is filled with so much sadness so I can only imagine how you feel. As I looked at the pictures they did make me smile and feel better so I am confident that as you think back on your time with Gutsy-9 you will smile once more at all the love she gave you. Big Hugs Jules xx

  38. My heart goes out to you. I know she had a very special place in your heart. So many of “us” loved to see and read about her. I think we all need/want a little “Gutsy” in our life.

  39. paulaacton says:

    Not hitting like as I am in tears for you, it is so hard that sometimes the most precious things are only with us for such a short time, so sorry for your loss

  40. janeslog says:

    Poor thing. She might have got a fright and it caused her heart to stop. Very sad.

    I was once listening to a BBC Scotland radio programme and a farmer being interviewed said he leaves waterproof shower radios in his fields when his lambs are young. He leaves them on at night and it stops the foxes going near the lambs as they think people are there.

    You might like to try the shower radios to stop foxes.

  41. dogdaz says:

    They come into our lives for such short times. But we get to love each one in their special way. What a nice photo with Anthony. – Your friends at DogDaz Zoo

  42. Tiny says:

    So sorry Julie. Your pictures and stories about her were wonderful. Now you have the memories and the pictures to remember her by.

  43. So sorry. Sometimes it is surprising to discover just how much someone’s presence meant in our life–even an animal. And animals have a way of touching our hearts. I’m sure Gutsy knew how much you loved her. Sending you hugs and thoughts of peace.

  44. Oh, no! That is so sad. You had so much love and care invested in her. 😦 Poor thing.

  45. Lisa Rest says:

    So saddened by this I can’t find any more words. Gutsy knew you loved her and in her own way she returned the favor many times.

  46. Luanne says:

    Oh my gosh, Julie. I read your post after this and saw you mention Gutsy and rushed over to this post. I am crying for her and for you and your family. What a wonderfully charismatic member of your family she’s been!!! xo

  47. lensgirl53 says:

    Special hugs, Julie….my condolences.

  48. Lynda says:

    How awful, Julie. We all loved to hear of her day to day triumphs in the beginning of her life and how you helped her to cope and grow to be the lovely peahen she’d become. I am so very sorry this happened. (((O)))

  49. Judith Post says:

    Oh, crap! This just stinks. I’ve grown so fond of Gutsy, it’s Kleenex time for me. I’m so sorry you lost her. She was special.

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