Little Lost Duckling
In May of 2018, Arkansas native Taylor, her fiance, and their dog were out on the deck of their home, enjoying dinner. They lived across from a lake, so when a white duck wandered into their yard, it wasn’t anything new. What was new, however, was the way this duck behaved.
Like Dog, Like Duck
The little white duck wouldn’t leave the couple's front yard, despite the playful harassment from their dog, Johnny. The duck would freak out a bit, but still wouldn’t fly away or retreat to the lake for safety. Instead, she’d follow Taylor around like a lost puppy.
Earning Her Trust
Taylor noticed that the duck was strangely trusting and very welcoming to human contact, so on a whim, she gave her some water. The duck gulped it down like she’d never had a drink before in her life. So, Taylor started feeding and watering the duck every day, and eventually, she was given a name.
While she cared for the duck, Taylor started calling her Dorothy. As Dorothy continued to recover, a few ideas of what had happened started popping into Taylor's head. She suspected that Dorothy had been an Easter gift that had been abandoned once she got too big or because her family didn’t want to take care of her anymore.
The American Pekin Duck
The family wasn't entirely sure what breed of duck Dorothy was, but their best guess was the American Pekin Duck. The American Pekins are a breed of domestic ducks that are usually raised for their meat, but it seems Dorothy was lucky enough to either escape that possibility.
Not Like Other Ducks
Right from the getgo, Dorothy was very clearly different from other ducks. She was social and always happy to see her new family, even running up to greet them after they came back from work. Taylor and her soon-to-be-husband tried to reintroduce her to the pond, even going so far as placing her in the water. Dorothy didn’t like the water and completely left the pond to return to the couple's home. She was strange, but that was part of her charm.
After a while of feeding her, Dorothy became a staple in the couple's lives. She was always happy and excited to see them, leaning against Taylor's legs, much like a dog would. Everything seemed to be going fine—until Dorothy disappeared.
Taylor waited a few days, but Dorothy didn’t return. Panic set in. It was in the midst of wedding planning, so stress was already high, and now one of her beloved animals was gone. She searched for a while, trying to find her missing duck. Any time she saw ducks similar to Dorothy, she’d run at them, hoping to find her, but the ducks flew away.
In Dire Condition
A while later, they found her. Near the pond across from their home, the couple found Dorothy. Dorothy had been attacked by something, and she lay bloody and unmoving near the water. They brought her back to their home and put her in a box, gently cleaning her wounds as Taylor tried calling vets to figure out what to do.
Road to Recovery
After calling around, Taylor found that it would be too expensive to take Dorothy to a vet for help. So, Dorothy stayed in the couple's home, and Taylor did her best to nurse her back to health. Taylor had her wedding and was forced to leave Dorothy at her home alone. Her brother-in-law was charged with coming to check on her and their dog. However, when they returned, Dorothy almost miraculously seemed completely healed and back to normal.
Joining the Family
Not knowing what had hurt Dorothy (and if it was still out there), Taylor moved her into their backyard. Dorothy seemed completely content and was given a food dish, a water bowl, and a small pool for her to get into. Taylor would check on Dorothy every morning and then move onto the garden with both Johnny and Dorothy trailing behind her. Dorothy was happy and safe with her new home.
Nemesis of the Neighbors
Taylor loved Dorothy, and Dorothy seemed to love her too, but life with Dorothy wasn’t without its problems. Every morning at about 6 a.m. Dorothy would start quacking loudly for food, and as she grew, she also became more vocal. That among a few other things made Taylor worry about how her neighbors would react. So, she began trying to find a new home for Dorothy.
A New Home
After a brief search, Taylor found that the perfect place for Dorothy was a lot closer than she’d thought. After asking around at work, Taylor's co-worker Ryan said he would take in Dorothy. Taylor just knew that she’d found Dorothy the perfect new home. So, in September 2018, Dorothy moved to her new home!
When Dorothy arrived at her new home, she found that she would never be alone. Ryan had other ducks and a group of mini Schnauzers that would keep Dorothy company. It wasn’t long before Dorothy settled in perfectly to her new home.
After a little while of Dorothy living with her new family, Ryan noticed something strange. He had seen Dorothy eating a banana peel, which isn’t exactly a typical snack for most ducks. So, he called Taylor up to try to clear up the confusion. Taylor was surprised and revealed that she’d shared bananas with Dorothy as a snack. It was amusing, and Dorothy still likes to enjoy the occasional banana as a nice snack.
Leader of the Pack
Soon, Dorothy set up shop as the head of Ryan’s pack of ducks. With a small pack of four total, Dorothy became the leader, which surprised him. It’s rare for female ducks to be seen as flock leaders, but Dorothy established herself prominently, and one of the males acts essentially as her second in command.
Playing With The Big Dogs
Another strange thing about Dorothy? She doesn’t run from fights. She’s scarred from fights and her near-death incident, but she’s not afraid. Ryan knows that his dogs like to play with the ducks; nothing dangerous, they just playfully chase the ducks. However, Dorothy didn’t run like the other ducks. Instead, she ducked her head and ran right at the dogs. It surprised both Russell and the dogs.
Living Her Best Life
Dorothy settled in easily with Russell and her new housemates. She’s been enjoying a life of company and comfort, and she isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon.