Simon and Corinne had an interesting week here at the MacKenzie-Childs Estate. It culminated in Simon taking her first real car ride, and even more people seeing and falling in love with our “Princess.”

A little back story. We have an area on the estate called the Chicken Palace. Back in the day, it housed all sorts of exotic birds but now we just keep a few chickens, our flock of geese, and Sherman the peacock. The entire building used to be devoted to geese but a few years ago, when we got sheep, we put a fence down the middle of the goose yard and divided it into a sheep side and a bird side. Our reasoons were twofold; the geese had grown increasingly less friendly (as geese are wont) and the sheep would eat all the goose food if given access (not good for their digestion, health, and figures!). Additionally, everyone wanted to visit the sheep, especially after lambs were born, and the geese tended to harass anyone who entered their enclosure. A few years into this arrangement, we adopted Simon.

Simon has never been with the other geese. Geese maintain a pecking order and none of us could bear to see Simon run the gauntlet; also, if we incorporated her in with the rest of the geese, in all likelihood, she would grow less friendly as time passed. For a while Simon was content to live separate from the rest of the animals. We built a special pen for her in the Estate barn and all was good. However, geese are flock animals; after her first season laying eggs, Simon changed. She was no longer content in her singles condominium, no matter how plush. Because of the the whole bullying thing, we were unwilling to have her integrate with the other geese. Our solution was to make a little fort for her on the sheep side. It was a perfect solution. She had the sheep as friends and could pseudo mingle with her species. That brings us to this past week’s unfortunate event.

Boys will be boys and even sheepy (former) boys get rambunctious sometimes. Over the weekend Corinne came in to work to discover that Simon was having difficulties doing her yoga  (the beautiful wing spread and flap thing she likes to do after bathing and preening). In addition, she was absolutely frantic around the sheep. Our conclusion was that one of the sheep (we are talking about you, Duncan) decided to chase and butt poor Simon. Absolutely normal sheep behavior. Not knowing quite the problem, we separated Simon from the sheep by building a little fence inside the fence and gave her a few days to see if her left wing got better. Simon was a little off feed but was drinking and behaving normally otherwise. By Tuesday, we decided we were not confident she was progressing toward normal wing movement and considered how to get help.

We are very fortunate to be 30 miles from Cornell University, home of one of the top Veterinary Schools in the world. After a few phone calls we had an appointment for Wednesday. Since this winter is being an old-fashioned snowy, cold winter, we had to cancel due to impassable road conditions. Provided with a rescheduled early Thursday morning (Corinne did NOT sleep) appointment, we bundled Simon into a cozy, new box and commenced our epic journey. Following is a photo diary of the rest of the story…

We took Simon to the Exotic Animals Division of the Companion Animal Hospital

Simon was a perfect passenger. She never made a peep. Corinne was a little nervous as we entered the doors of the Hospital

We signed in “Simon MacKenzie-Childs” and waited patiently for our turn

Corinne and Simon kept each other calm. So many dogs were also waiting to be seen! That made them (Corinne and Simon) a little concerned. But they were very quiet and did not draw attention to themselves.

Amanda, a 4th-year vet student, assisted Dr. Tarbert in her very gentle and thorough examination of Simon’s general health.

Dr. Danielle Tarbert is an exotic animal veterinarian who divides her time between Cornell and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. Here she is testing the flexibility of Simon’s uninjured wing.

Look very carefully at the circled area. This is Simon’s radiograph showing her broken ulna. As you can see it has already started knitting back together.

Simon, back home and happy, standing in her water dish because we cannot let her bandage get wet. She will sport this jaunty red (for Valentine’s Day) bandage until we go back for a follow-up next Tuesday.

So, this story has a definite silver lining. Simon is going to be fine. Dr Tarbert bound her wing to ensure it would heal properly. We were very relieved it did not require surgery (I am not sure Corinne would have survived that). We also found out Simon is a really good car passenger. Maybe Corinne can take her on vacation with her…

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One Response to Simon’s Amazing Adventure

  1. Kim Salley says:

    Well, that was a little stressful and I couldn’t read fast enough with the tears welling up for both Simon & Corrine…so, happy to hear all is well and that both Simon/Simone and Corrine ,) are on the mend! Phew…now that would make a cute little children’s story book…just saying!
    Thinking of you all -as always,
    Kim xoxoxo