A few days after I graduated from college, I was hiking in the Rocky Mountains and sprained my right ankle, jumping a creek. Just about the time it was finally feeling good again, I re-injured it walking out on a jetty of loose rocks, out into the Pacific Ocean. I don't remember how many times I had relapses but I think it took the entire summer for it to heal completely.
That is what the entire month of July has been for Helena, one of this years goslings. It has been exhausting for both of us. Since Helena is a farm goose, not a show goose or a golden goose, it was up to us (Helena and me) to figure out what to do for her. First, we had to google "bandaging a wing" (that actually went pretty well), then it was weakness after the next injury. We gave apple cider vinegar in her water and an essential oil (lavender) on the bottom of her feet. A few days later she looked great. After the next injury, her neck was compressed. That is when we started physical therapy. I would hold her in a slightly inclined forward position so gravity could help the neck release. I would support her jaw and hold ever so gently while she let go. That seemed to help but when we stopped, her neck would return to the compressed position. Next, I called my osteopathic practitioner for a consult. She said she thought there might be nerves involved, and suggested I spritz Helena with a low dose Homeopathic Hypericum solution. Amazingly, I had a 6x Hypericum in my collection of remedies. I also put a few drops in her drinking water. A couple of days later, she looked a little better.
All the time the treatment has been going on, I have to keep her in a safe place and give her maximum time with her buddies. It has been quite interesting watching how the others have been with her; calling her, staying by her side, dad watching over physical therapy, all of them hissing at me when I pick Helena up but not intruding. Gretta, the sheep, has been hanging closer than usual but more out of the way. The geese don't mind the extra grain involved. I have had to keep hiding the grain when I want to just give it to Helena; under a towel, under my shirt, in a bucket... but the geese catch on quickly and follow me about getting under foot.
One would think that with all the time Helena and I have spent together, we would be good buddies. Not the case. She runs when she sees me coming. She settles down while on my lap but doesn't like to stay long. As she has gotten better, she resists her exercises but gets more stretching because she is able to do more each day. Her balance is better and she can take baths again and preen herself.
So what is the lesson in all of this? I am not sure for Helena but for me it is this: Life is fragile. Animals and People all around me have cares and struggles. We all need to take care of each other in the big times and the little times. Love and patience for all! Another form of reciprocity.