Wednesday 21 March - Today Stumpy went to live outside. We sorted him out an old duck house and made his pen out of some spare heras fencing which was laying around and then it was time to see the big outdoors. He thought it was great. We paired him up with Alice and after some training on how to get up and down the ramp to get in to their house they had it sussed.
Thursday 29 March - A busy day today. In the morning a trip to Stroud School in Romsey to see the pre-school children in Miss Joiner's class. Stumpy is so tame that he was quite willing to waddle up close and cosy and have lots of strokes and cuddles from a lot of the children - perhaps he thinks he's a cat rather than a duck??**!! As you can see he loves the trip out in the car, seat belt on of course, but he insists on a window seat!! Another visit today from the Daily Echo in order to do a video story to cover Stumpy's first official swim on his pond. The guys from the Echo turned up at just before 6pm and after lots of hilarious moments (they do always say "never film animals or children") the footage was shot. Stumpy is getting to be quite an exhibitionist and definitely into posing and "doing his own thing"! Thanks so much to Jon Lewis and his colleagues for making the evening enjoyable and being patient with us and Stumpy! Do dial up www.dailyecho.co.uk and go in to Videos and Podcasts to see the video.
Tuesday 3 April - a trip to ITV This Morning in London to take part in Pets Morning. This was very enjoyable and all the others pets were absolutely adorable. Many thanks to Guyani and all at Studio 8 for making us feel so welcome and looking after us so well. We returned home for Stumpy to do his Photo Call with Barry Batchelor of the Press Association and I think you will agree the photos are excellent. Many thanks to Barry for being so kind and patient with Stumpy who does have his moments of star tantrums and wanting to do his own thing.
Wednesday 4 April - another photo call today with Solent News Agency and what a fabulous photo Dan got of Stumpy looking down through the glass - the fact that this was achieved with much bribing with earth worms is neither here nor there - whatever the star wants he must have!
Thursday 5 April - Kevin and Louise turned up today from Vision News in Salisbury and we also had a visit from Emma from Press Association Television from London to do her interview and filming. The Vision News video will be live soon so keep an eye out using the link above, it really will be very good catching Stumpy "at home" doing all the things he loves and of course Alice gets a look in too!
Friday 6 April - Stumpy had a visit today from Alex Fansa and his family who travelled all the way down from London just to see Stumpy and stayed for a short while and then left again for their journey home. We received an email later that evening and below is an exert from this:-
"We were touched by your friendliness and kindness in letting us see one of nature's miracles today. It's really not only unique, but extremely adorable, even now that he's all grown up! We have no doubt that he is having a fantastic life on your farm. We wish him all the best for a long and happy life, and by then he should have some children of his own! We hope that the prosperity of him brings you a fruitful business on a very challenging but no doubt also rewarding profession. We cannot believe how some people could write ridiculous comments and accusations about artificial insemination and exploiting Stumpy on some sites. You are doing the public a great favour in educating us that once in a while a golden egg is produced, by a miraculous not Frankenstein-like process, of natural birth. Sharing him to the masses is a generous offering that people should appreciate not discourage. There is no such thing as an ugly duckling, they are all precious and beautiful."
We are so glad that it is not only us that feels this way about Stumpy - he is one in a million and so cute too!
Monday 9 April - well today started well but I'm afraid as with all good days with a little hiccup in the middle! Stumpy got his leg caught in the fencing and managed to snap the bone on his not so good leg. I have to say he was waddling around like nothing had happened and we were running around like headless chickens! We popped him in the bath and flushed the injury for a good 5 minutes with cold water and then padded it with cottonwool and bandaged it back together and then it was off to Seadown Veterinary Group at Hythe to have the leg amputated and stitched up. We waited with Stumpy in the waiting room, who thought it was just another day out, and he left us for 20 minutes and then they whisked him back out to us so that he wasn't caused any undue stress. Upon getting him home again we've bandaged the leg and tied it to his spare pelvis so that he can be out with Alice but obviously the pond has been confiscated so as you can imagine that hasn't gone down very well! So it is definitely now "Stumpy by name and Stumpy by nature!!"
Anne and Bob came out again today to show us the finished painting of Stumpy which is being entered in an exhibition this coming weekend. Well I think you'll agree the painting is absolutely beautiful. The picture below shows it before it was framed and whoever buys it is going to be very lucky. The exhibition is the Art & Craft Show at Titchfield Community Centre, Mill Lane, Titchfield, Hants, PO14 4AB. It opens with a preview evening on Friday 20th April, tickets please phone 01329 842933. It then opens on Saturday 21st 10am - 6pm and Sunday 22nd 10am - 4pm to the public.
Later in the day a well earned cuddle and chat with good friends of ours Carol and Dave. Carol has always had a love of ducks and so a visit to Stumpy was a must (they did say they came to see us as well but I'm not so sure!!) Many thanks to Anne and Bob for the photo.
Monday 16 April - well the geese are wandering the farm with their ducklings and the lambs are roaming loose as well so it was high time Stumpy was given free rein as well. Since amputating his leg there really is no need to keep him in a pen any longer so he now has a gateway to come out of his pen and at the moment the pen will stay in place so that he has his "space" to go back to until he and Alice become confident coming and going. It's obviously a risk letting him wander but he is one of the farm pets along with Alice so that should mean he has all the perks as well. He's had short shrift from Sarah and Sophie the geese when he and Alice want the pond but he just lurks in the background until the ducklings get out and then in he waddles!
Tuesday 17 April - Luke Macgregor of Reuters of London came today to photograph Stumpy for the magazine desk in Paris. As Luke said "I thought I'd arrive at 11a.m., be finished at 12 noon and then head up to Wales for the UEFA cup press conference ..." at 3.00 p.m., he finally left. He took far in excess of 500 photos and followed his instructions to just snap away! Thank goodness for memory cards! Many thanks Luke for being so patient with Alice!!! We had to put her in a brooder as she wouldn't let Stumpy do his photo call - as Luke put it "she's like a broken record"
Thursday 19 April - well it would appear that Metro in London had an article in their paper explaining how Stumpy was now on 3 legs and from 10 a.m., the phone didn't stop ringing. Live radio interviews on U105 in Belfast, Radio Solent and another one for 2TenFM. Various Press Agencies telephoned to find out the latest situation. The afternoon then brought a visit from Bill Baggs from the BBC and I have to say Bill it was a brilliant clip aired on South Today that evening - thank you very much.
Friday 20 April - Stuart from The Southern Daily Echo came in the evening to take some up to date photos of Stumpy and as will be seen from Saturday's Echo the photos were fantastic - he is such an exhibitionist - Stumpy that is, not Stuart!!
Saturday 21 April - this was Stumpy's first official engagement. After much organisation by Madeline Butcher of Pets at Home we arrived at the store in Eastleigh at 9.45 a.m. We were then met by Maddy together with various members of the store including the manager and the press were all waiting. Maddy then asked "do you think he'll walk through the doorway for us?"
Well we should've known the answer - I put Stumpy on the floor he then waddled across the mat (whilst depositing breakfast on the logo!) and then stood there and flapped his wings!!! What a poser. ..... We then did a live interview with John of The Saint radio station with Stumpy rearranging John's stand and then it was lots more photos and lots of posing but nothing that a true professional can't handle.
Paul Samantha and I would like to thank all the people we met for making the opening of the store such a success - it was great fun and it was truly our pleasure. Do check the Southern Daily Echo on Monday 23 April and the website for the photographs - www.dailyecho.co.uk
Tuesday 1 May - today Romain and Hannah and the other guys for North One TV turned up to do the filming for "Vet on the Loose" for Animal Planet. The afternoon was spent with many retakes (when a duck wants to go one way and the film crew the other then lots of patience is required!!). Romain the vet explained how it is believed Stumpy was born with his defect and the programme will go on air next year on cable so keep your eyes out and we'll update the webpage when we know the date. They are currently about halfway through filming the series and apparently they are in the process of putting Stumpy's footage together at this moment in time and it would appear to be going well.
Monday 21 May - well hello Anna! This is an email we received this morning from Anna in the USA. ......."Hello, I just wanted to write and tell you how much I love Stumpy!! I check his diary every day to see if there are any new developments. I have purchased 2 "Stumpy" tshirts and a hooded sweatshirt from the clothing company in the UK as well. I hope you are enjoying raising such a cool duck. I live in Washington State USA, so I'm much too far away to just come on by to see him, but I sure wish I could! Is there any way one can purchase photographs of Stumpy? Thank you so much for sharing your miracle duck with the world! Anna Nordtvedt"
24 May - interview today with Pick Me Up magazine who wanted to do a follow-up story on Stumpy which will come out on the 15 June in issue number 24 so keep your eye out for that.
1 July 2007 - well I've just put Stumpy and Alice to bed and just as I was about to shut the door there in amongst the straw was a little white egg! Alice is laying. Stumpy has been trying to get it together with Alice over the last couple of weeks so we knew she would be laying soon. We'll have to keep an eye now as to whether she has a maternal streak in her or whether she relishes the foot loose and fancy free lifestyle! We'll keep you posted.
15 July 2007 - an article in the Daily Mail today with a fantastic photo of Stumpy and Alice. Do check out their website www.dailymail.co.uk for the article but here are some of the other photos that Gary took for the Daily Mail.
24th July - well another celebrity opening for Stumpy, he was invited to the New Forest Show to open the trade stand for Hampshire County Council with their Leader, Ken Thornber, and what celebs they both were, so much so that HCC won best trade stand! HCC had erected Stumpy a fantastic pen for him to wander around in all day, together with his own parasol, and he was well within reach of little hands that wanted to stroke him (and big hands too I might add!!) He was very accommodating and would waddle from one side of his pen to the other if he thought somebody wanted to have a chat with him. We would like to thank HCC for putting so much thought into making Stumpy's visit to their stand such a pleasant one and for making our day such a pleasant one.
Oh and Stumpy wishes to thank the Environment Agency who had their stand just across the way for the use of their reed bed for him to have a duck and dive in later on in the day. We hope everyone who met Stumpy enjoyed all the attention he gave them!! And boy did he look cute in his little bow tie!!! (even a duck has to dress for the occasion)
|Hampshire County Council kindly allowed us to take the road signs home with us so they will be going up somewhere prominent when the house is finished.|
1 August 2007 - another trip to London today for Stumpy. This Morning telephoned to ask whether he would be able to go up to the ITV studio for another Pets Morning with Alice. I have to say we were a bit dubious about taking Alice as this would be her first outing and we had visions of her quacking all through the show but she took a leaf out of Stumpy's book and behaved admirably. Obviously she wasn't as "cool" as Stumpy but that was to be expected. Stumpy didn't mind socialising with "Grandma" the tortoise or Lynx the cat but he did try and torment the poor little monkey who was in a cage and kept waddling up to try and have a look to see if there was anything in there he should know about. It was great to meet Ruth and Eamonn again and of course Stumpy's favourite vet Scott Miller.