Photography by Danny Fulgencio
One of the cutest ducks on Instagram lives in Winnetka Heights Monday through Friday.
Gary the duck swims in the pool and chills with her “sister,” a dog named Bernice.
Winnetka Heights residents Jamie and Larry Oliver bought a weekend house at Cedar Creek Lake last year, and they adopted Gary as a chick in April. They added a second one, Mayme, in June, but that bird died unexpectedly less than two months later.
Follow @garyandlarryshow for doses of waterfowl charm, and keep reading for Jamie’s answers to all of our ducky questions.
HOW THEY WOUND UP WITH A DUCK:
One day we were driving around near our lake house, and my husband saw a sign that said, “Ducks for sale.” He said, “Let’s get one.” I said, “Absolutely not.” That was that until one weekend I was busy at work, so I stayed behind for the weekend. He went to Tractor Supply because it was one of the only places open during quarantine, and they had ducklings. He posted on Instagram stories, tagged me and said he wanted one, partially kidding. A friend of a friend saw the post. She had recently bought Gary to add to her flock, but Gary was different. Presumed to be male at the time, she was the runt, and the other ducks picked on her. She didn’t seem to care for them and wanted to only be around the owner. But the owner had two giant dogs that wanted to eat Gary. So she contacted Larry and asked if he wanted to adopt her. Without asking me, he took Gary in. I learned about the new addition from an Instagram post of baby Gary riding on Larry’s shoulder in the truck. So he made it to where I couldn’t say no. We got Mayme from a breeder two hours from Dallas as a friend to Gary.
We have a swimming pool here in Dallas that Gary hops in and out of all day long. She loves to sit on a float and then swim a bit. If you are in the pool, she won’t leave your side. She swims right next to you. When she isn’t in the pool, she is sitting under the magnolias on the edge of the pool. Isn’t that the life? We travel back and forth with her from Dallas to the lake on weekends. She rides on the console between us. At the lake she has a kiddie pool that she demands be filled with fresh water every morning. Taking a dip is the first thing she does when she leaves her house in the morning. If it isn’t filled, we will hear about it.
HOW TO CARE FOR A DUCK:
Ducks, like any birds, are delicate creatures. They need the perfect food, extra care and lots of attention. The largest concern I have had is that they are a snack to so many other animals: cats, dogs, raccoons, hawks, owls. I worry a lot about something snatching her. So we built her house like Fort Knox. Nothing is getting in there. Ducks are a full-time commitment like any pet. They can get lonely and should only be kept in pairs. Unfortunately, Gary’s sister just passed away unexpectedly. With the joys of pets also comes heartache. We know that when we bring them into our lives, but the reward outweighs the pain.
MUST LOVE DUCKS:
Ducks are amazing pets. If raised from babies, they are as affectionate and loyal as dogs. They will follow you around like shadows. It’s the sweetest sound to hear their little feet slapping the ground behind you. They bring a smile to our faces every day and to so many of our friends as well. I would definitely recommend it.
They have so much personality. I never knew they could attach themselves to humans like they do. They really are like feathered dogs.