Dunedin man takes owning pets to whole new level with clever solution for disabled duck

A man in Ōtepoti/Dunedin has taken owning a pet to a whole new level. 

When Richard Trainor realised his pet duck was disabled, he came up with a clever way to help her get the most out of life. 

"She's a determined wee thing, she really is. She's got a personality and she knows what she wants," Trainor told Newshub. 

But getting what she wants is a little trickier for the animal, named 'Duckie Duckworth'. 

She had a rough start to life, ending up out of her nest before she was rescued from the snow. 

"They asked me: 'You wouldn't want to look after a duck?' And I thought I wouldn't mind having a duck around the place, not realising there was something actually wrong with her." 

But when he eventually realised, Trainor took Duckie under his wing. 

"You sort of wonder, 'Is it the right thing to keep her? But by that stage the bond had already been formed." 

Fourteen months later, not only is she surviving - but thriving, thanks to her very own set of wheels made from a modified cat harness.

But it's a bit more than Trainor bargained for.  

"I thought I was going to bring a duck home; it was going to grow up and fly away and visit us occasionally," he said. "I think everything should have a chance... There are a lot of people that would say, 'That's not right' - but she's happy and she's spoiled." 

'Duckie Duckworth' uses a frame to walk around.
'Duckie Duckworth' uses a frame to walk around. Photo credit: Newshub.

Duckie has a warm bath each day and feasts on garden fare.  

"Bird seeds and worms and slugs and silverbeet and spinach," said Trainor. 

"We do have three wild ducks come to visit and they'll eat out of the same dish, so she does get a bit of duck company." 

She also has a firm friend in Twiggy, the dog. 

"I've had enquiries for a couple of other people wanting help with other ducks. 

"She's a wee bit of a star in her own right."