Saturday, December 16, 2017

Daniel The Therapy Duck Is Quacksolutely What The Internet Was Made For

Ducks are great for a lot of things.

They're great farm animals. They're great to throw bread at. They're great fliers. They're also particularly great served on a plate with some potatoes and asparagus. Ducks are great for so many things.

Interestingly, ducks also make great service animals.

Yeah, service animals. I had no idea. So today, we're going to learn about the relationship one service duck has with one woman suffering from PTSD.

Meet Daniel the therapy duck.

Ain't he smashing? He belongs to Carla Fitzgerald.

"Show mama how tall you are," she told him. "Yeah, I love you!"

There stood Daniel, in front of news cameras and strangers, totally soaking up the limelight like a rockstar. But Daniel serves a purpose beyond being an adorable duck.

He's a registered therapy duck.

Yup, that means he can go everywhere Carla goes — including airplanes. Daniel and Carla took two flights to get to Asheville, NC., and apparently, the web-footed wonder qualifies as carry-on luggage.

(He's not actually carry-on luggage...he's a therapy duck. He was allowed to sit with Carla.)

Fitzgerald says it's like having a four-year-old human in diapers for 15 to 20 years.

"He's wearing his Captain America underpants," she points out. Daniel also wears red shoes to protect his feet. I'm glad she cleared up the whole underpants thing because I had a lot of bowel-related questions.

So you might be asking: How does a duck qualify as a therapy duck?

"He can tell when I'm about to have a PTSD moment," Fitzgerald explains. "He goes with me everywhere in the car." Animals have been known to be able to detect everything from anxiety attacks to low blood-sugar levels in diabetics. Generally speaking, however, most of those animals are dogs.

Carla's PTSD was brought on by a bad car collision.

"The PTSD is the result of a bad accident caused by a driver who was on their phone when they should have been looking at the road," she tells us.

As if people needed another reminder not to text and drive...

How does one meet a therapy duck?

At the market, of course.

"[I] Saw one itty bitty duckling and said, 'Daniel!'" she recalls.

The Indian Runner Duck even migrates with her on airplanes, giving Fitzgerald the confidence to step out of her comfort zone.

"Without Daniel, I would stay home for the rest of my life," Fitzgerald says. "I would never leave the house because I can't."

"If it quacks like a therapy duck, it's a therapy duck."

"When he's quiet, he's into something he ought not be into," she says. "He also loves macaroni and cheese."

Apparently, ducks have huge personalities. I feel like I'm both learning a lot about ducks and need a duck in my life.

Check out that beautiful smile.

"Many may assume that she rescued Daniel, but the fact is Daniel saved Carla," said a reporter from ABC News 13.

"Was he an injured duck?" the reporter asked.

"No, I was injured," Carla responded.

If it works, it works.

It might seem unconventional — having a duck as means to heal after a traumatic injury — but if it works, it works. The next time you're on a plane and hear some quacking or walking down the street and see a duck on a leash in a Captain America diaper, you'll know that you could be looking at a therapy duck. Maybe even Daniel.

So what other kinds of unconventional therapy pets are out there?

Well, just about every North American animal has been used as a therapy animal:

1. Cats
2. Rabbits
3. Parrots
4. Reptiles
5. EVEN alpacas

I'd love a therapy alpaca, to be honest.

So what do you think?

Do you know anyone with a therapy animal in their life? Want to share a story about an unconventional therapy animal you've had an experience with? Let us know in the comments section!

[h/t ABC News 13]


Author: verified_user