That is what happened to a rare Black Austrian swan in Germany named Petra when she caught sight of a peddle boat designed to look like a swan. That first look was all it took last year. Never mind her lover towered over her, never mind it was white, never mind it was made of plastic or that humans sat inside of it riding along the lake.
So lovestruck was Petra that she refused to abandon her mate and fly south for the winter, placing her at risk of dying during the cold winter.
Officials at a local zoo took pity on her and gave both Petra and her "boyfriend" quarters to spend the winter. Petra would snuggle in the space under her boyfriend's neck to keep warm.
When early spring came, zoo officials tried to pair Petra with a more suitable suitor, namely one with feathers. For several weeks the new pair cruised the lake and humans patted each others backs in glee. But it was not to be.
Petra's new beau grew bored and soon flew off, leaving her behind. To soothe Petra's hurt feelings, she was reunited with her plastic boyfriend.
Once again they swim the lake together, Petra circling her true love, making crooning sounds and endlessly staring at "him." She is a swan incurably in love. Petra and her lover have become a tourist attraction on the lake. Of course, her lover still gets rented out to families who wish to picnic on the lake. Petra accompanies him during his work day and the two spend the evenings snuggling.
Excuse me while my paw wipes away a tear.
'Til later, Buddy