dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Is It Gone?

 I had plans to write a post about 2020. 

It was going to include how I did on my goals, what I learned. 

It was going to end on an optimistic note, with hope for the future. I was hoping to have some sort of uplifting conclusion. 


fuck.it.all. 

I'm not coming until spring

Today I looked out my window, and to my horror I saw a strange dog in my paddock chasing one of my chickens. I bolted outside with Guinness at my side. at the same time I was trying to call Ed to tell him to come help. 

When I got outside Ed had the dog in his grip and there were feathers everywhere. 

I saw one of my chickens laying on her back and in clear distress. I ran over and gently picked her up. She looked at me and died. Ed explained that he had seen the dog with a chicken in its mouth and he tackled it. The chicken ran into the barn. I put the dead chicken down and grabbed a lead for him. The dog was from next door. I found Amy cowering in the farthest corner of the barn. I gently picked her up and she was clearly in shock. I took her inside to the bathroom and contacted my 'chicken friend'. She advised putting her back in the pen since we couldn't find any injuries. 

Ed returned and we began to look for the other two. In the meantime the neighbour came over. He was so upset about our chickens and offered to replace them. I felt bad for him. This was a new dog for him (a bird dog) and they had an invisible fence. I suspect our chickens wandered over that way and the instincts kicked in. I tried to be kind but I needed to find my missing girls. I knew one was okay because I had seen her run behind the garage but I didn't know where the fourth one was. I walked into the woods calling her and looking. On my way back up the driveway I spied Jo scratching in the lawn. I picked her up and carried her to the coop. Ed found the fourth one (Beth) and she was missing a few feathers but otherwise okay.  Which meant that it was Meg that we lost. 


is my name Irish? that doesn't look like me

Once all the girls were in the coop we buried Meg and came into the house. Ed asked if I was okay and I burst into tears. I was sad about the chickens. I also know that seeing a dog chasing one of my beloved animals in the paddock had brought back some past horrors. 

I know that free-range chickens are at risk. It's not that I don't worry about predators. But they are so happy wandering. They always join me in the ring when I'm riding and follow us around outside. I was quite attached to my 'girls'. 

 I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the couch and doing nothing. 

Of course 2020 had to finish like that. 

This year has been hard for everyone. I cannot wait for it to be over. I know that 2021 is not going to be rainbows and kittens. But right now I am out of resilience and just making it through this year seems like enough.  

I know that tomorrow I will wake up and start over. Later on this afternoon my three chickens were yelling at me to let them out of the run. Even Amy (who is missing all her tail feathers). 

I think I need to take some lessons from the chickens. 

But for now I got nothing. 




34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm sorry about Meg, how awful to have to suffer again, the loss of a pet to a loose dog!

      For Christmas our nice neighbors which chickens were given a huge fake bird of prey to guard their chickens. It must be almost 2 meters across, it is hanging from a string on the end of a flexible pole that bends in the slightest wind to make it appear to be flying, circling the area. We ran into the neigbhor taking a walk and I said, "THREE questions about your new chicken guard: 1. How big is that thing? 2. Are your chickens scared of it? 3. Is your cat scared of it?" He laughed, Yes, the chickens are scared of it but adapting. No, the cat is smarter than the chickens.

      I wished so much I had a German Shepherd yesterday as a couple of very intrepid hikers attempted to forge our back pasture. They jumped our creek, technically putting them on our property but when they saw me standing there ominously they decided not to go through our horse fence. Instead they skirted along it the entire length, which is pretty difficult. If I had a GSD it would have been awesome. Guinness would have made quick work of them.

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    2. Thank you both.
      Lethal- why on earth would hikers cut through your property?

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    3. I'm one of those who loves to trespass in abandoned places, and sneak around on the borders of legality, but I won't go through a freaking fence. It's only happened once here, when we first moved in and built a fence. I caught them and said WTH and they said, "We've walked through here for years, there never used to be a fence!" I was so mad I never saw them again (still Guinness would have been GREAT!). These people were apparently exploring off-trail areas and skirting our fence wasn't *so* bad.

      Your question brings to mind the idea of "good old boys" who refuse to adapt to .....property ownership changes? *sigh* Need Guinness here!

      PS I'm really amazed it wasn't Beth.

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  2. “Of course 2020 had to finish like that. “
    Yes, I echo that sentiment.
    Poor chickens. Stupid dog.
    Maybe it will magically be better tomorrow?
    One can hope?

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    1. Probably not magically better but I’ll settle for marginally better.

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  3. Sending so many Hugs!! I'm so sorry about Meg!!

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  4. I'm so sorry. What an awful way to end 2020. Hugs!

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  5. So sorry to hear this. Poor Meg. Hope you feel better soon and hope the coming year is better than last year for all. Hang in there.

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    1. The only comfort is that it was relatively quick. It’s cold comfort but way better than her suffering

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  6. A horrible end for you to a horrible year. I'm so sorry that this happened to you and your girls. I wish peace, joy, and good health for you and your entire family, including all your critters. And Guinness, who I know is not a critter at all, but a very special dog.

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    1. ❤️❤️❤️thank you and same to you.

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  7. I am so sorry about your girl Meg.

    Dogs are large always get my heart in my throat too. While my story had a better outcome, it's still raises my heart-rate every time I see one out loose too.

    Here's to a better 2021 for all of us.

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  8. Very sorry about your hen. I love my chickens too, and I get very upset when I lose one. I have a mama hen with nine chicks that hatched out in early November. They are doing great, and I wish I could send you one! They are part Golden Campine (mama) and part Speckled Sussex (the dad). They are free range, and I always worry about them. Now that the snow is here, they stay in the barn, which lets me breathe a sign of relief.

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    1. They sound like beautiful hens. Thank you for the offer!

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  9. I’m so sorry, what a sh!t thing to happen, especially given you’ve already had more than a lifetime of bad luck with stray dogs. Sending the very best thoughts to you and wishes for an exceptional 2021 full of happy things.

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    1. I thought of you with your dogs on the trails I wish people would learn!

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  10. Ugh. I’m so sorry. Let’s hope 2021 is better.

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  11. I already commented on FB but I wanted to voice my sorrow for your loss here too. What an awful end to the year. I'm so sorry.

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  12. Teresa, I am so incredibly sorry.

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  13. I am so sorry for your loss :( I'm glad that your neighbor wants to do right by you, so many rogue dog owners don't.

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    1. I agree with you about the neighbours. I felt bad for him- he was very upset.

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  14. I'm so sorry. 2020 just had to twist the knife one more time... I'm glad the other three girls are doing okay.

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  15. Oh no! I am so sorry. Must have been so hard for you given your past!

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    Replies
    1. It was difficult but it did help me to understand how far I have come.

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  16. So sorry about Meg. That is horrible. I hope the other 3 girls do ok without their 4th.

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    Replies
    1. they are doing okay- staying closer to home which is good.

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