June 20, 2011
I had an amazingly beautiful and relaxing weekend on a farm in the middle of nowhere, Virginia. There were rolling hills of wild blackberries, hidden little ponds all to yourself for fishing, and an old farm house full of rich well worn wood floors and enough history to keep you entertained for hours. Oh and there were eight small chickens not quite full grown but no longer chicks experiencing their first big day in the yard in the safety of their cardboard pen.
So we thought.
Jim is not the brightest dog. Or rather we are discovering, he might be much smarter than we thought but has a strong dose of stubbornness and a crazed natural instinct that if triggered cannot be controlled without a harness of a strong kind. Mere moments before leashing him up for another round of shock collar training (believe me when I say it’s necessary for his own good), he noticed the chirp chirp of the chickens pleasantly enjoying their new home. He meandered over and cocked his head with a curious gaze…and then he got crazy eyes, jumped in the middle of the pen and started treating the poor chickens like his favorite chew toy throwing them from side to side. We all ran to their rescue and I grabbed Jim with a desperate fury I’ve rarely felt. But it was too late. Two chickens, including one that had been dubbed my honorary chick (I had named her Pepper for her spotted black and white color), lay flat struggling to breathe and unable to walk. Hours later they disappeared from the pen, thankful to Clint for sparing us the harsh reality of him taking them away, all I could feel was disdain for my dog and regret for my so gracious hosts’ loss.
We treat dogs like humans and incorrectly expect them to act as such. So often we forget that they are in fact animals with an animalistic instinct. No matter how much puppy chow we force into their bowls or soft plush weird looking chew toys we place into their baskets, at the end of the day they are still dogs.
I’m trying to forgive Jim, I do realize he has no idea what he has done. But just like a mother trying to forgive her wild hearted adolescent child, you can’t help but want to feel like you raised them better. Let’s just say the name “Chicken Killer” may or may not have been thrown around just a few times in the last 24 hours 😉