A while back, we got chickens.
Then, one was taken by a Hawk.
So, we got a dog . . . and two more chickens.
Now, we have a 13-month-old, 5 chickens, a 4 month old puppy, and a baby on the way.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. I should explain. It is truly a woeful tale.
We have let our chickens roam the yard now and then, especially while changing the paper in their box (they still have to remain under a heat lamp.)
I usually feed and water the chickens while hubby changes the paper.
One day, I was filled with a magnanimous spirit and determined to change the paper myself!
So, with hubby at work, I figured I would merely place the chickens on the lawn and close the garage door (I was worried about them getting lost in the many nooks and crannies of the garage).
Two by two I placed them on the lawn.
They immediately tried to run back into the garage. I owed this to the fact that they must love me, their benefactress.
I pushed them gently away with my foot and quickly shut the garage door.
I proceeded to roll up the old paper, throw it out and place the new paper in their box, all the while quite impressed with my spirit of servanthood and excited to see the thanks on hubby’s face when he got home.
I heard a little squawking right outside the garage door and smiled to myself at the chickens’ obsession with me.
Once finished, I opened the garage door to see Whiskers (our bravest chicken) standing right by the door.
Oh no. I thought. Where are the rest?
I found them just around the corner hiding behind a chair on the patio. They were freaking out as I attempted to snatch them up.
I gathered the three and placed them in their freshly cleaned box.
The only problem?
One was missing.
I searched the back yard. Nothing. Panic began to build. Did it get out? Did it fly over a fence?
What had I done?!
I searched again. I checked the garage and the front yard.
It was nowhere to be found.
Those chickens always stayed together. AL-WAYS! They’re in cahoots I tell ya.
Anyway, proceed to me frantically calling my husband and explaining through tears that I lost a chicken.
I even carried Addie around the neighborhood looking for our chicken.
Finally, I came to the realization that a Hawk must have taken our poor Milo.
From that moment on, all I could picture was the evil Hawk swooping down into our yard and the terrified chicks attempting to hide, and poor Milo being snatched up, killed, and devoured!
“I killed our chicken!” was my constant lament for the next 24 hours.
My overactive imagination only increased the trauma I experienced as a result of this event!
The next morning a thought popped into my head.
“If we had a dog, a Hawk would not steal our chickens!” I told hubby.
“Maybe not,” he answered.
“I’m serious!” I explained eagerly. “I mean what am I supposed to do? Never let the chickens out? Watch the chickens non-stop?”
The trauma was still fresh. I began googling tips on introducing dogs to chickens. It seemed much less dangerous than exposing my chickens to the perilous food chain of our suburban neighborhood.
I “had to” run an errand that happened to be right next to Petco, who happened to be doing pet adoptions that day.
They had a number of adorable, snuggly puppies.
But, they also had this little fella: an almost identical replica of the only dog I ever had while growing up.
It was fate.
I made sure that hubby knew that I was too emotionally involved to make a rational decision about adopting a dog and that he had the power to veto my idea.
About thirty or so minutes later, we filled out an application, paid the lady and purchased some dog food and a leash.
We were the proud owners of a new pup, who we named Shasta.
Then, hubby went to pick up a new chicken, since I told him I would never get over the unfortunate event if I had to look at only three chickens. Well, he came back with two!
So, there you have it folks. A truly lamentable tale that turned into a story of hope and redemption.
I hope you have learned valuable lessons through my story.
Lessons such as:
Don’t leave your chickens alone or a Hawk will take them away.
Don’t go looking at puppies the day after your baby chicken gets taken away by a Hawk.
You can never buy just one chick . . . they are too cute.
You are welcome for this wisdom.