February 10, 2015

Thou Shall Speak No Evil

February 10, 2015
Recently I was telling, complaining really, to a few friends that all I seem to write about is the inevitable circle of life and how sad that is.  In unison they said, "you live of a farm!  That's what it's all about!"  I suppose they are right.  But it seems more like the circle of death rather than the circle of life out here.  When will the dark skies fade to light around here?  When will the withering stop and the blooming start?  

How life has felt lately
Illustration from A. A. Milne's classic book, Winnie-the-Pooh 
As if last weeks trials and tribulations weren't daunting enough, the serial chicken eating dog received an unfortunate bill of health from the vet (at this point I'm wondering why I didn't go to vet school or learn the trade of a plumber).  As for me, I received a one-way ticket on an all expense paid guilt trip.  After saying unkind things to this poor dog for killing several of my chickens, I'm told he has to be...put down.  Now, exactly how many times can you be told you have to put an animal down in one week? I've lost count, and I feel responsible for at least his death sentence.  Shame on me for speaking such terrible things over that poor dog after he instinctively, yet still maliciously, murdered my chickens. 

Poor Bo.  Bo was my husband's 40th birthday gift.  His pride and joy hunting dog that would not only retrieve live chickens but with training, dead ducks as well.  I noticed he was walking funny a few weeks ago.  I figured he hurt his leg trying to escape his pen in a desperate attempt to satisfy his craving for fresh fowl.  Going with my gut, I made an appointment for him to be seen.  One look at him and the vet suspected hip dysplasia.  But one hip being out would be fixable, easy, doable.  Nothing falls under those categories around here.  Nope.  The x-ray confirmed he had it double time.   Double hip dysplasia.  No future of hunting chickens or frolicking in the pastures.  Apparently he would live a life of miserable pain, such pain he would develop tics and the best, most humane thing to do would be to put him down. I hear things like this are no brainers for real farm folk.  Sick cow, put it down.  Sick horse, end their misery.  Virus spreading chicken, off with its head.  But for me, a city girl, I can't seem to understand or accept it.   Can't we just give them herbal supplements, natural oils and gluten free feed?   But the vet accepts it.  So much that he was surprised when my husband didn't leave the poor dog there so that his staff could get on with what such a diagnosis calls for.  

With spring on the horizon I'm hopeful it's only a matter of time before these sad and dreary tales of mortality fade. When will the clouds will part?  When will the sun shine?  Surely there will be blue skies smilin' at me and everything else that survives.  Oh, and lesson learned.  Don't curse farm animals.  They have enough going against them.  

In memory of Bo and his wild chicken chases

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