Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pleased to meet you. My dog killed your chicken.



And that is how I met my neighbors in the hulking chateau on the hill.

Yah. So that was fun.

When you think of chickens - those white things flopping around in crates about to be table scraps, this chicken was not that sort. This is Middleburg: The chicken was a large, tonally-greyed, luxurious, queen of an egg-layer.

The kind of chicken whose arrival as a chick at Martha Stewart's Cantitoe would have been covered by three TV crews and about whose development we would have read eighty blog entries. At state fairs, this is the bird a lot of guys in CAT hats gather around and say things like, "Now, that's some hen. Wish I had one like that! She's a beaut, Fred, I tell you..."



Yah.

Her attacker, my dog, is black, perfectly fluffy, snuggly, and conversely, very brave and ferocious and is on staff here strictly because he is the last word in security around the place. He does a fine job in that regard: When you see him defending his family, you will think twice about dealing with him. He is not going anywhere except to a taxidermist when his long, long days are done, so don't get any ideas about how to "handle" the problem.

Anyhow, then I met the neighbor's best friend at the market. I introduced myself and she grabbed my arm and said, "Oh, yes! Chicken killer!" Fabulous!, "I can tell you how to fix this, it involves a shock collar..."

This is a problem for which everyone in a rural community has a different solution, like the common cold. None of them are particularly humane for the dog; as if the chicken had it all that great. I am still working that out.

Hunting is in some dogs instinctively. Like any good fox hunter will tell you, a dog is either a pet or a hunter, never both. One lives in the kennels, the other in the house. One is honed, the other has to be trained out of his instinctual habits.

Now, you might be thinking that here in fox country, the dog is not the chicken's only predator and possibly the chicken needs a different pen, which may be true. But you see, this dog of mine, his abilities are remarkable. Why, just today, he caught this Corgi.



Oh, alright. He catches her several times a day.

(That patch above his eye is from misjudging a fence post at top speed on his way to chase a cat. He's having a tough week.)

15 comments:

susan said...

My story is: "Merry Christmas. Your dog ate our pheasant". Fortunately, it was a pheasant in a smoker,there was a turkey in the oven, and they were people with a sense of humor!

Shandell's said...

What a great story. I have 2 Jack Russell's, that she be enough, but one of them, Tonto is my rescue dog. He was given up because cats are top of the list for him to kill.
Well back to chickens. I was once living in a carriage house, one of my trade offs was to take care of there newly hatched chickens.
I was 2 weeks into my new duties and like lightning, Tonto followed me in the Coop and killed. It was so fast I could not have stopped him. I had to keep him in the house until they got bigger and could defend themselves. He never killed the adults (thank god) just became content in chasing them.
I laugh ever time I here a chicken story.
Have a great weekend.

Suburban Princess said...

I know this well...fortunately we live in the burbs and dont have farms nearby. Living with a Jack Russell can be interesting a lot of the time! He is a hunter...but not a Hunter - he sleeps in our bed but also keeps the rat population near zero in the compost corners!

Jo said...

Our English Bulldog is afraid of his own reflection. Bozley wouldn't have a clue if he came face to face with a hen. Needless to say, we have other forms of home security in place.

Jo

LPC said...

Sort of like a retired Navy SEAL, not quite sure what to do with skills that served him well in combat. Did I ever tell you my college boyfriend dropped out of Princeton and joined the Navy? And was on the SEAL team? No kidding.

EntertainingMom said...

Clearly, I need to go back to school and re-earn my BA in English Literature as I read "Pleased to meet you. My dog killed your children." LOL...

Country Contemporary said...

I suppose offering your chateau-residing chicken-mourning neighbors a compensatory fresh turkey for Thanksgiving would be out of the question. Oh, dear...

Karena said...

You are such a great story teller! Maybe a book is in your future!

little augury said...

Ah ha-Your reputation is set.Please try to live up to it! I suppose it would be common to ask if anything was salvageable from the bird-fine feathers, dinner? The corgi has his moments I am sure. la

Sarah Ann said...

I also read this first as, "Pleased to meet you. My dog killed your children." Strange...Anyway, I wouldn't feel too bad. Like you said, its in a dogs nature. My parents dog Dolly kills anything she can get at that comes into our yard. Cats, chickens, rabbits, possums, etc. It is not fun when the neighbor needs to come over to identify their cats remains...

The Countess of Nassau County said...

Please send him to Nassau County to deal with the stray cats that have completely overtaken our neighborhood.

e.m. said...

Price.Less.

ADG said...

I'm scared of y'all!

ADG

Ps...glad to see things are going ok.

Madame Meg said...

I am the third who read "children" instead of "chicken"- what sort of morbid people are we?! In light of that possibility, killing the neighbor's chicken isn't such a bad thing... and you tell it so charmingly, I'm sure there will be no lasting damage! (except to the chicken, of course...)
- Meg

Cashon&Co said...

I had an Akita too, and my friend had my Akita's half-sister...which happened to disperse of her neighbor's kitty Snowball all over her yard....so I laughed when I saw this. I mean not laughed, that sounds cruel, but you know what I mean....I should say I remembered that story vividly. :)