I haven’t kept up with my coop scoop in a long time because, well, let’s just say that “Dude, the killer dog”, hasn’t necessarily changed his rabid ways.
To make a long story short, I had 14 or 15 chickens at one point, including my precious Pee-Wee. She was my lap chicken, exempt from any and all termination by way of boiling water. Unfortunately, Dude was unaware of this and decided to feast on her one afternoon. My first hint that something tragic had happened was that the dogs were out at the same time as the chickens; that’s always a tell tale sign that a miserable equation is brewing. Next it was the fact that Pee-Wee was the only beak not pecking the ground, I didn’t see her anywhere. Then it was the feathers, I knew that the second I saw feathers on the ground that it was over. I need a body though. This investigation wasn’t over with until I had a body. Even without one, I knew who the culprit was.
As I frantically stumbled through the field, following the trail of frayed feathers, I heard a pitter-patter trotting along behind me. As I pivoted to meet the eyes of the owner to the pitter-patter following me, all I caught was the guilty hunker of Dude’s body turning to go back up to the house. He killed my chicken, and have the nerve to turn his back on me. I can’t even…
“Dude…” I hollered.
He stopped, didn’t turn around. Just stopped. If I had to guess, he was sizing up the distance between himself and the house vs. how long it would take his fast ass to get over there. Dude’s not a slender k-9.
“Dude, come here.”
He turned his head around and took a deep breath before approaching me. He eventually made his way to my feet and sat down.
“Did you do this?” I asked, pointing to the feathered frenzie that made up the trail to my sweet Pee-Wee’s corpse. That dog took one look at those feathers and made a beeline for the house, as if Clint would save him. I leaped after him and wrassled him until I had a hold of his collar. He was defeated and he knew it. We walked to the house together, but we made a pit stop in the front yard under a big oak tree with a chain around it. I graciously let Dude hang out, chained to that tree, for the rest of the day (and possibly the week, but that’s none of your business). I continued on my frezied feather trail where I eventually came across the body needed to draw my investigation to a close. I wept a little. Part of me wanted to say “I can’t believe this happened”, but I could believe it. I could believe it because it was a mistake having the dogs out at the same time as the chickens. Under supervision, Dude won’t touch the chickens. But for whatever reason that day, he was left unattended amongst, what he thought, what a free-for-all buffet.
Disclaimer: No chicken-murdering-shameless-bad-minded dogs were hurt in the midst of any of this.
Upon discovering the inevitable, I ran up to the house (now in the angry stage of grief). I pulled out my phone, logged into Facebook and began typing:
“Australian Shepherd dog for free. One year old. Loyal, happy, hates kids, loves chicken. Come get him today please.” Before I could press “post”, Clint walked in. He was clearly totally oblivious as to the events that had taken place earlier. I told him that Dude was as good as gone as far as I was concerned and that he would not live to eat another bird on this property if I had anything to say about it. Clint was clearly confused because he stood there, scratching his head for the better part of two minutes. He agreed that we could get rid of him and started to begin making phone calls when I halted him. I couldn’t be so cold-hearted. It wasn’t necessarily the dog’s fault that he was such an ignoramus. This was the only home he knew and Clint loves that dog. I was just mad and needed to blow off some steam, so I told him not to make any phone calls until I could mull it over over a glass of Merlot.
After all was said and done, the dog got well-acquainted with the oak tree for a few days and the chickens were able to (safely) roam freely about while Dude got to be a spectator. It was that day, I believe, that Dude the Killer Dog finally learned that chickens are friends, not food.
Since the death of my sweet Pee-Wee, I have acquired a brand new flock. I now have 10 new chickens- a beautiful, white, silkie rooster and like 9 other muts. I think they’re all either Buff Orpingtons and blue Orpingtons. Either way, their all nice, and sweet, and not within ten yards of Dude or his fatal appetite.
‘Til next time,