We're officially moved in (although not anywhere near unpacked) to our new home. Today I spent some time planting and weeding, and putting more of the kitchen together. This morning I did a couple of hours worth of gardening for a friend of my mom who is getting on in years and not able to do a lot of that kind of thing anymore. It's become a little weekly part-time job for me, which helps with the groceries.
On a very very sad note, we've lost two of our birds to the neighbor's dog. First to go was Bertie Rooster, who wandered into enemy territory and was gone in a flash. We didn't make a stink about it, as we had been warned that this dog was a livestock killer, so I should have kept the chickens from wandering. However, day before yesterday the dog got loose (as it often did) and went straight for our barn. When I went to check on the animals I opened the outside tackroom door and found him in there with Henrietta's body and feathers everywhere.
I lost it.
I grabbed him by the collar and dragged him up to the garage where Gordon was talking to some other neighbors. Gordon took him back to the tack room and beat the snot out of him with the victim's body, but not before he punched the dog with his fist hard enough to break a knuckle. At least we think it's broken. We may have to find a "doc-in-a-box" to look at it if it doesn't start repairing itself. Just as our friend Morgan was calling Animal Control to come get the pooch, its owner showed up and was very apologetic and offered to get rid of the dog. I was pretty busted up by this point. I was totally slammed by Henrietta's death, then Gordon went Medieval (in front of other neighbors who now think he's some kind of axe murderer...which isn't entirely a bad thing if one likes to be left alone), and of course I feel bad for the dog who was just doing what dogs do. However...people need to control their animals, and this one has a record of doing this kind of thing.
What really frosted my shorts was when Mrs. Dog Owner told us that when poochie had gone on his last killing spree she had offered to get rid of him and the neighbors had said "Oh, don't do that! It's ok!" Excuse me?! It is most certainly NOT ok! What if he had bitten one of their kids? Is it because it's "just" a chicken? Would it be "not ok" if fido had molested a sheep or a calf instead? Where do you draw the line?
Needless to say, when she offered again to remove him from the vicinity I accepted. I feel bad about it, but I was having visions of this problem going on and on, and if that animal had touched one of my cats things would have gotten ugleeeee.
Luckily, the neighbor who think's we're crazy animal abusers* is kind of a goober tree-hugging liberal type anyway, so it wasn't like we were going to be on his social calendar or anything.
*I guess it's ok for dogs to kill chickens, but not ok for humans to discipline chicken-killing dogs. Maybe we can have a barnyard seance and ask Henrietta if she felt abused while fluffy was ripping the feathers out of her cooling corpse, hm?