This morning, while I was getting ready for work, one or more of the stray dogs managed to get over the 5 foot fence and into the backyard with the chickens. It was fast and brutal and I didn't even know what was happening until it was all over and the dogs had slipped away again. Here are the ones we lost, the way they looked in their baby days:
Such sweet and simple little creatures. We will miss them.
Now I want to tell you about the one we found, because it actually could have been worse. (Warning: Somewhat graphic picture of our dog bite survivor below.) I won't go into the details, but after several hours of cleaning up loose feathers and worse, it looked like we had two who came through completely unscathed, two who had somehow escaped only slightly scathed but extremely scared, four who were completely lost to us, and one who seemed to have completely disappeared. I was especially grieving for our Batty, who has always been the most snuggly. Look at her here as a baby with Isaac:
I counted three separate places in the yard where the dog must have attacked on three separate occassions. It looked like hundreds of her feathers were spread across the grass. The last spot was near the fence next to some gouges in the ground where the dog had leapt out of the yard. I figured he had taken her with him. Anyway, for some reason my heart was insisting that, even though I couldn't bury Batty, I needed to gather up every last little fallen feather so that I could at least bury those. I guess I was kind of crying, so I didn't hear it at first. It was a soft, very, very tiny little trill. Like the sweet noises hens make on the roost to sing each other to sleep at night. It was coming from that small dark space behind the deck steps. I got on my hands and knees, crawled in there, and couldn't believe it when I saw Batty down there with her face tucked into the corner of the corner. She was hiding. I don't know how, but each time the dog had gone after her, she'd escaped. And then she'd hid so well I'd almost missed her under there. She was a mess. You don't want to know. We had to take her to Raleigh to the exotic animal vet (since when are chickens exotic?), but she handled it all brilliantly. She even laid an egg while under anesthesia. That's what I call a good girl. Isaac thinks she has earned a new name, so now he calls her Brave Batty. She's got a lot of healing to do, but here she is, in all of her injured glory:
I think she looks kind of smug. She's always wanted to be a house chicken and now she's got her wish, doctor's orders. At least for the next two weeks, anyway.
And, in the words of F. Gump, that's all I have to say about that.