Monday, November 07, 2005

A Whole Lot of Room In Between

On Friday, we returned from riding lessons to find a pile of feathers and no chickens. Fearing the worst, we began our hunt for survivors. Daisy, our beagle/lab mix, quickly flushed out several. We eventually found all but two. Locking them in the coop, I took Lauren to her piano lesson and Anna stayed home.

She later called me, having found the neighbor's dog in our yard with one chicken in her mouth. She tied the dog to a tree, and unbelievably the chicken was alive, albeit with a three inch hole in her back. Ribs were visible. Even more incredible, all three injured chickens are alive today, Monday. Lauren sprays them daily with a pain killing antiseptic, and they act unaffected, except for a cessation of egg laying.

Our fear with chickens and other animals we have is that they will suffer a slow and lingering death. Sometimes, they'll get sick or hurt, and you do all you can, and the animal fights on, but after much effort, dies anyway.

I am mindful of a friend who has suffered through his son's brain injury due to an ATV accident without a helmet. While in the hospital visiting his son, he met a young man who argued that helmets should be voluntary, since it is his life, and if he dies, it's his to risk. My friend told him about his son, and said, you know, there is a whole lot of things worse than death. There is a lot of room between being alive and being dead. Have your children wear their helmets!

Postscript: The neighbor retrieved his dog while we weren't looking, and has not so much stopped by or called with an apology and it is three days later.

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