Dog in the henhouse

I haven’t felt like writing for the past few days – I don’t now, truth to tell, but days can drift past and a blog be neglected too easily.

A dog tore through the wire of the chicken’s tunnel between the greenhouse and their run and, by the time Wince heard them and came running for me, and I ran down there, five chickens were dead and one of the cocks was badly injured.  It was a powerfully built Staffordshire bull terrier but, when I grabbed it, it let me hold it firmly while the men hurried off for a rope.  We tied it to a gate while I went to check the chickens but it bit through the thick nylon rope in moments.  Luckily, Tim was able to get it again and we took it into the porch while I phoned the number on its collar.

The owners turned out to be really nice people and the dog itself was well trained and well behaved, except in the obvious respect.  Their neighbours were having their hedge cut and the gardener came through to finish off from their side.  He left the garden gate open and they didn’t realise and let the dog loose.  He was gone in seconds and the wife was out in the car searching when I rang.  Of course I was nice about it, we were all upset at what had happened but I wasn’t upset with them or their dog.  I don’t often react with anger.  It rarely helps and it’s easy for it to spill into unkindness.  There’s enough of that around without me adding to it.

Having turned down their offer of compensation, I was touched when they sent flowers and wine later.  The poor little chooks.  We had to kill the cockerel, his leg was badly hurt and he was bitten too.  The survivors are still subdued but getting over it.  It’s a sad thing that the dog found  a place to get its claw or teeth into the wire, which otherwise seems to be very secure.  Thankfully, Eloise cat was in the house at the time and knew nothing about it and all the other cats, including Rummy, were fine too.

You usually come to me for a cheery bit of nonsense – apologies.  i’ll be back on form next time.

3 comments on “Dog in the henhouse

  1. LẌ

    Oh, those poor chickens. I am so sorry.

    I personally think it is highly reckless and irresponsible to keep such a breed of dog. It’s not the dog’s fault, they are bred for blood sport. It doesn’t take much for them to revert to their nature and kill and maim other animals or children. No matter how nice those people may seem, they are dangerous fools for keeping such a dog. I fear the dog may get loose again and kill a child.

    [Please feel free to delete these remarks if inappropriate.]

  2. Z Post author

    I ran in and took hold of the dog, so I know it is not at all aggressive towards people. I half expected it to turn on me, but it didn’t and was simply having fun until I stopped it, when it calmed down at once. I have known many dogs that were immensely gentle with children and would have defended them from harm, but could not be trusted with certain animals. My Chester, for instance, knew not to touch a bird of whatever size but would chase and kill a rabbit. Ben, who adores children, would chase a chicken, though he would just ‘retrieve’ it, but I’ve known plenty of dogs that were lovely until they saw a bird or a cat, when they became killers – including greyhounds, which are otherwise the gentlest of dogs. Although I have considerable doubts about keeping certain breeds as domestic pets, one that follows its natural instincts and kills a bird or rodent isn’t necessarily likely to attack a person.

    Minutes after reading what BW said, Eloise cat came in with a robin. Fortunately live and unhurt, we let it go and it was the first bird she’d caught. But she does catch mice and kill them. I’ve never seen her show teeth or claws to any child, though, it doesn’t follow.

    Please let’s leave it at that – this is a public website and I would be very uncomfortable about the discussion going further. Thank you.


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