Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dog sitting tragedy

This morning, Cyan was excited to take the dog outside with her as she did her chores. Unfortunately, those chores include feeding the chickens, and those chickens are just big enough to jump out of their brooder box and leave the shed. And we had a dog.

I was in the garden when she started screaming and I ran (seemingly in slow motion) across the yard to my daughter who was laid flat on the dog, screaming "NO!!!" But, the dog is a dog. And although he is a really nice dog, he still has that "if it runs, catch and kill it" instinct.

Cyan's chicken, Wendy, died about 5 minutes later in Cyan's arms. Cyan feels as though it is her fault... but she really didn't understand that the dog would do that. I hadn't told her what would happen, I just told her to keep the chickens locked up tight when the dog was out. The poor thing has been crying off and on all day.

We had a pretty little burial for the chicken. We put her in a box on fir boughs from the tree, and placed a bunch of wildflowers and lavender in the box with her. Then buried her under where the chicken coop is being built.

We prayed and hugged, and talked about hunter instinct and how dogs are made.

She took the dog for a walk and spent some time forgiving him.

We hugged and cried, and talked about food chains and prey animals.

Then she cried and we hugged some more.

Sometimes it is really hard to have pets. Especially prey pets. They are skittish and easily hurt. And wow... they are broken so quickly.

Sometimes it is really hard to have little girls... they feel everything and think about everything that has ever gone wrong. She has said all day (the last time being just a couple seconds ago) that she wished she could start this day over and it was all just a dream. All I could do was hug her and tell her that this too, shall pass.




Committed Recycler said...

It is hard to have little girls, especially so since I remember very clearly having been one, so easily scarred by the events of the day.

Good luck with your homestead farming and pets, I love seeing your progress and success on line.

Sally said...

I am so sorry to hear that your young one has had to deal with this. It's not easy, I know....thinking of her today!

Bending Birches said...

this happened to one of my good friends who keeps chickens....sad story, but think of the lessons it has taught your daughter:)

ColorSlut said...

:( I'm so sorry to hear this. It isn't her fault. I really hope she is okay!

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

So sorry Val, the same thing happened to a friend of mine but it was kitten and a pit bull and I think everyone was scarred for life afterwards. : (
Hugs to you both.
xoxo marylea

Petit Design Co. said...

Poor Cyan. We also had an incident with our dog and our chicks. My daughter was only 2.5 at the time so she didn't have any guilt. I feel so bad for poor Cyan.

LJ said...

Oh dear - poor Cyan. I am so sorry to hear. I want chickens but that is the reason I won't get them - I know my dogs will get them. I have two girls and as they get older - I know we will be dealing with many emotional moments. You handled the situation so well. Love your blog.

Simple Mama said...

Oh goodness. I've worried about this with our chicks too. Our dog is little, and mostly awesome with them - but occasionally I see her start to chase the chicks. Mostly a, "Come on! Let's play!" I always stop her, because I know who quickly that play instinct could turn deadly. It's just natural. Blessings to you and your little ones. You handled the situation with compassion, love, honesty, and grace.

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