A few days ago I was coughing up my lungs and trying to help getting a large beam down from our attic. Over the radio I hear shouting and an old man comes running in waving his arms, he runs out again onto our yard. I can hear sounds of dissaproval in my head as I run after him. I then see a small black dog, obviously a very young dog with one of our chickens between his jaws. The man catches the dog and I pick up the bloody mess of a chicken it dropped. Apart from some scratches and a missing tail, it seemed sort of okay. I put it in the chicken coop, along with all the the other chickens we could find. Some only missed feathers, others were fine, some were a wreck.
I walked around the house and I found another chicken between some raspberry shrubs. As I went to pick her up I fell to my knees and cried. I saw two things: A gaping hole in her back, flesh torn in all directions, and her eyes who told me she wanted to live. I knew that a wound like that was fatal. I carried her to my mother and she took the chicken to the vet.
The vet wanted to patch her up, but her lungs were punctured so she had to be put down, it took three shots, instead of one.
I spend the rest of the day cutting my hands and arms digging through a ditch next to our paddocks trying to find the rest of our chickens. When night fell, the last two came home.
Today some of the chickens still won’t go outside, and some are still hurt and shaken and possibly ill.
The dog was a stray from Portugal, it had learned to take care of itself. It wasn’t allowed any freedom since it came Netherlands. When the wife tried to put the leash on, the dog shaw his chance and slipped away from underneath her fingers. When it found our chickens, it probably had the time of his life. The man wanted to put the dog down. I hope he doesn’t. Dogs will be dogs, and the dog shouldn’t be punished for being what he is. I just hope the owners will train him properly.
When an animals or human dies, it’s just gone. The body is empty and you can tell. Like a harddrive that isn’t powered. But even though I am in no way religious, I find myself wishing there was heaven for those who died. Or maybe not a heaven, but that they found peace in the last moments of their life.
Sometimes death happens. There is no dying process; it’s alive, it’s dead. Like with a car accident.
Sometimes the animal (or human) finds peace with dying, they want to die. They´re ready and calm and usually slip quite comfortably in the last stage of life.
But sometimes the animal doesn´t want to die, It is fighting, it´s alert. Like the chicken. Even though chickens have about as much facial expression as a desklight, you can tell. And it´s awful when you can´t explain to them that there is no other way, that they have to die. It is unfair and you wish with all your heart you can give them life. And when you can´t you wish for a peaceful place where they can forget that they´re no longer alive, a heaven.
But you know and you see, there is just nothing left. Dead is dead. The body remains like a house without residents.
A grimm topic, but it´s just what´s on my mind.
Next time I´ll do better.