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oh, right . . . the chickens

May 25, 2016

I very much appreciate the condolences readers have extended Jude and I for the loss of our beloved Slinkee.  Her obituary dwelled only on her good points, as obits are wont to do.  But Anonymous brought up a valid point: “You forgot about the chickens.”

Point taken, Anonymous.  I didn’t forget so much as selectively remember.  So here’s the full disclosure.  I don’t think Slinkee would mind.  She didn’t much care what others thought of her.

About five years ago, Jude and I started keeping chickens.  Slinkee took an immediate and unhealthy interest in them.  We did our best to keep them protected, but they are adept at finding breaches in our netting fences.  Sometimes we found the escapees first, sometimes Slinkee did.  Over the years she killed at least eight of them.

I blogged about two incidents here and here.  Her worst infraction was the day she whacked three hens who got too close to the fencing.  As angry as I was at her at those times, I had to remember that she was merely following her canine instincts.

Jude worked with her to tame that streak, but she couldn’t train it out.  Just a few months ago, Slinkee went after a grouse caught in some netting.

Her faults lie gently on her.  When Jude and I would come home at night, she would go in the house first and let Slinkee out to pee.  I would call out to her in the dark and she would come full-throttle to me like she hadn’t seen me in ages.  I miss that most.

Our cat Ollie still misses her, too.  A friend came by two days ago with his really small dog.  Ollie, an imposing 18 pounds, tried to play with her, but merely scared her back to her master.

But help is on the way, Ollie.  We have found a puppy we think will be perfect for the farm.  She should be here in a few weeks.  Stay tuned.



  1. May 25, 2016 2:41 pm

    puppies are the best cure for a missed dog. some people will say you are trying to replace. not true. you can never replace one pet with another but you can ease the hurt in your heart and start a new memory to be. teach this one about leaving the chicken alone while they are young!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    May 25, 2016 5:38 pm

    I love puppies! I think if you are a dog person it’s strange not having one around. I hope the puppy likes chickens 🙂

  3. goatbarnwitch permalink
    May 25, 2016 7:43 pm

    Good vibes to the new pup. Hopefully raised with will trump prey instinct for the chickens

  4. May 25, 2016 8:31 pm

    Condolences on Slinkee’s passing. I tried to send you a message earlier but I have had and still have problems with word press. It might just be easier to send on fb messenger but the sad thing is not being able to comment on the blogs.
    I think that a new puppy would be wonderful and I am so very sorry to hear that she is no longer with you and Jude. In Memory and in Spirit I am sure that she would approve of a new playmate for the farm.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    May 27, 2016 9:32 pm

    I have a picture of Slinkee from February 2006, in the snow. Comparing it to the one posted on your blog about Slinkee’s death, the changes of age are easy to see, the loss of vitality, the greater frailty. Hard to bear, this dissolution process. As Hafiz would say (and did say)… “If I were in the Tavern tonight, I would buy freely for everyone in the world because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty of time and space cannot endure very long…”
    ‘Cruel Beauty’–what a perfect definition of embodied life.

    And yet, I also laughed, noticing the sameness in the two pictures–not just the jolly tongue wag, but the looking-straight-at-you eyes. Those are indeed the eyes of a Queen! Who knows? Slinkee may come back in some royal human form, or at the least, as a vegetarian..

    Mourn perfectly, fully, freely Allen, Wondrously, joyfully too. The new puppy will surely help with that.

    I bow to the Queen’s spirit, and to yours too.
    Inveterate Teacher

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