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Two Goats and a Donkey!

Wednesdayday, April 9, 2021

Oh, gentle reader. So much has happened since my last posting, which I can't believe was almost a month ago! I am so sorry for letting that much time elapse! May 14 was my last posting, and it was short and sweet - this one will not be short! So, that last post was 1 week before my birthday, which was May 21. I turned 54 years old (my God, where did those years go???). Now, the day before, Thursday, May 20, was one of the worst days I've ever experienced. Well, in the top 10 at least.

So what happened on this fateful day, you may be asking? Well, a few weeks before, I had set up an extended yard for my chickens to be out in during the day so they could range a bit more, have more room, have some grass to chew up, bugs to eat, etc. Now, this was set up with a net-type fence, so it's not terribly secure, but I figured as long as I was home and could keep an eye on things, it would be ok. It was not ok. On that day, I had taken Max (my dog) for a walk that afternoon, since I'm still on FMLA leave from work. As we were walking, I saw the two German shepherds from up the road walking over towards the woods in the opposite direction of my house. So I thought nothing of it. Max and I continued our walk, but as we were heading back, I could hear a commotion from the chickens. I figured they had probably laid an egg or something, but when I got close enough, I could see the two German shepherds INSIDE the net-fenced pen. I quickly put Max on the porch and tore off to the pen to find one chicken inside the smaller dog's mouth. I figured she was a goner for sure, but as I ran to the fence, the dog dropped her and she took off towards the oak tree in the middle of the pen. I got the gate down and chased those dogs, half out of my mind, around the pen trying to get them out, or kill them, I wasn't sure which. I had the taser I take with me on our walks (for these very dogs) in my pocket, so I got it out, trying to tase the larger shepherd, who is also the mother of the other one. She evaded me and ran out the open gate. The smaller one could not figure out how to get out. I did manage to tase her, but she still couldn't figure out how to go through the open gate and instead ran inside the chicken coop. When she did, two chickens who had taken refuge in there came clucking out and I locked her ass inside. I then went to check on the chicken that had been in the dog's mouth. She was lying on the ground in a hollow made by some of the roots of the oak tree, feathers completely gone from her bloody back and tail. I figured she wasn't going to pull through. A second chicken was lying on her side, and when I picked her up, I could see no discernable injuries to her, but when I set her back down, she was unable to stand, having a problem with her foot or leg. I then started off on foot, storming up to the trailer where the dogs live, but halfway there realized I had left the gate open. I returned, closed the gate to make sure the chickens couldn't get out, put Max inside the house, then drove up to the trailer. When I arrived, I was so very angry (but had cooled down slightly from when I started walking over there), and I laid on the horn. The guy who owns the dogs came from around the back, and I told him to come get his dog before I killed it. I then explained as well as I could through my anger what had happened, and he came to get the dog. When he and I both arrived, I showed him both chickens and made him take both dogs home. He offered to pay for the chickens, but I told him I didn't want any money, I just wanted assurances that this would never happen again.

It turned out that both chickens survived their injuries. I got some disinfectant for the bloody one, and put both of them in Max's old kennel to separate them from the rest of the flock. After about a week, the one with the bad leg was fine, so I returned her to the flock, but kept the bloodied one separate still. After another week, I started putting her with the flock during the day, but back in the kennel at night. One evening, she didn't want to go, so I let her stay with the flock for a few days until it looked like they were pecking on her wounds and making them bleed again, so I once more am putting her in the kennel at night. However, the drama doesn't end there. About a week ago, I went to feed the chickens one morning and found one dead in the coop. I don't know if she was the one with the injured leg or not, because I can't really tell them apart, other than the bloodied one - and she I could tell apart beforehand, because her comb is slanted to the side. Anyway, there were no visible injuries, so I assumed she probably died of a heart attack. My understanding is that heart attacks are fairly common with modern chickens. So that's my chicken story. A hell of a way to spend my birthday, with a bloody attack on my flock the day before it. The first four pictures below are each of the chickens minutes after the attack and of Henrietta (what I call the one that was bloodied) in Max's kennel.

Now in the middle of all this, I've still been sick, and because I've not been able to work, the company requested I change my intermittent FMLA to continuous FMLA. So I was in the process of doing that, as well as still trying to get answers to what is going on with me. The first picture on the second row is of me waiting in the GI doctor's office. The next picture is just one I love of the hubs in his gardening hat, and then the next is of Maggie. There is drama with the doctors as well, unfortunately. Since I've been unable to work, and since the company wanted me to switch to continuous FMLA, I had to get my doctor to fill out the paperwork for that. Also, I haven't received a paycheck in a while, so since I have short-term disability insurance through the company, I decided maybe I should file a claim for that as well. And that also includes having to have the form filled out by my doctor. Well, the doctor decided he wanted to see me today, and he told me he doesn't think I need either the continuous FMLA or the short-term disability, so he's not going to fill out the paperwork. Now, I had mentioned before about 2 anxiety meds he'd prescribed, and how badly those went. Last time I was there (before today), he had decided he wanted me to try again with another one, Paxil. I tried it, it made me dizzy and had me falling over, as well as had to same bad side effects when it comes to my personal life with the hubs. So I stopped taking it. Well, today he insisted that I give it another try, because he's more focused on the anxiety and depression I have that stems from my physical symptoms and it mostly ignoring the physical symptoms themselves. So I'll give it another try, taking it at night this time to hopefully counteract the dizziness. He also seems to think I should be evaluated for ADD/ADHD because I have trouble concentrating. Ya think? It's a little hard to concentrate when nauseated and cramping, while having a headache that won't go away and getting confused by little things that shouldn't confuse anyone. But no, let's not focus on the real issues. I've about decided I'm going to "fire" my doctor.

Anyway, then the rest of the pictures are of my flowers/plants out in the yard, and also a project I've been doing because sometimes working out in the yard tends to make me feel better - getting a little exercise instead of sitting in one place for 8 hours. And then the last 2 pictures are of the hubby's formal garden, which he is making simply fantastic!

Anyway, thanks for reading this far, and sorry that I've not been around much. It's just so difficult to make yourself do things when feeling awful, but hopefully there will be light at the end of the tunnel one of these days. I'm thinking ahead/doing some planning that hopefully will make help things. In any case, have a wonderful evening, gentle reader.

George













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