No attention make chicken angry!

I see you all politely ignored my bizarre chicken-centric post.  Ignore chickens at your own peril, my friends!

Just to be obstinate, I’m going to discuss my feathered friends some more.  I quite like my chickens … at first I was all “Meh, chickens, whatever, they lay eggs.”  But over time, I’ve grown quite fond of them.  Not fond enough to name them or anything – they’re just known as The Chicken Collective (like an alt-rock band, such as Arcade Fire) although I did name the one black chicken.  Mostly because I can tell her apart from the others.

This is Black Roc Camaro:

She insisted I take a photo of her good side, and not the paralyzed side.  Her other eye is all droopy, a lasting impression of TWooie’s chicken killing spree.  She’s the Queen Chicken, and nobody fucks with her.

I like the chickens because they are funny as hell.  If I call “Ladies!” they all come a-runnin’ to see what I have for them to eat.  They cock their heads to the side when you talk to them, which makes them all look like tiny little Tweeds.  And they fight over worms, which is gross but hilarious.  Right now they are all picking on Road Chicken, who just wants to eat some snow in peace.

They are also extremely handy as dog sitters.  If I need to get some stuff down around the property, I can just plunk Faith down in front of the chicken coop and she’ll stare at them for a good hour straight if necessary.

Faith continues to be my good girl.  She’s such an easy creature to have around!

And she does not want to eat or even hurt my chickens, unlike SOME dogs I know.

How DARE you malign me that way!

As you can see from the fluffy white backgrounds, the snow has visited us at long last!  And lots of it too – there was a good 8″ or so of snow out there this morning for our morning walk.

Do you think the dogs were happy about it?

Maybe just mesmerized.

What I noticed while editing snow photos this morning was how often I get The Accidental Dog shot when I’m trying for something else.

Like The Accidental Faith:

Or The Accidental Dexter:

And The Accidental Piper:

No wonder I feel like there are dogs *EVERYWHERE* sometimes.

In fact, I just went through a kind of short period where I thought maybe I just hated all of my dogs for a little while.  It felt like every time I tried to do something, there was a dog in the way – poking me in the eye when I leaned over to put on my boots (Woo); laying outside the bathroom door to trip over after my shower (Piper); springing across my half-sleeping form when the alarm went off (Dexter), squishing under the babygate to raid the cat box and torment the house chickens (TWooie)…then there are the three 12 foot long planks of my unfinished dog walk stretched across my kitchen because they’re still unpainted and I have nowhere dry to store them (and they are too tall to lean up against the wall) which I alternately trip over and stub my toe on many times a day.  The sun shining through my windows showing me all the many noseprints on them.  Faint traces of farm mud splattered across every surface in the house under a height of 2 feet.  Endless dog-drying-towels laundry.  Piper’s continuous growl through breakfast preparations.  Tweed and Piper snarking at one another under the bed at night when I’m trying to sleep.  Dexter’s new game of launching out the front door at 5AM pee time and racing for the back of the property barking so the other dogs will chase him, barking as well.  I was just sick to death of them all and wanted them all to go straight to hell, without barking, without stepping on me or poking me or tripping me, and just friggin’ STAY there, and the hell away from me!

I’m sure not the only person who has these lapses, am I?

In class last Thursday I was getting unreasonably irritated with Dexter who was skipping out of the last pole in anticipation of the next obstacle and when The Sadist chided me with “Remember he’s just a baby dog!” I snarked back “But he KNOWS how to do all the poles, he’s just being an ass.”  Later he pulled me aside and pleaded with me not to become *that* handler, you know, the one who blames their dog all the time instead of just working through the problem as a challenge to be solved.

Why do you hate me so, Food Lady?


I told him that I was just irritated with Dexter for other stuff and I had accidentally brought that irritation with me to class.  And that’s when I realized that, in fact, that was *exactly what I was doing … and not just to Dexter at class, but to all my dogs, all the time.  I suppose my general irritation at losing my car, my aching shoulder, the cold shitty weather / long winter etc. was making me frustrated and I was bringing it home to my dogs, who I was viewing as another form of frustration – after a long day at work and a long commute home, it’s dark and cold and the dogs are wired from being alone all day and it’s too dark and late to give them much exercise, and then I lapse into a tv coma beside a warm heater until bed time and … and their behaviour is my own fault, because I am not doing much with them.  Really I am frustrated with ME.

So in honour of letting go of my frustrations, here are some reasons why I LOVE my dogs.

Because I just rolled in the snow and then posed for you, all serious-sexy like:


Because I chased a rabbit through the pokies and made my ears bleed, but I’m smiling anyway:

Because I’m so earnest when I sit here begging for you to kick snow at me:

Because I think EVERYTHING is FANTASTIC!

Because even though I am far from perfect, and you didn’t mean to love me, you do anyway … you know you do!

Because I never do anything wrong.

Because we chickens are a superior race, and somehow, your life always comes back to chickens.

Damn post-invading chickens!

Go love your dogs for an extra moment.  You’ll be glad you did!  I made mine pancakes this morning as a way of apologizing for my bad behaviour :)

Happy Snow Day!

Is it time to go outside again?  Is it?  Is it?

(Here’s some extra love for Tweed, because I love him the mostest!)

Comments

  1. I love the chicken posts! I had a pet chicken for a while (while living in a suburb, not the country.) She sat on my shoulder while I did college work, although she was really too big for that. I also posed her on top of a horse once but the horse didn’t like it and took off, much to the chicken’s regret.

    There is a picture of her posing with my dog of the time in this post:

    http://3dogdays.blogspot.com/2011/02/some-more-old-dog-pictures.html

  2. Aww.

    Thanks for the reminder, Food Lady.

    A few months ago I came across this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkTsDhuBSyA and realized I was letting day-to-day annoyances turn me into Betty Draper as far as my dogs were concerned.

    I’ve since been trying to focus on the many and varied ways they are completely *awesome*–as difficult as that may sometimes be over the din.

  3. I love your chickens. They remind me of when I used to have MY chickens, many years ago. I’d put boards down in the garden so bugs would collect under them. I’d call the chickens, “C’mon ladies” and they’d all come running to get the special treats under the boards.

    The funniest thing was my two labs at the time. They were very good with the chickens because they were “THEIR CHICKENS”. I’d give the dogs a couple of large meaty bones to chew on. The chickens kept tormenting my black lab, trying to steal pieces of meat off the bone. He’d just pick it up, move a few feet away and lay down with his bone again. Finally, he had enough of the chickens so he picked up the bone and started running with it. Funniest sight in the world was to see 6 chickens running like fat little old ladies with their skirts hiked up…chasing after this dog, trying to steal pieces of meat from his bone. I still laugh when I think about it.

  4. wow, thanks for the post, i only have 2 pups, one BC whose craftiness to get the liter box will be the end of me. this week was really bad and then my deaf aussie mix whose unwillingness to listen to me and be miss-antisocial to dogs and people make my social life a zero. so i like you are not currently in love with my dogs.
    on the chicken front i love frizzles, a friend has them on her farm and i love the feathers on the ankles. there are also a breed who look like they have walked thru a wind storm backwards. they are great too

    Annie, MacKenzie and Mikka

  5. Laura Norie says:

    I won’t ignore your chicken posts, Food Lady….I also love my chickens and have even named a couple….Olive Oyl, ’cause she was so awkward and dorky when she was little, and Ruffy, because she looked like a baby ruffed grouse when she was little, and Dottie, who shuffled off to Buffalo on Tuesday, but she was beautiful and “dottie”….she was a Speckled Sussex, very pretty.

  6. I dig your chicken posts. I wish you would get goats and post about them. :)

    I hear you about hating my dogs every now and then. Today I went out to the country for a cookout with friends, and we all brought our dogs, and it was nothing but dogs underfoot all afternoon…dogs barking, dogs begging, dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs – EVERYWHERE. I found myself just wishing I’d left the sh!theads at home so I could hang out with my friends in peace, but now back at home as they are wiped out, deliriously exhausted at my feet after a good long day…yeah, it’s pretty nice. And I love my dogs again.

  7. Laurie (fletch, mo and chic too) says:

    Ha, ha!!!! You make laugh. Defense of the chickens. You my friend are officially a country hick! You that not so many years ago mocked me for living in the sticks, told me eh, nice to visit, could NEVER live there have officially turned the corner. Welcome, it isn’t such a bad place to be:)

  8. No, I think we all go through that at some point or another. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day anyhow, I just want Emma to “Shut the hell up already!” When of course she’s just stir crazy and needing a walk. Sometimes I don’t want to be tripping over them all the time.

    But I think it’s like you say, those are days when I feel like crap anyhow. And *everything* annoys me, not just the dogs.

    When in fact I wouldn’t trade my dogs for anything!

  9. I can totally relate to your feelings in this post. I know I do the same thing from time to time, and then their sweet little forgiving and loving faces will bring me back to reality. I wish I was more like them…just living in the moment. So much to learn from them…

  10. I understand your fascination with chickens. I have peacocks and love to watch their behaviours and interactions with each other and the other animals. I have had times when I feel like I need a vacation from my four border collies, three horses, three peacocks, 30 year old parrot, and three barn cats. Then, when I do take the odd weekend off to go spend with a friend, I find myself talking or thinking about my animal children the whole time :)

  11. Yup, can totally relate. I find it happens when things have gone badly one after the other or about every 30 days or so. ;) Once I realize I’m being a grouch, it’s much easier to get better!!

  12. I love your chickens! They have chickens at the stables where I board my horse, so I know exactly what you mean about head cocking and running up to you when you talk to them to see if you’re going to feed them. The day I moved my horse in, I was getting his stuff out of the trunk of my car and looked down to find myself surrounded by chickens. Soon after I discovered that people often feed them grain out of the trunks of their cars, which is why they were so interested in mine!

    Keep an eye on your new hen, though, by the way. I have heard chickens can be extremely territorial, and will even gang up on and kill new chickens, so it’s best to introduce them slowly.

  13. “…like tiny little Tweeds..” Thank you for my laugh of the day!

  14. I’m a chicken-post fan, too! I just don’t comment very often. And thanks for the reminder about letting our frustrations affect how we handle our dogs. Just came in from a walk in the pouring, freezing rain, where we got ambushed by the town crazy woman with the large unneutered untrained dog who had to badmouth all my neighbours (the woman, not the dog), and where Charley simply didn’t want to walk with me or HER – so plonked down in the middle of the intersection and refused to budge. Did I take my frustrations out on her? Of course – practically dragged her across the road, muttering bitterly the whole time. And now I shall go apologize to my old crippled up girl and tell her that next time I shall just sit down in the intersection with her until she’s ready to move on. Or at least find a route that allows us to avoid the crazy old woman and her untrained horny dog.

  15. I would love to have some chickens. Unfortunately I don’t live out in the sticks but in a subdivision. I can’t even have a fence! Maybe someday. I can’t imagine how you handle 6 dogs, especially some with such high energy or naughty ways (Twooie). Mine have finally realized they are only going some place on the weekend during the winter. Every time I go anywhere near the door I am tripping over one or the other of them because they think it’s time to “GO”!! Faith seems like such a sweetheart. I hope she finds a forever home soon.

  16. I too can relate to feeling hateful towards pets at times. When I am tired and achy, my much-beloved dogs and cats get some unfair grumpiness from me. Also sometimes I just want to read my darn book without a cat walking on it or my little fetch-monster delivering toys to my lap.

  17. It’s totally okay to get irritated with your dogs sometimes. I’ve been pretty sick over the past few years, and one of my dogs does NOT want to leave my side. She will lay at the foot of my bed all day. My other dog follows me around (and into the bathroom), and bumps at me when he wants something. If he doesn’t feel like he’s getting enough attention, he’ll push his way in under the covers and shove up against my chest. And he’s a 30 lb dog! Sometimes I just want them to leave me ALONE and will toss them out and tell them to shut up and quit barking. I feel bad, because they know I’m sick and want to be there, but it’s just annoying having to share a bed with two 30 lb dogs when I’m hurting.

  18. Love that last pic of Tweed.
    And yes, love your dogs. We are giving Skye-dog extra loving since we just found out she has lymphoma. :c( So it’s chemo for the next six months. You don’t know what you have until you may lose it…

  19. Thnkyou foodlady – I was doing the same thing recently, then one day I just stopped and realised Loki had backed into me for a hug, and I hugged him and the days problems just disappeared. I really should listen to my dog more and a lot of people less

  20. Thanks for the reminder to love our dogs. Sometimes life can make us crazy but they still deserve our best:-)

  21. Thank you, thank you. I swear your blog is the only thing that keeps me somewhat sane sometimes.
    I had a day last week after being cooped up (no pun intended) with the beasties way to much because of the weather .
    The first reeeaaalllllly nice day and the basement flooded from melting snowpack / groundwater. Went down to start the pumps and of course they were all trooping along. Can’t to anything alone, can’t even pee alone. I opened the door and everyone took off splashing away like I did this on purpose. Yea, indoor kiddie pool, not. Then as I was about to plug in pumps the power goes off. I’m standing there in the dark yelling “knock it off , let’s go. ” and I can hear them zooming through the water totally mindless to me. Just like a little kid the next thing out of my mouth was ” I hate you, I hate you all.”
    I always feel so bad then I about your guys and realize it’s OK that most of them are still works in progress and that I am half nuts at times.

  22. I only have a cat and a hamster and I hit that phase of loathing them both about a month back.

    But then I had a week off work, during which time I did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and now I’m back to loving them. Even Poppy-the-deaf-cat’s constant talking to herself has become adorable again, instead of just cause for drop-kicking her out the window.

  23. clairesmum says:

    Real kids, fur kids – the same level of frustration can develop, esp in late Feb and early March in climates with lots of cold/dark/snow/ice in winter months. It’s pretty normal to want a break from caregiving sometimes, no matter how much you love your kids! just give em lots of love once you get back on your feet – in this way dogs and cats are easier – you don’t have to worry that one bad weekend will cause them to become a juvenile delinquent or require years on the psychiatrist’s couch!

  24. I can relate – love them and they drive me crazy. We could use a few chickens to keep them occupied. I may not comment much but I read your blog religiously.

  25. I love my dog because she loves me no matter what kind of foul mood I am in (in your case it would be a fowl mood). Unlike my children.

  26. Mike Webster says:

    Dear Food Lady: Just coming to your site from a link my wife, another dog blog author, posted somewhere in her FB account. And I gotta say, “HOLY COW, that’s hysterical!” (You don’t keep cows also, do you?) And what great photos!

    I’m really impressed with what you and all the other dog bloggers do, but I myself would be too chicken to try it.

    Keep up the good work.

  27. Lovely, honest post. And awww, that Dexter is one handsome fella!!

    BTW, FoodLady, if you don’t mind my asking, how is your whiplash?

  28. Now our Mama says she wishes we had some chickens! If she ever gets a house of her own, there are going to be so many animals, you won’t be able to even FIND us among all the goats, chickens, and cows!

  29. If it helps I think Piper is just trying to guard the bathroom door and protect you when she sit outside before you trip over her. And Dexter loves you no matter what, you only need to see the photographs to feel it. I actually don’t think Tweed can in anyway not love you or anyone, he looks adorable whenever he appears. And the Evil Twin Brothers love you too, in their very “special” and “particular” way. Faith looks adorable and looks like she is very happy, I don’t know why but I feel some kind of vibe with her (like you feel adopting her, maybe?) You better find a family for her soon or she might be the new baby in the house. :)

    Hope everything goes well and you recover from the shoulder and the crash.

    Best of luck and best wishes. :)

  30. You love your chickens, I am going to embark on a love affair with honeybees! I have been learning the basics of beekeeping (from an 85-year old woman who’s spent her life in apiaries!) and come May, I am putting two hives in my disused outbuilding. Yay! Pollination and honey will occur!

    Totally agree about our dogs being the brunt of our frustration and not the source. I make conscious efforts to not be annoyed with them and to leave my irritation — at the weather, the job, the traffic, etc. — out of my responses to them. EXCEPT when Sundance for the umpteenth time eats sh!t and doesn’t stop when I yell at him. That’s different. :)

  31. I love your blog! You photographs and sense of humor are a joy. And, I gave you a Stylish Blogging Award. http://bit.ly/gyK9Vf

  32. Actually I have chicken envy and need to stay away from the thought of owning chickens. I have a terrible twosome that would kill chickens too. The foster dog might also. Only my little BC/heeler is a good boy.

  33. Sometimes I feel like there is always a dog in the way, and I only have one!

  34. Hahahaha. You remind me of a friend of mine from years ago. She was a breeder, and also a professional handler, so there were always a couple dozen dogs at her place.

    My friend always made it a point to ask her neighbors if they were ever bothered by her dogs (because then the neighbors were more likely to discuss problems with her instead of calling the authorities).

    I remember one guy telling her, “No lady, the dogs aren’t a problem. But you know, every so often, around midnight, somebody comes out your back door and yells “G*d@^^*! I HATE DOGS!”

  35. Obviously you need more dogs.

  36. Wow, I’m glad I found your blog. This post is brilliant (even with the nosy chickens in too).
    Your dogs are beautiful and you captured some really funny photos of them.
    I can really relate to your frustrations… I left my phone on the table today and left the room for a while. When I came back, my dog had chewed it to pieces. But there was no use to blame and punish her. Dogs will be dogs after all…

  37. Today I had a hate on for my blind GSD pupper. Banging, crashing, slipping, and sliding all over the damn place. I never said a word to him but was screaming on the inside. My older female, Ticket, came over at my height of stress and leaned into me so hard I fell back onto the floor. Banging, crashing, slipping and sliding down I went on the floor.

    Humbled…yes siree!

    My stress? Furnace broken, waiting on money owed, owing money, blah blah blah, normal life bs….but I have my eyesight!

    Great post. Great blog.

    Cheers!

  38. I loathed one of my dogs and wished I had no dogs this morning. I woke up to diarrhea poop in the spare room. I know which dog it was because he’s a “twirling pooper”. Does anyone want a hound-mix with colitis? FREE TO A GOOD HOME!! Nah, I still love my beasts and the foster dog is pretty cool too.

    Robin

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