Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Double Jeopardy

I've been delaying this post because... ugh.  It's awful.  But I just want to get it out there.  I apologize in advance for upsetting anyone.  I will spare you the details (I actually don't know them, as David spared ME the details).  But we need to go on public record here...

You may remember that Cooper's conviction in the murder of Dixie the Chicken was overturned.  And he received a public apology.

What happened to Dixie remains a mystery.

What happened to her sisters is just a few days later is, unfortunately, a sad, sad story, with NO DOUBT about the guilty party.

Cooper evidently realized that he'd been acquitted of chicken murder and decided to take advantage of the law of double jeopardy, Ashley-Judd-style.

We were inside watching the Hatfields slaughter the McCoys, while out in the yard another slaughter was taking place.

I didn't see the gory scene.  But I did see David's face as he whipped off his flip flop.  I did see Cooper slink guiltily away after getting his bottom paddled with said flip flop.  And when David told me all three of the chickens were gone, I did scream and cry so loudly that the neighbors came outside to see what the hell was going on.

Cooper had never been in so much trouble before.  And yet, there's only so much you can do to a dog who is following his natural instincts, you know?  He got caught red-handed, so at least he knew exactly what he was in trouble for.  But he didn't really seem SORRY.

David gave him a bath and it was time for bed, but there was NO WAY that we were sleeping with a chicken murderer who'd gotten away on a technicality.  Not to mention he was soaking wet and we were SO MAD and SO UPSET with him.

So, for the first time EVER, we closed the bedroom door and made Cooper sleep on his dog bed in the living room (it felt almost like the equivalent of life without parole).

I think David was more devastated than I was, as he'd invested much more time and energy into the chickens.  And even though we both knew that it wasn't Cooper's FAULT that he was SO!  INTERESTED! in those chickens, it still felt like a betrayal.  Fratricidal maniac.

I was ready to be DONE with the chicken thing.  Enough drama and trauma and death in the backyard already.  I am stressed out enough without that shit.  I felt mopey and depressed about the chickens for days.

But David was bound and determined we would have FRESH! EGGS! THIS! FALL!  He'd also spent a lot of time building a pen and invested a chunk of money in buying the house, and he was unwilling to let the dream die.  So... he brought home three more chicks.

In order to ensure he was not bringing them to their deaths, he also brought home several yards of sturdy, heavy-gauge fencing and built another fence all around the pen and the chicken house.  This one is decidedly Cooper-proof.

Also, Cooper now gets squirted with a water gun if he gets too close to the fence.

The new chickens remain nameless, as I am trying not to get attached to them.  This isn't that easy because they are actually friendlier and more docile than the First Generation.

So... I am thinking of calling them Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy.  But that is NOT official!  They are NOT my pets!  Because my only pets are total shithead dogs!  Hmm.  Maybe I need to rethink who lives outside in a pen...

It took David a few days to work through his disappointment and anger, but he and Cooper are buddies again.   Meanwhile, Cooper and Little Mac are adjusting well to our new sleeping arrangements, and (surprise, surprise) our queen-size bed is much roomier when we're not sharing it with a fratricidal puggle.

dogs in their dog beds--a novel idea!
Let's just hope these dogs are getting their terrible shithead behavior out of their system now.  Because I'm really hoping that in about two weeks (or LESS), we're going to bring home a certain little someone who is REALLY going to rock their world.


  1. I love your sense of humor! Sorry about the first generation chickens and definitely hoping you're able to keep this second generation around for much longer.

  2. Sorry to hear about the chickens! Brooke L. once forgot to close the door to the chicken coop last summer in Iowa, a few weeks before they were supposed to start laying. I went outside at 11:00, realizing she hadn't closed the door, and found 3 surviving chickens (of 15). One of those 3 was dragging its leg, injured. Most of the other chickens were simply gone, but there were a few dead chickens around the coop.

    So yeah, definitely sucks, and very depressing. Sadly, it happens and with every time (over the course of a few months, all of our chickens were killed in various ways, and not by us), you get better at defending them!

  3. Oh! Oh no! I would have avoided writing this post as well! I can see why it took David a few days to recover, I know it would do the same for Matt. Simon (cat) bit Matt once, the only time he has ever bitten. It took Matt weeks to forgive him. Simon was humiliated. They were on opposite ends of the house for some time. It was a bad few weeks at our house.

    I LOVE your last statement. I think all pet owners look forward to bringing home baby and seeing how it rocks their pets world. I actually mourned that with Ava. I, too, hope and look forward to your postings about your two adjusting to your 4th member of the family.

  4. Oh no! So sorry about the chickens! Probably easiest to move the dogs out of your room now, especially if you were planning to do it with the baby anyway. Our dogs do still sleep in our room (ugh), but they both have crates with beds they sleep in there. (Yep, 1/3 of our bedroom is taken up by dog crates for a german shepherd and husky. )

    Huh...ironically just as I was typing this the Today show is playing in the background and they just mentioned a study that found children with dogs in the home may have a reduced risk of RSV, and previous studies have indicated a lower risk of asthma. I guess our butthead dogs are staying for the time being.

  5. Good plan with the doggies. My David and I didn't change their sleeping arrangements before baby Davey showed up. But when they heard the first middle of the night baby cries, they both bolted from our bedroom in fear.

    Thinking of you these last few nerve wracking days.

  6. I am so sorry for your lil chicks. Hoping your new ones will be safe.

    We tried the water squirting technique with our pup to stop some unwanted behavior, but it sort of back fired. His big floppy ears developed an infection leaving me feeling guilty all over. He is just too stubborn I guess. Hope your Cooper is better than mine. I would suggest try to leave him aside when he goes near the pen. Our pup can't handle being ignored at all and gives up biting/nipping. Also, you may try bitter apple spray on the pen, where he tends to bite. It tastes awful but is safe for dogs. Just don't spray it on your dog!

  7. I really wish we lived closer. I'd love to hear these stories out loud. But I guess reading them is good enough.

    I'm sorry about the chicks. :/

    C'mon, Deuce. Come rock their world!

  8. Oh. My. So sorry about the chickens... but honestly? Those photos completely crack me up. ; ) Enjoy the peaceful & roomier bedroom for now... you will have a new roommate joining you soon!

  9. I'm sorry about the chicks, too - really sorry but I still love your puggle...and your sense of humor.

  10. Oh lawd I'm so sorry about your chickies.

    I was going to comment on your last post but spaced it so I will on this one; once again, these dogs better thank the heavens they found you as owners, you are magnificent. :)

  11. It has been suggested to me that not only was Cooper following natural instincts, but he may have had additional motive arising from jealousy - the amount of time David was spending on the chicken coop and house. We are so anxious for the Deuce to rock their world. Peggy

  12. Oh no! But your posts about the dogs always give me a laugh, even if I shouldn't be laughing.
    Come on Deuce, time to show your face around here!

  13. So sorry about the chickens. I've told my husband multiple times that I want chicks, but between our dog and coyotes that we've seen in our yard, I've been told a definite no. Probably just as well, because I too would cry if something happened to them.

    But, even as chicken killer, that dog is totally adorable. Sorry, but it's true.

    Also, I do love those curtains. So cute!

  14. Oh no!!! I'm so very sorry. Not the drama you need.

  15. I'm with Brady- I'd love to hear these stories over a giant glass of wine... I'd settle for a you tube video... Waiting... lol. :)

  16. Sorry about the chicks and I know how tough it is to be disappointed in your pup. But way to keep it interesting these last few days/week(s). Never a dull moment in the Duckworth abode egh?

  17. He's such a cute little fratricidal maniac, though.

    I remember when a good friend's sweet and crazy golden retriever got a nest of bunnies in their backyard. It's one thing to know that dogs are dogs, but I think she's still getting over it.

    I hope the heightened security does the job and that these chick grow up to be big and intimidating to dogs and lay a lot of eggs.