Thursday, September 8, 2011


I'm too sad to say much now, but know that while we were in Grass Valley today, Rosie dug into the pasture and killed the children's 3 chicks, another hen who'd just started laying, Buttercup, and our eldest hen, Soul Sister. She was at least 10 years old, and "mother" to many of the other hens.

Earlier this month she killed Little Red. That is 6 loved chicken pets.

Rosie is tethered now, and away from me. Which is good, because I could do her harm now.
This is my new policy for her. No longer a free country dog, but a dog with earned boundaries from now on.

The girls have approached me about this. They feel it is cruel.

They have already forgiven her!

I am amazed, and puzzled.

I suggested that this dog, and chicken ownership were incompatible. That we needed to make change. They would not consider finding Rosie a chicken-free household.

In considering our different feelings about this situation, I settle on this.
They are not parents.
Yes, they've suffered a huge loss.
But watching my children, react to this loss AGAIN (in addition to the loss of the hens), has hardened my heart to Rosie, irreparably I think.

(And I know she's doing what natural dogs do. And I said this to the children, but....)

My job is to protect my children, and I have not protected them from this adequately.

It's heartbreaking.


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  2. Yesterday we had a lesson about death that we did not expect or want. We were reminded that it is hard and painful to lose what we love. But the learning is no solace.

  3. I'm so sad that this happened. I remember Soul Sister in particular and know how beloved all your chickens are to the family. I appreciated the title of this post by Juliana. This is a lesson about death and about nature, but also a lesson about forgiveness. Forgiving Rosie (but perhaps recognizing that she can't be trusted to roam free) and forgiving yourselves for not foreseeing this tragedy. That will likely be the toughest of all! Love from all the Schroeders!