When Feisty Just Isn’t Enough …

Hi All

As we gallop towards the end of yet another week – where do the days go to? – I have to confess to it having been another mish-mash of smiles and pain. Not a great deal of the former and a good share of the later.

On Tuesday, little Dust lost her feisty fight for life and deteriorated to the point where I had to take her to the vet and have her euthanised. It wasn’t an easy decision because experience has taught me that a chuck can look on the verge of death one minute and then be perfectly normal the next. Maybe that time example is slightly exaggerated but they can certainly turn themselves around in 24 hours. They have ‘sick’ and ‘off’ days just like us.

The vet was new to the practice. The turnover of newly qualified vets seeking experience is massive but she was lovely and did all the right things, examining Dust internally to check if she was egg-bound or blocked etc. I steered her to the fact that Dust felt ‘fluidy’ underneath and she confirmed it, saying that she could feel a hard mass. She advised putting her to sleep but to be honest I’d already decided that was the road I had to go down. Her debilitating illness, coupled with the hot weather, was just too much for her and besides, where the prognosis is a slow, miserable death it just isn’t fair to allow that.

Whilst the vet went to fetch the necessary items I was alone with Dust. And, as is often the case, adrenalin and stress brightened her briefly. She tilted her head and with a bleary eye looked up at me, as she had done a million times, expecting a treat of some kind.  The irony of that was almost my downfall. I should have felt like a total pratt standing there stroking a chicken, talking calmly, telling her that she was going to be fine and that she would soon be with her best friend, Beautiful, but you know something? I didn’t.

I don’t think it matters if it is a chicken or a much-loved cat or dog or even a human being – it isn’t what you say, it is how you say it. Sobs and tears and an unnaturally high, distressed voice is not something that is normal to an animal. But for you to utter silly things in the same irritating voice that they have had to listen to for all their lives is, simply, reassuring. And I need for all my animals to feel reassured and safe in their last moments of life. It matters to me. The vet asked if I was taking Dust home and I said yes. It also matters to me where something spends eternity. I know …  I’m an idiot.

She has been buried in the garden that she loved – and from time to time destroyed – not far from Flowerpot and Beautiful and I hope that they all found each other in that big chicken-paradise where little gems are plentiful and worms abound. Well, you have to believe some kind of crap, don’t you? Otherwise you’d just wake up screaming every night.

Good old Betsy Land Rover pulled a good one yesterday. When Richard didn’t arrive home at the normal time of 2.00 pm and sirens and ambulances started blasting by the house, a little worry bell began to ring. He’d decided to go to work in Betsy yesterday morning, just to give her a little run? When he still hadn’t returned by 2.30 I checked my phone and I was relieved to see a text saying that Betsy wouldn’t start. I wasn’t relieved that Betsy wouldn’t start, I’m not quite that mean, no, I was relieved that he hadn’t applied the brakes at the roundabout and they had failed and he’d ploughed into a HGV. He rang a bit later to say that she still wouldn’t start and that he would get a lift home by 4.00 at the latest, if he couldn’t fix her, as we were due at the hospital at 6.20 for my long-awaited brain scan.

Fortunately, the lift home wasn’t needed as he and Betsy chugged home, hot and bothered, shortly before 4.00. The diagnoses is that the petrol tank has rusted and is putting rust into the petrol, blocking something or the other. It sounded technical – and I was in shut-down mode, stressing about the forthcoming scan. I shouldn’t have worried. We arrived 30 minutes early, seen immediately and it was over in minutes. Those minutes were spent with the operative informing me that her hubby was a drummer and had backed-up Midge Ure last week and that the aforesaid Mr Ure was very small! See what I mean? Reassuring nonsense. Delivered in a time of stress. In a normal tone. A gem in our great NHS.

Now I have to wait for the results, so obviously I’m spending rather a lot of time in the loo right now. But, as luck would have it, when I popped to Lidl yesterday they had a brilliant offer on extra strong, extra long, loo rolls, so I bought a sack of twenty. That should do – for now!

Richard had his injection into his shoulder on Monday for his calcification problem. The doctor told him it could take a couple of days to kick in and frankly, it hasn’t yet. But as I said to Richard (after he had told me that the doctor giving the injection had said, “because you are muscular it makes it more difficult to find the right spot,”) any doctor who can’t tell the difference between muscle and fat isn’t, in my opinion, worthy of much credibility! Muscle! Yeah right. I’ve seen more muscle on a shrimp. Actually, I’m fibbing a bit. He is quite muscular. He has good legs and his arms aren’t bad. It’s the bits in-between that are suspect. Poor bloke. When I think back and realise that he could have so easily shacked-up with a nice woman … such is life. It’s all down to the choices that we make – often under the influence of alcohol!

I may pop to the farm and pick up another chuck today. Please don’t think that it is a case of ‘off with the old and on with the new,’ it isn’t. It’s just that 3 chucks make sense. If one dies, or is sick and has to be separated, there are still two for company. I know. I do tend to over think these things. That’s probably what’s wearing out my poor old brain? Who knows?

Until the morrow …

Beautiful and Dust - together again...
Beautiful and Dust – together again…

Take care my lovelies x



8 thoughts on “When Feisty Just Isn’t Enough …

  1. Hello Gail, so sorry about Dust, it just breaks your heart when a pet has to be put down. Fingers crossed for the test results. What a horrible week you;ve had. Even Betsy let Richard down. One of those weeks when you think, erm, let’s just start all over again. . .


  2. My condolences Gail. Midge Ure! Now that’s a blast from the past and yes he is small, at least I think he appeared so when I watched him on Top Of The Pops 29 years ago. Glad scan is over with hope results are delivered swiftly. x


  3. Gail, sweeheart,

    I clean forgot about your scan, being too embroiled in mi cateracts!

    Sorry, when will you know? If there is a problem with your brain, I was thinking about offering a transplant, but you’d probably be better off without.

    Now, a grandmotherly word about the land-rover.

    If you could just find it in your heart to love her a little, like you do the chicks and Chea, perhaps she would stop all this nonsense of not wanting to come home. Think about it.

    Take care.

    Janet x


  4. I pressed ‘like’ then thought, ‘No, actually, I don’t like that your poor old chuck ha d to be put down, or that you had to have a brain scan, or hubby an injection, or…’ But I do like that you’re still writing, that you’re keeping Lidl going in loo roll sales..
    Keep us informed of scan results. Thinking of you.


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