May 31, 2013

Molly vs. Lolly

Anyone who has read my blog knows that we have the best neighbors, period.  Recently we've had a run of sheep getting loose.  One of the fence lines is weak and has been breaking when the ewes rub up against it to itch their wool.  Then they push through to get that green grass.  Four days in a row this happened and each day my neighbors helped get the sheep back into the pastures.  The last day I came home from work to find Eric out with wire trimmers and fencing fixing some holes.  Thanks to him and his wife Lola we got the sheep taken care of (but not before the girls munched my new starts in the garden - grrrrr!)

About a year ago Eric got a rescue dog Molly.  She is a golden labrador retriever and was rescued from a puppy mill.  It took her a bit to warm up to us, but she has always loved Jordan and now she will come to see me and Jeremy as well.  Although the cats don't like it when Molly comes over to our yard, Molly doesn't chase them so we don't mind when she comes lobbing over, tongue hanging out.

Memorial weekend we went on a little trip away from the farm.  (My parents come over to do chores.)  We got home Monday and promptly when down to visit all the animals.  We had just started giving oats to the sheep when Eric came over, with Molly.

Lolly following Speckles along the pole barn
Usually when Eric and Molly come down, the chickens are in their run.  But Monday night they were still out free-ranging.  Eric said, "Hi, are the birds getting into your garden?"  And then Molly took off!  She tore down the driveway, past me and after two chickens who were pecking loose oats around the pole barn.  The chickens freaked and ran behind the bard towards the thick snow berries around the creek and culvert.  I could see them flapping and trying to get away from Molly.  Everyone was yelling "Molly, drop it!"  "Molly, get back here!" "MOLLY!"  She came tromping out with Lolly, our Australorp, in her mouth.

Now Molly is a retriever and I don't know if she was ever trained to act as one, but she literally retrieved Lolly and brought her right to me (the closest human).  And it didn't even phase Molly that I was red faced and scream "Drop that chicken now!"  Molly did and Lolly took off down the creek bank squawking the whole way.

That's when Molly realized how much trouble she was in.  She headed back into the snow berries in hopes that we wouldn't be able to grab her.  But Jeremy was livid and went right in after her.  He grabbed her collar and brought her over to Eric who apologized
and drug a reluctant Molly home to spend the night in the dog house.

I went over to see if any other chickens were still in the snow berries and found Henrietta.  She was attempting to make herself as small and still as possible.  I reached down and picked her up - she was stiff, holding her wings and feet in tight.  I put her in the run with the other four, the smart ones that automatically ran into run to escape the dog.  Then we started looking for poor little Lolly.

There wasn't any blood anywhere.  Another good trait of retrievers is they have a very soft bite when getting the prey for the hunter.  But there were feathers.  I followed the trail to the last feather next to a large clump shurbery.  Jordan and I poked around calling for Lolly.  But it's hard to see an all black chicken under thick vegetation.  We looked around for about 10 minutes and then decided to give it a break and hope she would come out on her own.

An hour later we went down to check and Lolly came out.  She followed me back to the run and then let me do a once-over.  There were no puncher wounds but there were some bald spots on her shoulder and wing.  And when she tried to hop up into the coop she couldn't really flap up.  So I lifted her in the for night.  The next morning she decided to not come out.  She kept peeking out the door and then deciding to stay in.  On day two Jordan and I forced her out to eat and drink water, but she then went right back in (with help, still no flapping up).  On day three when we came down for morning chores Lolly was out of her own choice and up on the outside perch, meaning her flap came back.
Lolly feeling all better :-)

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