We’ve had some random things end up in our yard and house over the years. I’m sure that is a statement that most if not all dog owners can say. If something is in the yard it quickly becomes a toy for the dogs. That means the dogs will play with it and most likely it will never look the same. For instance, our yard borders a school’s field area. This means lots of soccer balls and kick balls coming over the fence. If we see them we throw them back. There are those times though that we see them too late and they end up looking like Tom Brady’s foot balls, a little flat.
Last week Marc went to shut the back door in Diamond and Ruby’s room. He called them to come in and they completely ignored him. He’s used to being ignored (30 years of marriage will do that) but not from the dogs. As he got closer to them he saw they were playing with something. He assumed it was one of the little foster dogs’ toys but he would be wrong about that. He’s also used to that. I am just cracking myself up today! On approach he found out it was a mouse! A very dead mouse. We get field mice from an area at the end of our street and apparently one took a wrong turn and ended up in our yard; not good for the mouse. I’m extra grateful they didn’t bring it inside!
I’ve spoken of this before but it’s worth a second mention. We get poops in the house thanks to a couple of our pack who enjoy bringing them in and either leaving them on the sofa or eating them. Yea I know, welcome to my world. It’s unfortunate that it’s not one of those things that if you aren’t home you don’t know it happened. No. Here’s the thing, we have very small gravel in the dog run. That means when the dogs poop on the rocks, the rocks gather on the poop. Excellent visual huh? Then when they bring the turd in and eat it, what’s left is just a small pile of rocks. So even without seeing it and getting grossed out that way, you still visualize it when you see those rocks and you’re grossed out anyway. It’s a no win.
You may not believe this next story. I don’t know that I’d believe it if you told it to me. It’s just too out of the ordinary for us city people. But, it happened.
Before moving on though, there’s a few thing I need to explain. I laugh when I’m nervous. I laughed through our entire marriage ceremony. Maybe that’s because Marc was about to meet all my personalities but either way, it’s how I cope. You also need to know that we live in the heart of Phoenix. Which means we are in the city. Actually we are in the 6th largest city in the U.S. You know, crazy traffic, nothing green because it’s all cement or asphalt, crap pollution, and there are cookie cutter houses everywhere that are only 15 feet apart. Trust me, it doesn’t get more city than this.
Alright, you now have all the information you need to proceed.
It was just a regular afternoon for me and the kids (who were in their late teens at the time). It was ordinary until the doorbell rang. Things went downhill quickly after that. At the door was our neighbor who we’d know for many years. She was standing there crying while holding a white kitchen trash bag. As she began handing the bag to me she said something that I will never, ever, ever forget. “Will you get my chicken from your back yard? She’s dead.” I couldn’t believe what she’d just said and I immediately knew what happened. I felt so bad, and all I wanted to do was laugh. Now come on people. The city. No wildlife. No cows. Hell not even horses by us. And no chickens! Oh wait, except for the ones she had. Weird right?
Well one of her chickens flew over the fence and into our yard. Wait! Did I mention that she named her chickens? Or that she called them “her girls?” They were her pets! That made this so much worse. Ok back to the chicken in our yard. The problem with her flying into the yard was that my daughter’s (bird hunt trained) Golden Retriever, Hayden, was in the yard at the time of the fly over. Yup. It happened. My kids had heard what she’d said so as I walked towards the back door trying so hard not to laugh, I saw my daughter standing in the hallway doubled over laughing. Then I glance to my left and my son was leaning over the counter laughing hysterically. It’s so not fair because I had to keep my composure. Yea I couldn’t laugh but the only thing I wanted to do was laugh. I could not believe this was happening in real life. I got to the back door where Hayden was waiting. When I walked outside, he ran right to the dead chicken and sat down. This is what he’d been taught to do when he retrieves (not chickens though). He was so damn proud. I mean butt wiggling, tail going like a propeller, and the biggest smile ever. I know if a thought bubble appeared over his head it would have said something like, “Look grandma I got a chicken!” He was definitely waiting for my praise. However, I was too busy trying not to wet my pants from laughing; partially from the event and partially from nerves. I do know that’s mean but I am telling you, if you were part of this scenario you’d have been laughing too. I did feel badly but it happened and I could not contain my laughter. I took the garbage bag, put the chicken in it (Hayden was not happy that I took his find), and carried it back through the house past my still laughing children. I maintained my composure, gave the chicken to our neighbor who was still crying, told her how sorry I was, and shut the door. At which point all I could do was laugh.
You might think we’re terrible for laughing but there were several elements of funny in the scenario. Of course I felt terrible for her. I couldn’t change that her chicken was dead. However, never in my life did I imagine that while living in the city of Phoenix I would say the sentence, “The neighbor’s chicken flew over the fence and our dog got it.” It doesn’t happen here; well apparently it does. Anyway, we’ve discussed this Hayden story many times over the years. Hayden died some time ago but that is something none of us, including our neighbor, will ever forget!