Saturday, June 25, 2011

My sweet Olive - rest in peace

The title above is short and so is the story.  I've labored over this post for the past week because it has been a little over a week since Olive disappeared.   I've cried, I've been angry, I've cried again.  We have not found any sign of her - not a feather nor any sign of struggle, but I know that she is dead - I can feel her absence from my heart.  But I haven't been able to write about it - to put my thoughts and feelings on paper - it was too fresh.

On the morning of June 15th I heard my dog barking as I was getting breakfast ready.  I walked outside to see what all the fuss was about. He has several barks, and this one was letting me know that something was in our yard that shouldn't be there.  A neighbor up the street has a dog that is considered a "dangerous dog" and is supposed to be confined in a fence or in their house.    Our dog was barking this day because this dog was in our yard.  He was not on a leash, but his owner was at the road and was calling him.  He seemed to be having trouble catching him, but then they both started heading in the direction of their house.  I watched as they headed down the street.   A couple of hours later, I went out to feed the chickens and Olive was fine - she was actually socializing with the other chickens which doesn't happen very often.  Shortly after that, we left for a couple of hours, and when I got home, she didn't come running to meet me like she normally does.  I knew immediately something was wrong - you know, you just get those feelings.  I looked in all her usual places, even went to her nesting place to see if she was broody again.  Her nest was there along with the egg she had laid that morning.

Since we didn't witness what happened, I can't say for certain that it was the dog, but I know in my heart it was.  The first experience we had with him was about 3 years ago, when a neighbor told me she had seen the dog coming from our yard carrying a dead chicken in his mouth headed for home.  Shortly after that he again came into our yard killing several more.  At that time, we warned the neighbor what would happen if the dog came back into our yard and he has kept him confined since - until now.  I am now giving the neighbor fair warning that the next time he runs into our yard he will not run back out.  It's not safe having our grandchildren outside with a dog like that in the vicinity if he is not confined.

I know it seems trivial and superficial to grieve for a lost pet when other's face much, much deeper losses.  My heart aches for parents who've lost a child - It is something that I pray I never have to face.   And I know that Olive is just a chicken - but she was my pet - one that I really loved - one whose quirky little personality made me laugh.  One who followed me around like a puppy everywhere I went.  I gave her baths when she got dirty, nursed her back to health when she was sick.  I fretted over her while she was sitting on her eggs and watched in delight as she became a mother.

We're eventually going to lose our pets and we all know it, but it doesn't make it any easier right now.  I'll get over it and she'll just be a sweet memory.  It's taken me over a week, but  I can finally write about it even though tears are falling on my keyboard.  Sweet little innocent Olive - she didn't deserve to die that way.


  1. Oh Glenda, I am so sorry that you have lost poor little Olive. I fully understand how it would have affected you, especially as she used to follow you everywhere like that. Horrible way for her to go. You are right, it probably was that awful dog, and I am glad that you have given that warning to the owner. Thinking of you dear friend and sending hugs your way. Little Rube, and now poor Olive :(

  2. So sorry to hear of your loss of Olive...I think its hardest when we don't know what happens...I had to have my oldest kitty Nino put to sleep, he'd gotten too sick to walk on his own...that was sad, but I know what happened to him and that it was peaceful and quick...its the animals that disappear that worry you the most. Wishing you peace.

  3. Thanks Thisisme, It is a sad way for her to go. She was so trusting - maybe too trusting since my dogs and cats just always ignored the chickens.

    And thanks also Sue, it is easier when they die of age related issues - we lost several over the years who had lived well into their golden years - but to just disappear and not know for certain what fate she met is sad. Thanks for all of your thoughts!

  4. Very sad to read about Olive She sounded a lovely and loving pet

  5. Thank you Barbara - she was a jewel of a pet. I'm definitely missing the little gal.

  6. Glenda, I am so very sorry about sweet Olive. Losing a pet is hard. I know well the thoughts of beating myself up over feelings that others may think are trivial. The truth is that God is the one who gave us those feelings of love and compassion.
    I pray for your peace and that you will feel God's comforting arms around you.


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