This morning I woke to find the smell of fried eggs permeating and the air. Our house absolutely reeked of fried eggs. Mike was creating a feast…for one. I opted out of eggs and selected some nectarines, and greek yogurt. I brewed up some tea and brought myself alive with the caffeine.
After we consumed adequate amounts of food to get us through a gruelling day of heated labour, I stepped outside to greet the day.
It was already nearly 30 degrees.
I wonder quietly to myself; “Is this what it feels like in Africa?”
I opted to not wear a cotton checkered shirt over my tank top. Skin cancer or not, I knew I’d be throwing the extra layer on the seat beside me anyway. I put on my short shorts, lathered spf 30 on, and slipped into my rugged manly work boots.
Mike took the tractor, and I drove the truck to my destination.
We’ve been left to watch over the place while they are on holiday, and part of our duties require tending to many animals.
One of them is a rather massive dog called Jim. He comes from the city. He’s visiting the farm briefly, and we’ve taken him onboard to also look after. Despite his size he seems friendly and cute. He always wags his tail, and has a happy go lucky attitude. Jim recently had an operation, and for the past three days has been wearing a cone on his head to prevent him from licking the wound on his hind quarters.
My little weasel Tessie had joined me on my rounds. She stayed with me while I fed the chickens. She followed me while I checked on the tomatoes. She whined for me, when I climbed the yard fence to feed the three pet lambs Tessa had been bringing back to health.
The three lambs are cautious, but one in particular loves to smell my hands. She’s curious about me.
I climb the fence back to the house and continue on my list of duties.
I was instructed to take Jim’s cone off on Monday (today) if all looked well. He certainly looked a lot better, and I pitied the poor guy having to navigate the yard with it on. It took a little while to remove the device, but when he was released he leapt off merrily, ecstatic to run amok with out any hinderance.
There were a few more chickens that needed feeding, and so Tessie and I walked around sorting out their food.
It crossed my mind that I had not seen Jim in about 10 minutes.
Normally when I call he’ll come bounding, beaming with a bit fat smile of contentment.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was in the lambs pen.
By the time I had run to get him out of the paddock, two of the lambs were dead. He had killed them in less than 10 minutes.
The blood, the still bodies, the glazed eyes…I was shocked by the screams coming from my mouth, the dogs tail still wagging.
I was horrified.
I found the third sheep, it’s ear completely ripped off, and throat torn open. Still struggling to breathe. It jumped up from where I found it and began to slowly trot away from me. I cried, and screamed some more at the dog. He was still in the yard, keeping a large distance between the two of us. I wished this poor lamb had died quickly. She was suffering. I’d have to get Mike to come and end her little life.
I’m not a person who’s typically violent. But if I’d have had a gun in that moment, in all honestly I believe there would be one less Jim on the planet. I agree, that’s a pretty horrible thought.
The whole fiasco just sucks.
I’ve locked Jim in a pen, and left him his bed and food. I feel a bit badly keeping him locked, but also weary. He will have to stay there until the owner returns in 4 days.
Has anyone experienced this before? What did you do? If it were your dog what would you do?