A Bad Start To My Day, 9-30-2020

Remember when I said I couldn’t let Nala loose because she chased chickens and cats? I really worked with her and was ready to give it a try this morning. I shut all the gates and didn’t see any chickens in the yard.

I let Nala loose and within 5 minutes she found one of my favorite gray hens under a bush and killed her in front of my eyes as I screamed bloody murder.

My own dogs are traumatized from my screaming and Nala, who is back in the kennel yard, is looking at me with sorry eyes. I will not / cannot adopt Nala. I am sick about this and would not sacrifice any more chickens or, heaven forbid, a cat to her bad behavior.

I will of course care for her and the puppies but now my heart just isn’t in it.

63 thoughts on “A Bad Start To My Day, 9-30-2020

  1. Sandi

    I’m so sorry she killed your chicken. She just doesn’t know any better. I think if they are not raised around other animals like that they just don’t realize what’s off limits. I totally understand your feelings. I have 3 doxies and if there is a bird, squirrel, chipmunk or lizard it is on. They don’t like cats either but they’ve never been around cats. They love being with other dogs and they are very sweet. Hugs,

  2. Laurie Mosley

    Oh Connie I am so sorry about your losing your favorite hen. I once had a neighbor dog who got into my fenced area and killed my rabbit. I don’t know much about dogs as I am a cat person so I don’t understand why that happens other than lack of training when they are young? Well the puppies sure are cute and I admire your willingness to care for them. Also love your quilting and patterns!

  3. Jean S.

    I’m so sorry, Mary. My heart is broken for you. And for Nala. Pray she finds a home without cats or chickens, and with kind people to live out her days. It’s good of you to continue to care for her and her puppies.

  4. Lois Ann Johnson

    Now you have answered my query from yesterday about why Nala couldn’t go in the house or out into the yard. What a traumatizing thing for you, Mary; I am so sorry. I hope the rest of the day goes much better for you.

  5. Sue in Oregon

    I am So sorry, Mary. You loved that chicken. I have screamed at neighbors cats and dogs that have chased my chickens, but never had to deal with them actually catching one. Oh, I just feel so bad for you. You can never trust Nala now. So sad for everyone.

  6. Lynn in Scottsdale

    Oh, no, Mary. What a sad day. Nala needs a home with no cats or chickens. She seems ok with other dogs, though.

    Praying for you.

  7. Phyllis Singler

    Oh I am so sorry to read this. How heartbreaking, after all of the kindness. you have extended. But you must also realize that dogs are hunters by nature….You can’t expect a dog to go against its grain, and I don’t know how you would train a dog to do so…..l am so so sorry for your loss…and your heartbreak. Please don’t let this affect your kindness to so many dogs now and in the future.

  8. Susan K in Texas

    I’m sorry about your chicken. So sad and to have to watch had to be heartbreaking. You will care for Nala and she will be a great pet for someone else. She will be in much better shape after your love and care. Hugs to you today!

  9. Launa

    Feel very sad for you n your favorite chicken! Nala knows no better. Let’s hope she finds a loving home somewhere. So many pets are filling animal shelters now because of lost jobs due to C19 business closures and deaths. Hope the puppies find loving homes, too! They are certainly gaining weight!

  10. Kathy in western NY

    I am so sorry Mary you had to go through this. We don’t know how Nala was raised but mistreatment makes them act out and it is not her fault. I still remember our neighbors dog attacking their own cat in theIr yard and how horrible that was. Many shelters say up front no kids, no other dogs, cats, etc so that people do not go through this so this will need now to be on them when Nala does get her forever home to screen for this.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – yes, this will be a strike against her when it comes to finding her a home but no, it’s not her fault. I feel so sorry for her.

  11. Holly in Two Harbors

    How heartbreaking. I am so sorry. Poor chicken.

    I had this happen too many times with dogs. The one that was ours was rehomed after that. Sad.

  12. Terri S

    I am so sorry! My heart goes out to both you and Napa. Who knows what she experienced before she came to your home. Continue on with your blessed work

  13. Sheryl Austin

    Sorry to hear about Nala. She must have some hunting breed in her. Too bad things aren’t going to work out for you to take her in permanently. On a personal note I have admired your glasses for sometime. Do you know who makes them? I would like to find a source for them or have my optometrist order

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sheryl Austin – go online and search for John Lennon frames – that’s what’s written inside the bow. I bought the first pair of frames in Cinncinati when we were there for market. Saw them in the window after we’d eaten breakfast, walked in and bought them and had Walmart makes the lenses. This is my third pair! Thanks for the compliment! Go order a pair!

  14. Barb S in MN

    I am so sorry that happened. My guess is that Nala was neglected more than is known and possibly had to forage and find what she could to eat to continue her life especially when pregnant. I am sure she will find a good home. It is good you can expose the puppies to all the different animals on the farm at a young age.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Barb S – yes, I’m sure if we knew the extent of neglect, we would all be more horrified than we already are!

  15. Kathy Hanson

    Oh, I am so sorry!! So sad that you had to lose one of your favorite hens this way! Of course you can’t keep her! she didn’t look like she would do that but…now you do know. But so sorry for your having to lose one of your favorites just to see what would happen. I feel really bad!

  16. Donna O

    Oh Mary, I am so sorry to hear this. I’m guessing Nala didn’t realize your favorite chicken was off limits. I’m guessing Nala is feeling bad too as she doesn’t understand this isn’t right. So very sorry to hear this news. I’m sure Nala is again traumatized after being locked up by her previous owner and now is locked up by you. Such a difficult situation for all of you. I know you have the biggest heart for all animals and this is hard for you too. My prayers go out to you and all you do for the animal kingdom.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna O – she isn’t locked up – she’s in the large kennel yard where’s she’s always been. I will take her on a walk this afternoon on a leash. I just won’t walk her down by the barn.

  17. Diana Stanfill

    I am so sorry. That is horrible. You try to trust an animal and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I am sorry for the loss of your beautiful hen.

  18. Linda Schluchter

    I know what it is like to loose one of your dear chickens, I cry my eyes out when I have to bury one of mine or worse, not find one and know that it was taken by a predator. Poor Nala, she didn’t know better and I was hoping she would be as loving as she looks. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful gray hen, she was a beauty. I am praying Nala finds a loving, kind furever home where she is the queen.

  19. Ginny

    Nala just doesn’t know any better! She is a dog and has to be taught. Just like she didn’t get pregnant because she wanted to. Please don’t love her any less. The ultrasonic device I have stops bad behavior immediately, Tess is to the point all I have to do is point my hand at her and she stops.
    Nala wouldn’t disappoint you on purpose, please be patient with her. I wish I could adopt her! I hate that she killed your chicken, it’s hard to lose any animal.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ginny – I do know she was just following her natural instinct and I will not punish her – I just won’t let her out again and I will not let any cat in that building or kennel! I let myself get my hopes up too soon.

  20. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, I am sorry for you and your chicken. Your instincts were correct. I’d bet that Nala wasn’t fed and had to catch her food along with being pregnant so her instinct of survival kicked in. She probably had no training, attention or affection. And it makes me mad that her former owner locked her in a shed for a week without food or water for a week for getting pregnant. Bet he didn’t lock the male up, too. It’s a man thing! He should have been in a shed like Nala, too. And that is the way I think! Tomorrow will be better.

    1. Diane and Squeak

      Betty, you always say it like it is! I love it 😻 😻.
      I feel terrible about the poor gray hen. And, I feel sorry for Nala. She didn’t know not to do what is instinctive. She must feel terrible for doing something bad. Such a hard day for you, Mary. Hang in there!

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty K – I hope tomorrow is a calm day for me – everyone has been so kind about this event and I do know it’s not Nala’s fault – her prey instinct was likely necessary for her to live. I just can’t let her accidentally get loose again – she simply wouldn’t stop till they were all dead. I thought she was so sad, timid and quiet that I felt sure she’d be ok. I am so sorry I did that – poor dog.

  21. Debbie Miller

    I’m so sorry about your chicken. I have two 14 year old miniature dachshunds that have never bothered any of the goats, chickens, rabbits or even squirrels other than barking. They have always absolutely hated cats though! I have a fenced yard along with fenced pastures but if a cat comes in the yard and they can catch it, they will kill it.

  22. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Poor Mary, poor chicken, poor Nala. I’m sure you’re heartbroken, even though you know Nala was following her instincts.
    I would be afraid for my other animals, too, even though she seems to be a good mom. She’s had a hard life of survival tactics along the way to being greeted with so much love from her.
    I’m sorry you had such a sad experience today. I’m sad Nala has had so much bad experience, too. I hope karma greets her abuser very soon!

  23. Montana Kathy

    So very sad. My heart goes out to both you and Nala. Years ago my beloved cat was attacked and killed by 2 wild dogs. One of the dogs was mauling her while the other was barring its teeth, frothing at the mouth and lunging at me while I was trying to open the screen door to save her. It was a nightmare and although it happened over 30 years ago, I’ve never gotten over it. So I know how you must be feeling. It is so traumatic. Poor Nala, though. Like many dogs, she has the hunter instinct and doesn’t know better, please try not to blame her. She now has no idea why you’re upset with her. I feel so bad for both of you. My thoughts are with you.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Montana Kathy – after I screamed at her and put her back in the kennel, I haven’t been upset. Sam and Owen came to see the puppies and I took Nala on a long walk with Ivy, Telly, Hazel, Sam and Owen. I will spend the evening in the quilt shop with her tonight. No, it is not her fault! It I can’t let her loose again. I do hate that part and she will be here till 10-27. It will be a long month, won’t it?

  24. Linda in So Cal

    We will never know what Nala has been through but that doesn’t excuse her behavior. She needs to go to a family where she is the only dog and no other animals. So sad about your gray hen. I love birds & raised parrots for years. May be in the future if you continue to foster you only take puppies, no adults. A sad day for everyone. How much longer will Nala & the puppies be with you?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda in So Cal – Nala is scheduled to be spayed on 10-27 so it’s going to be a long month. It isn’t her fault, of course, and I will spend the evening working in the quilt shop so she can be with me. I still feel sorry for her.

  25. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    So sorry for both you and Nala. You had such good plans for her. Now you know she has not found her forever home; there is a place for her, just not yours.

  26. Jean

    Horror of horrors Mary! My heart breaks for you AND for nala. That poor animal will be faced with yet another separation. I pray someone will love her the way she needs to be loved. Hard day.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jean – I took her on a long walk this afternoon with Hazel, Telly, Ivy, Sam and Owen. It is not her fault – who knows why I couldn’t get through to her? She won’t go to be spayed until 10-27 so she’ll be here all month. We’ll just go back to walking on a leash and me visiting her in the quilt shop where the kennel is. I do spend lots of time with her so she won’t suffer another separation from me until she is adopted. Obviously I cannot adopt her now. I’m hoping someone reading the blog – with no chickens and no cats – will adopt her. They will already know her.

  27. Micky Mints

    I am sorry for the loss of your chicken and the loss of trust of Nila. How sad that she has this anger and attacking the chicken. Hopefully she will find a family how can love her and give her the loves she needs . You have given love to these animals and sometimes. not having positive results. Peace Micky

  28. Ellie

    So sorry about your chicken, Mary! It’s very sad that Nila hasn’t been trained with respect to other animals.

  29. Nancy

    I am sorry about the entire event. Mary, your willingness to continue to care for Nala’s and walk her is a testament to your kind and loving nature. Nala and her offspring are lucky to have you.

  30. Tammy Guerrero

    Im very sorry this happened. I know Nala is sorry. Who knows, maybe this is how she survived. Eating birds etc. Nala probably does need to go to a home that os not a farm. Give Nala a big hug and know you are still her angel.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Tammy – I have spent hours with her trying to reassure her of my love and care. Tomorrow is another day – we’ll start again.

  31. Pat Smith

    Mary, I’m heart sick at what happened today, both for you, Nala, and for the poor chicken. I admit that I was harboring the hope you might adopt her. Who wouldn’t want to live at your house? Poor Nala has lived a life of unspeakable events, we just don’t know what they were. What makes me worried is these events narrow her field of potential adopters. Sadly it would eliminate ours as we live with cats. Still, there will be someone who will take her in that fits the bill. She looks like such a gentle dog…

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – she really is so timid and calm. I can’t believe the prey instinct would take over like that. Many of the dogs at this rescue are listed as not cat friendly and as unbelievable as I think it is, not everyone likes cats. They will make sure she gets a good home – I have poured my heart into her care and I can’t quit now.

  32. Louise K.

    I’m sorry. I love my dog, but can’t trust her around my cat…she’s gone after her like she was prey. My dog was abandoned while a puppy, and left totally on her own for a few months. I think she ate rodents for survival. I understand why she goes after the cat.
    Still, I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I hope the rescue is honest to prospective adopters that she shouldn’t be allowed around chickens.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Louise K – yes, they will make sure she is listed as not cat or chicken friendly. There are many great homes who don’t have cats. I know she would kill mine if she could get to them.

  33. Lisa K in Stacy, MN

    Such a strong prey drive! I’m so sorry.
    When we first hired a gal and her sister to dog sit and chicken sit for us, they just couldn’t believe how docile our pit bull Irish was with the chickens. Because they dog & chicken sit for a farmer who’s dog sounds just like Nala. Nala will find a good home, just not on Garner Ave. Hang in there!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lisa in Stacy – I will certainly care for her until she is adopted but it’s sad not to let her run around with us. She can never get out accidentally – and I can never let anybody pet sit while she’s here. Can you imagine her killing my cats – I’ve had most of them around 15 years!

  34. Wendy T.

    Oh Mary – that is terrible news. I am sorry about your chicken and now the way you feel about caring for Nala and the litter. It is just sad this happened.

  35. Lorraine McGeough

    I am so sorry to hear of your traumatic experience. This really hurts for you and just to see this happen right before your eyes and Nala never quit until the poor hen was gone. She must have some aggressive behavior underlying in her. I really understand your reasons for not adopting her.

  36. Dorothy Weibel

    So sorry you lost a hen. You are right not to bond with Nala. You would always have a grudge against her and to have to be on alert everytime she is out, NOPE.

  37. Paula Nordt

    My nephew has the sweetest pit bull ever! Until the dog sees a cat and then that’s it – no more cat. So Shadow has to stay inside, or under direct adult supervision in the fenced yard.

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