The Rooster Incident - or, how dropkicking a hostile bird made me very, very happy
By Nicole Hand
I love my pets. When I am listing off the things that I'm grateful for in my life, they are easily in my top 5. In fact, it's surprising that I've gotten this far into my blog without devoting an entire post to one of them.
Quick introduction: I have two dogs, Bella and Beau, and three cats: Puddles, Cadeau, and Tadpole. More on the cats and Bella in another post.
Beau is without question the sweetest, most chilled-out soul that I've ever had the privilege to be around. My friends have described him as: 'half dog, half rug,' a Zen master, and a sweet lil' muffin of love. Recently, when he was in the hospital, I got texts from friends around the clock checking in on 'the Beau-man' to be sure he was ok. Beau gives and receives love wherever he goes. Because he has never experienced anything but love, he cannot fathom that anyone would harm him. Well, the poor guy got a rude awakening yesterday - in the form of a rooster.
I was strolling around the yard checking out the apple and nectarine trees to see if the recent cold weather had killed the budding fruit. (It doesn't look good for the nectarines.) Beau was ahead of me sniffing around our Leyland Cypress trees, and Bella was rolling and snuffling in the warm grass behind me, getting nice and dirty. We were enjoying our day, when all of a sudden this asshole burst out of the trees and attacked Beau -
He was a fury of color as he pecked at and went for Beau with his terrifying spurs - this was a truly foul fowl! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Beau went into immediate retreat, head down, tail between his legs, eyes as big as tennis balls, but the rooster aggressively pursued him.
Although Beau was a considerable distance away from me, it felt like it only took me three running steps to get to him. I took a fourth step, reared back, and kicked the rooster as hard as I could - when my foot made contact, it made a very satisfying thudding sound. The bird went flying and so did my flip flop. Beau cuddled up close to my legs and I began to talk to him and make soothing sounds as I searched him for scratches and cuts. The rooster got the hell out of my yard and I felt like a conquering hero.
"And stay out!" I yelled as Beau looked at me in adoration (and yes, I am playing up the drama - it was just a rooster and a dog, but it felt epic.)
Much to my chagrin, the rooster is not permanently terrified of me and is already back in my yard. In fact, as I write this he is crowing outside of my window, which is how I got the above picture. My camera has a great zoom lens; I did not get close to him.
Let me be clear, I do not condone kicking animals. I don't condone violence of any kind. But, you mess with my gentle Beau, and all bets are off. I actually like knowing that I have a strong protective instinct and that when I need to, I can go all mother-bear on your ass.
So what does this have to do with happiness?
I like to feel needed by the people and pets in my life. It's very important to me that I feel useful and that I'm contributing, even in a small way, to my community.
I did something for Beau yesterday that he couldn't do for himself. I protected him and kept him safe from the nasty old rooster - and that makes me happy.