I am ready to talk about it. In accordance with the Kubler-Ross Model of the 5 Stages of Grief, I am currently residing in Stage 4, Depression. On Tuesday, I went to pick my daughter up from pre-school. Her class is currently torturing “raising” baby chicks. My daughter informed me that one of the chicks “got hurt bad cause a block dropped on its head but it was just an accident and it is the circle of life and it is still alive but things don’t look too good and it will soon be with Baby Jesus and so don’t feel that bad for it.” Um what? I went inside and sure enough there was a teeny tiny itty bitty baby chick lying on its side shaking. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I did NOT just f’ing see this.
I told the teacher that I was going to take the little chicken to the vet and see if there was anything we could do. I carefully scooped up my fluffy little baby and drove her straight to Dr. _______’s office. He came out and examined her. He said “Sometimes birds just need a few minutes to bounce back.” I felt like throwing up and started crying. He said “Well, let me see what I can do” and gently took my chicken. I watched helplessly as he turned to walk down the long, hollow, depressing corridor filled with posters of dogs with heartworm and rabies, cradling my heart in his hands. He turned and said “Erin, so um how far do you want me to take this before I (makes a line across his throat with his pointer finger).” I told him “Dr. ________, you cannot put a price on life. You do whatever, WHATEVER it takes. This is how Mike would want it to be.”
I paced all afternoon. I called my mom, who is also a kind vegetarian like me. We made arrangements to make my stepdad build a gigantic chicken coop in their backyard when he got home from work that day since my HOA has some stupid poultry/livestock rule. I decided not to tell Mike about the chicken yet because I did not want him to be worried sick while he was working on patients.
Finally, at 4:00 I received the much awaited phone call. My chicken was not improving despite the x-rays, pain killers, physical therapy, breathing tube, etc. Dr. _________ told me he thought the most humane thing to do would be to put her down. I reluctantly agreed after he told me that there were not any specialists nor was there a Mayo clinic for chickens. I started crying again. And then cried all afternoon. And then cried all night. When Mike got home, I told him what happened and that I spent $400 trying to save her, he started crying too. It was really sweet. He went and worked out for 3 solid hours he was so upset.
The next day I took my daughter to school. Apparently her teacher’s husband is in the agriculture business. He won’t even let her take their dogs to the vet because they are animals. I guess he was at some chicken conference when this tragedy occurred and now all of Nebraska thinks I am crazy. GASP OH NO! Just kidding. Dude, I would just make sure your chicken in thoroughly cooked. That is all I am going to say. XO