Some Dogs Kill Chickens and That’s Okay
Or why your idiosyncrasies make me feel better about mine
When I moved to Petaluma, California (former egg capital of the world), I thought I would get chickens. Instead, I got three children. And then I got a dog. Our neighbor had chickens. But they didn’t have a chicken coop or a fence. And one morning as my family was sitting down to breakfast we saw our dog, Gilbert, run past the glass doors, a cloud of white feathers in his wake. Our neighbor had one less chicken.
People are weird when they hear that our dog killed the neighbor’s chicken. But they shouldn’t be. “They are predators, after all,” Anna Venishnick Shomsky writes of dogs in her piece, “Sometimes I Like to Pretend I’m a Farmer When Really I’ve Just Collected Too Many Animals.”
What I love about Venishnick Shomsky’s story (aside from the amazing, shareable headline) is how it is both absurd and relatable. I first read this story back in August and when I was recently asked about spotlighting a story from Medium, I still remembered this line:
When we first got the dog, the cat gave me a look so scornful that she erased my personality.
And also this one:
Around nine months, my baby started saying ‘hi,’ but she said it exclusively to the cat.
Maybe you’ll read this story if you love chickens or if you love dogs who kill chickens or cats who drool on you when you try to sleep. Maybe you’ll read this if you believe in your heart that animals are better than people in all the important ways and we are lucky that they let us live with them. There are so many gems in this eight-minute read, that it’s easy to find something to relate to, even if you don’t live anywhere near the former egg capital of the world.
Too many of us are afraid to be specific in our writing, especially when referring to our own idiosyncrasies. But as a reader, that’s precisely what makes me keep reading, highlighting, and clapping like a maniac.