Firstly: no, it wasn’t one our our chickens. Second, as you may have guessed, I’ve waited all week to use that headline.
No, it wasn’t Lola or Ginger or Summer or Pippa or Luna. It was some distant cousin of theirs, thrice-removed and ill-fated to play out its destiny as a shrink-wrapped rotisserie chicken from Von’s. After it spent a few lonely and neglected days in our refrigerator, the CE carefully picked the meat from the bones for the dogs’ dinners and discarded the carcass. In the wastebasket. Where Chloe found it.
Now I suppose it’s possible that when Chloe discovered it she spirited it off somewhere via UPS. We will never know, because neither the chicken nor its ghost has been seen. Not so much as a shred of meat; not the tiniest splinter of bone. All we know for certain is that the CE found the trash tipped over in the kitchen and a very contented Chloe posed nonchalantly nearby. Circumstantial evidence, at best.
I have two facts at my disposal: first, there are 120 bones in the body of a chicken. Second, you should never, ever feed chicken bones to a dog.
Oddly, perhaps, I flashed upon a memory of the time Daniel, at age two or thereabouts, was discovered having climbed an impressive height to pluck from a shelf and guzzle a decorative container filled with liquid air freshener.
It turned out that the air freshener mercifully, was non-toxic. Other than the fact that Daniel slept a record ten hours that night and had marvelous-smelling breath, there were no other effects. He has probably drunk far more toxic potions since then…
But at the time, I was cold-sweat frantic. Now, no one loves Chloe more than Daniel does (unless it’s his brother, Taylor), so he would not be offended to learn that my reaction to the chicken carcass consumption was not too far off from my reaction to the air-freshener incident. We have to get her to the vet, IMMEDIATELY!
I expected there would be x-rays. $$ Scans. $$$ Maybe a stomach pumping? $$$$$
What I did not expect was the report from the CE that the vet yawned. Now I know that someone out there has a tragic story to tell about their dog and a chicken bone. And our vet is a responsible guy and I’m sure there are conditions under which he would NOT yawn when chicken bones are involved. But in this particular case, he was said to yawn and offer up the rather sensible suggestion that dogs are carnivores and that when dogs travel in packs (rather than live as pampered surrogate children to oldsters whose real kids have flown the coop) they do not have a butler to remove the bones from the chickens they eat.
Chloe ate a chicken carcass and couldn’t be happier. We are three days out and she hasn’t so much as burped.
The chickens, however, are horrified.