Saturday, April 8, 2017

bad news, good news

It will be awhile before I trust Ziggy to be loose in the yard with the chickens.  She's already improved drastically, but their quick moves freak her out.  She's absolutely certain that they are demonic terrorists, and she absolutely loses her shit if we approach.  Tenant was hanging out with us and when she got up to leave she was going to see the chickens and Ziggy absolutely freaked out, so tenant backed up and walked to her apartment and Ziggy spent the whole walk looking at tenant, looking at chickens, and back and forth.  Absolute high alert, sure that we are in grave danger.  If I go anywhere near them, Ziggy is ready to rip apart the fence she's tied to. 

Probably better for her to see them as mortal enemies than as prey, as I can teach her pretty easily to overcome her aversion to things that she's afraid of.  OK, not exactly easy, but we know this drill. 

The good news is: I was worried about our worktrip in June and having her not have access to a yard.  Even before I moved here and put in a dog door, Ziggy basically always had free run of the house and yard when not kept crated.  I wasn't so much worried about her having an accident or anything (since she never has), but just that it would stress her out and that we don't know how to communicate that she needs to go out.  But, today I learned that we do actually.  She whined and I said: you better be telling the truth, and she was absolutely telling the truth and with just a little walking the yard she pooped and then peed.  Which means she can be an apartment dog for a week without any great difficulty.  She's not a wild barnyard beast. 

***
Wow, I never expected these chickens to be so easy from the beginning.  They put themselves in the coop.  I went out at dusk with some strawberries, expecting there to be drama.  These poor chickens have been through a lot today and they may not recognize a coop for what it is as it's so different.  But when I went out, four of the six were in.  The other two were waiting their turns and would hop in and see it wasn't time for them yet and hop back out.  I encouraged them with words alone and soon everyone was in and I closed the door. 

I guess after taking on the Ziggy Project I deserve easy pets, but these guys are beyond easy.  The only thing I don't much like is how much they stare at me.  They already know I'm the foodbag lady and they come rushing if I talk to them, but they like to watch me across the yard as though waiting for me to tell them what's up.  No wonder they're freaking Ziggy out so bad, with all their staring at us. 


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