My Sunshine

I don't know if I've written it here but yeah nearly a year ago I bought three chickens, who were just one day old, and raised them as best as I could. 

The first, Gingerbread, died of malnutrition as I was told by the farm to simply feed them grains of white rice. I managed to save Butterscotch by giving vitamin B group additives to their water but I could not save Gingerbread who was weaker to the deficiency. 

My second, Butterscotch, disappeared when I was on a trip in China. She was small enough to fit through a fence. Additionally, one of the fence sides collapsed during the rain when my dad had let her out into the garden. I don't know where she is as she never returned, but after today I doubt she is alive.

And now, just today, after I had gotten home from work [edit: actually, now that I think about it, I didn't hear her cry for help so it may have happened before I returned home. My mum picked me up and no one was in the house] and before my mother went to feed Sunshine, my last remaining chicken was mauled to death by a jack russell terrier [I think], who was wearing a (I think, blue) collar. The dog had jumped into our backyard and attacked Sunshine, then when it was done with attacking and eating, it jumped back out. I called the RSPCA who transferred me over to police as council rangers were off duty. The police still haven't come yet (though they said they would), and the dog is long gone. 

So this is a post where I'm going to post all my pictures of my chickens as a commemoration for them. I'm so sorry Sunshine for failing you. I honestly never would have imagined, in my wildest nightmares, that a domesticated animal from another backyard would leap in and kill you. And it hurts, honestly, thinking about it. It hurts so much.

Sunshine was a little shy but she was very friendly. After Butterscotch ran away, she would keep to my dad, or my mum or I, whoever came to feed her. When birds such as pigeons came to eat the leftovers of her food that I had tipped over outside of her coop, she would watch them and sometimes try to be friendly with them. When I went to clean her little hatch, she would look at me then after I was done she would look inside and jump inside, content with experiencing the new comfortable clean space immediately, before coming back outside.

She was definitely curious and would love to jump up when I teased her with some grass. Her favourite foods were grapes and pieces of chopped Chinese lettuce. My mum had even bought two huge heads of the Chinese lettuce today, looking forward to feeding her some fresh delicious vegetables. She also loved eating bread crusts, because I'm so picky and would feed them to her because I didn't want to eat it myself. Who will eat them now?

When I went to collect her egg every day, she would look at me accusingly but be placated when I patted her and fed her some lettuce. If I hugged her at first she would be surprised, then she would be happy, then she would slowly squirm away. If she saw something interesting she would reach up as far as she could and tilt her head. She was always eager to greet me or my parents when we came to feed her or change her water. We have glass doors, and she would always look at us expectantly if she saw us moving inside. 

Sunshine was one of my first pets. I had never owned any animals before. I had raised her from when she was one day old and I had held her in my hand as she slept comfortably and warm. I had promised myself and Gingerbread to protect and look after Sunshine and Butterscotch after Gingerbread died of malnutrition. I am so sorry to have failed twice on that promise.

I am sorry, Sunshine, for not checking on you earlier. Maybe I could have warded off the dog before it came in, and then taken you inside and made a safer abode for you. Maybe I could have saved you. 

I'm sorry, Sunshine, because I knew you were lonely. And maybe you had wanted to be friendly with the dog even when you were scared of it. And yet it never thought of you at all. I'm sorry for the owner who didn't think of restraining their dog or training it to behave around animals. I'm sorry for the dog who wasn't looked after well enough by its owner. 

But most of all, I'm sorry Sunshine for taking you for granted. I thought you would always be there, and I wasn't as affectionate as I should have, could have been. 

It's selfish of me but I am most scared when thinking about what it was like for you as the dog chased you around the coop. It must have been terrifying, and painful. 

All my apologies can't bring you back. But I hope that you're in a better place, it's all I can think of to feel better. 

Here is also a reply thread that I made without thinking. I'll definitely take the advice and think of Sunshine and Butterscotch and Gingerbread and what few moments we did have together. It hurts every time I think about it. It probably hurt more for you, though, Sunshine. And I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for that. 

[This post will be regularly updated as I find more photos and as more information is given to me.]

Also, link to my dropbox of images here

UPDATE: 8:28pm Wednesday June 24 - police collected information, asked me to report to council tomorrow morning. Not sure why RSPCA even redirected me to police tbh...

UPDATE: 4:57pm Thursday June 25 - Turns out the dog was new neighbour's dog :/ I was very close in my description as it was actually a fox terrier with a red collar. The council can't do much except issue a warning and maybe fine the family. It will go into the dog's records as the dog is registered with council but I doubt much will come out of it as the dog is quite friendly with people. It really upsets me that I didn't come home earlier. In the time that my mother picked me up from work, Sunshine was killed. My mum said something about asking herself why the neighbour didn't hear the dog bark and my chicken scream and that really upsets me, my baby must have been in so much pain, and it just isn't goddamn fair at all. The neighbour is really nice though, came over to visit us with a small bouquet of blue flowers (Idk the name of them. Edit 26/6/15 they are chrysanthemums dyed with blue.) Sunshine would have really liked them, so I planted them in her grave. T_T

UPDATE: 7:26pm Friday June 26 - I feel so regretful. If only I hadn't taken the extra hour of work per day, or taken the bus home instead [so my mother wouldn't have come to pick me up and would have been able to fend off the dog]. That extra $60 cannot ever bring my Sunshine back. I am thinking of getting more chickens in the future though - and I'm going to buy a fcking electric fence so if that dog comes back it'll be in for a shocker lol. Nothing dangerous, just discouraging :) of course I'll have to check with council first and then research - everything should be easily obtained from Bunnings I think, though usually it's for large blocks of land rather than a small corner of a garden ahaha ^_^;;

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