‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

MY dog latched onto the neighbour’s chicken (he seems to like unprocessed chicken legs).

The chicken was, remarkably, not injured, but I am worried about this happening again. My other dog has no interest in them.

Hannah B.

Dear Hannah,

If I were a chook detective (which, thankfully I am not), I would be asking a few pertinent questions about this chook-gnawing incident in order to establish innocence or culpability.

The most obvious question here, is where was said chook during the incident?

If it was in its own yard, then your chook-tackling hound is liable for any damages (physical and emotional).

Since the chook can’t talk (though I’m sure it clucked a great deal when it saw its sunny-side-up days flash before its eyes), emotional damages may be hard to assess. I’d imagine her egg-laying may decline, in which case I think you owe your neighbours, at the very least, a dozen eggs a week until such time as the chook is over its PTSD (Post Thigh-Gnaw Stress Disorder).

If, however, the chook was in your yard, there may be a case that could be put forward in defence of the dog.

I’m sure, if your dog could speak, it would say something about home intruder rights and responsibilities (unless it was a Staffy, like my dog, in which case it wouldn’t care what the intruder broke and would just play around, show him where the valuables were kept, and then jump in his car hoping he was going to the beach on the way home).

This defence has limitations and it would be up to the prestigious Hound Court to decide if your dog grabbed onto the chook in some sort of canine-amended Ju-Jitsu move due to its perception of danger (being henpecked, for example).

The following advice would probably not stand up in a court of law and I indemnify myself from being called as a witness.

Build a fence, Hannah.

You don’t want blood on your hands.

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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