Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,

Finding Better Homes For Animal Pals and Friends Beating Cancer

We found two beautiful red hens strolling along the sidewalk on busy Sepulveda Boulevard about a block south of Wilshire Boulevard today. Esther and Concha had come over to help me work on our yard haunt. We were on our way to buy a car load of candy at Smart and Final when I spotted them. It was so incongruous, chickens, on Sepulveda.

So here's the way I work when it comes to animals, children, elderly people, or anyone in need; everything comes to a halt no matter what I'm doing, or on my way to do, no matter how risky or troublesome it might be, I have to get in there and help. It's my job. I quickly turned into a driveway, pointed out the hens to Esther and Concha, who were as confused and stunned as I was, and we set about rescuing them. After first catching them, which was harder than you can imagine, and with one chicken tucked safely under each of my arms, because for some reason Esther and Concha were more afraid to hold them than I was, we walked around this lot looking for anyone who might be able to tell us where they'd come from. After discussing this with several people, we learned that they had fallen off of a truck on the freeway several months ago and were living with some homeless people on the side of the freeway.

The hen on the left is sitting on my lap in my new car. That's Esther's chicken on the right there sitting on the floor on her feet. I held mine because I could care less if she pooped on me, but Esther is easily yicked out by things, so we put hers on the floor, hoping that if she pooped it'd hit the mat and not Esther. What do you think happened? Mine didn't poop, but Esther's covered her brand new shoes, and then she started gagging and we all thought she was going to throw up in the car. Concha passed up the Purell and I was looking for anything to help her wipe off her foot, but we didn't have anything so I gave her my jean jacket and she used that. We were laughing so hard at the sheer weirdness of all of this that I thought I'd pee myself.

Originally there were six of them and either because the folks living on the side of the freeway had eaten them, or they'd been run over by cars, their unfortunate little flock had been reduced to these two. I felt bad about taking these hens away from their homeless family, especially if they'd been thinking of them as pets. The woman I spoke to at the Salvation Army children's center told me that the people who are camped alongside the freeway had told her that they weren't theirs, but another man had told me that they were, so I thought I owed it to them to at least to find their shelter and talk to them about the hens to see if I could help them care for them.

We put the little gals in the car with us, little red hen number one, who had been kissed and cuddled to confusion by me sat on my lap, while little red hen number two sat on Esther's feet. We pulled out of the driveway, made a U-turn in the middle of the street and set off to find the place where these chickens had been living. Not so nice. And the folks there didn't look like they'd be too amenable to discussion about someone they felt they had the right to eat for supper, so I listened to my heart, Concha, and Esther who said that God had put these hens in our path for a reason, and decided to find them a better home.

Here are the girls about to be released into their new home, and here they are running off to start their new life with nary a backwards glance at their busy boulevard abductors.

Many phone calls later and here they are being released into their new garden home where they will be well away from any traffic, have loads of food and water to eat and drink, veterinary care, and the occasional cuddle from children who come by to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and see the butterfly house and parrots.

Last week I made a tough decision; out of all the bunnies we have had, I decided to give our remaining three away to a better home. This was so hard for me. I had wanted to give them away before because they were spending their lives in hutches and not getting the kind of attention and exercise they deserve, but Beau was still attached to them and only recently agreed that they should have a better home since he wasn't playing with them.

This is Sweet Buns on the left, and Browny on the right, just before they hopped off. I couldn't get a close up of their brother because he wouldn't stay still for a portrait.

If I could give them everything I would give them a life indoors, with supervised visits outdoors, and a family who would treat them like they would a pet cat or dog, but I haven't been able to swing this, there are just too many bunnies here and not enough homes. So I found them the next best thing, a life in an enormous enclosed green house, with several other bunnies, a team of volunteer caregivers who will feed them their regular food plus greens and carrots, (because this is what the other bunnies were getting when we let them go), and they now have more room than we have ever had here to offer them.

It was so hard to let them go. I trimmed their nails for the last time, gave them each a cuddle, and put them in a carrier to go. When I got there I took one out at a time, put them up on the potting shelves and took pictures of them -- it was hard to do because I was emotional, it was shady and getting darker, and they were so excited to run free and meet the other bunnies. All of our bunnies are neutered and spayed so there won't be a rabbit population problem. They seemed shy at first and then they hopped around a bit and then they raced around and met the other rabbits. When I reluctantly dragged myself off they were busy making friends and seemed happy.

Here is a shot of one of the white bunnies about to make friends with some other bunnies under the potting bench, and this is just a shot of the greenhouse, but it's huge and the rabbits have the full run of the place. They've got plenty of places to hide, and they can come out and interact with people if they like. It's really nice.

I'm going to visit them later this week and hopefully I'll get some more pictures then. I miss them so much, but it was selfish of me to keep them. Now I need to find homes for the dogs and get back to placing cats. This didn't used to be so hard for me, but somewhere along the line I got stuck. I am trying really hard to unstick myself but it's been tough.

On a sad note, I found my beloved Jakey cat's ashes and paw print in the kitchen this morning when we were organizing. I knew his ashes were here, I hadn't wanted to face this, but there it was, this little pink fabric covered box with his name on it, and his little dead paw print. So, of course I started crying. I miss him so much! It's so hard to let them go, and I've become fairly adept at putting off grief, so this took me by surprise.

I'm starting Nutrisystem tomorrow so I let myself have some Halloween candy tonight, just so I won't go into that poor me I'm so deprived sort of place, and it worked. I ate a few peanut M&Ms, a mini snickers, and I'm already thinking, "Yuck, this stuff is way too sweet." So, out with the crappy snack food and we'll see if I can derive some benefit from a more organized approach to eating. Wish me luck.

Last but not least, for those of you who have been generous enough to keep my friend Mary on your prayer/meditation/candle-lighting lists, (I honestly think all of this positive thought is helping because she's been doing well,) I need to ask you to add someone else; a dear friend of mine (Jen) has just learned that her husband has kidney cancer that has spread beyond the kidney and he will have to have one removed, and they don't know what all else, tomorrow or Wednesday. Please send some love and prayers for my beloved friends, please, please, please? Thanks so so much!!!!

Love you,


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