Animal Tails


Dog eats bird: Breaking News Ten Years Later

As a child I had a fascination with animals: all kinds of animals. At one time or another I had turtles, fish, birds, cats, and dogs. I always wanted white mice but my mother put her foot down over that one. Over the years I have had many birds along with the family dogs. One episode in particular happened while I was at school. I came home to find my mother at the door with a sad look on her face. My bird had died. My mother, being the kind soul that she was, buried the bird. I never thought to ask why I wasn’t invited to the funeral, or how the bird died. My mom wouldn’t lie to me or lead me astray, would she? Read on.

Ten years later my mother is regaling a friend with the story of this clever bird that would open its cage door and dive bomb our poodle. One day the bird attacked the family dog and, well, the dog grabbed the bird. The bird died. It gives a whole new understanding of the expression ‘dog’s breakfast’. The story continued. Evidently the feathers were so thick in the air you could have cut them with a machete. Ten years later and I burst into tears. Ten years. The poodle in question was sleeping on the floor at my feet. My mother didn’t want me to hate our dog so she told me the bird had just died. She didn’t actually lie; she just didn’t tell me the whole truth. The only reason I even knew the bird had died was because my mother couldn’t find another one to replace it. And she did try. Now I can appreciate why she would want to protect the child. Childhood is a fragile time. I understood death but not killing. Especially by someone I loved. And I did love that dog, killer that he was. Moms are so smart, I can’t remember the name of that bird but the dog was called Beau Brummel and I still miss him.

Beau Brummel

When we were growing up we used to take a drive almost every Sunday after Church. It was a great way to see what was beyond the boundaries of our home. On one such trip we stopped for lunch at a small diner in a town near Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada. After eating, my brother (11) and sister (9) wandered away and found a phone book. They returned to the table to inform my father that there was a dog kennel in town and that he had promised them a dog. That is how we ended up in a kennel looking at a litter of poodles frolicking on the floor at our feet. My father wanted a Shepard but the owner would not sell a Shepard to a family with small children because of possible biting problems with the breed. So we watched these poodle pups for a minute. In the midst of the ruckus was a slightly older puppy, 8 months old. No one wanted him because his front legs had been broken as a small pup and not set properly. As a result his front legs were not straight. He walked and ran just fine. His lineage may have been good but he wasn’t perfect, except to us. Beau lived to be 17 years old and he was a valuable thread that weaved through all our lives.


I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into my past  . . . .


16 thoughts on “Animal Tails

  1. scifihammy

    It is wonderful the lengths our parents often go to to protect our childhood. I enjoyed reading this glimpse into your past.
    I had a kitten as a child and our dog swung it round by its tail, bashing its head into the drain pipe – something I witnessed. The cat was badly injured and one day when I was at school my Mum took it to the vets to be euthanised, as it was the kindest thing to do. I didn’t get to say goodbye, but I know my Mum was trying to shield me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. scifihammy

        Yes, we need all kinds of experiences growing up, to help us cope with life as an adult. Grief and loss are part of that and losing a pet is usually the first encounter with death that a child has.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. John W. Howell

    Super story Pam. I can fully empathize with your feelings about the bird. When I was ten, someone poisoned my dog and my mother tried to keep it from me. I wanted to know what happened but I got the “just died” story. (she asked a neighbor to dispose of the body) Finally, the neighbor told me. I think the worse part was not attending the funeral and not really having closure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark Lanesbury

    (WARNING: Any child under 18, go away now 🙂 ) Regaling is a very dangerous pastime. Many years ago, while doing this ‘thing’, my wife (at the time), and I were chatting about how the children and their belief in Santa Claus had been strong for many years…..(you know where the rest of this dialogue goes 😀 ), to suddenly see the utter devastation (they were now around 17 yrs old), in their eyes as we made this comment.
    We were stunned as much as they were, simply because once they reached that age, the other kids and those around them usually fill in the many parts in their belief system that may need an update, so to speak.
    Our trust that we had built with them had run away on a sled…disappeared…poof…all for the sake of protecting something that has an important part in their lives…but later has its own problems to boot 😀
    Mind you, I believe in many things now that have people shaking their head. In hindsight, it is the building of that belief in self.
    And an understanding that ‘regaling’ should have a warning with it….our eyes should start to roll in our head to warn others that we are about to go into a dangerous place, stay at your peril 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. quiall Post author

      When I first heard that Santa didn’t exist I was devastated and immediately went to my mother. She told me the story of Saint Nicholas and said that Santa Claus resided in the spirit of Christmas and we were all a part of that. I still believe to this day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mark Lanesbury

        Me too. It’s all about the belief in our hearts, our attitude to what has meaning. Hence most people feeling the commercialism but still obtaining a gift because of how they feel, not the expectation 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan Antion

    The Husky that lives behind us got one of the neighborhood rabbits. He was shunned by several adults for weeks afterwards. We all know it to be part of the cycle of life, but we just don’t want it hitting too close to home.

    Liked by 1 person


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