Early one morning I went outside to let three of my young Standard Poodles into the paddocks. As soon as Fancy Pants went through the gate, she saw what I had not – that one of my favorite White Tophat chickens was bobbing along through the grass. Before I could move, Fancy had raced over and grabbed the chicken. I sprinted to rescue the poor thing, but Fancy joyfully darted away with her prize. As I hurried after her, Newman bounced behind me nipping at my butt while Jordan romped beside us uncertain of what the hullabaloo was about.

Newman, Jordan, and I dashed after Fancy – me hoping to corner her and save the chicken, them relishing all the excitement. Fancy dropped the squawking chicken and I raced to its aid, but just at the last moment, she snatched it up and took off again – with me and the other Poodles close on her heels. With all the exertion I was about to have a heart attack, but I was determined to get that poor chicken out of Fancy’s clutches. We did another lap around the paddock, and Fancy headed for a corner. I was sure I had her this time, but unfortunately ended up on the wrong side of the pump house. Off we went again. The chicken was screeching, and I was desperate to save her. Fancy took no notice of its cries for help: Her ears streamed back as she ran, and the chicken flapped in the wind.

Fancy headed for a corner, and as I closed in on her I shouted, "Drop that bloody chicken!" She dropped the chicken. Then as she saw me coming, she started to snatch it up again. Grabbing it just in the nick of time, I held it above my head. She sprang up and down yelling, "Throw it! Throw it! I'll get it for you!" I told her to back off -- that it was my chicken, not hers. We both did a sort of two-step as we discussed the matter. Finally, I told her in no uncertain terms that the game was over. My heart was racing so hard I could scarcely catch my breath. Newman nipped my butt trying to get me to continue the game. Ever the lady, Jordan looked at me as if to say, "What’s all the fuss about?"

I gently held the little chicken until her heart-rate slowed, and then put her over the fence with the stern admonishment that playing with Poodles is NOT a good thing to do. She ran to the coop to hide and recover from her ordeal. Still huffing and puffing, I went into the house and flopped in a chair, my heart racing twice as fast as the chicken’s. What a way to start the day!

By Sandi K. Savedra-Dixon