“I’ve had the time of my life” these were the final words of the lovely Miss Dinks.
11th February 2011 to 12th September 2013
Video kindly put together by Brett
Right now I want to huddle in a crawl space with my family & grieve. But as Scott pointed out this morning her family was larger than just us. It definitely included all of you too. You all loved her as we did. You cheered on her successes, you laughed at her antics and you wept with her pain. This constitutes family and therefore we will share with you her departure from this plane.
Thursday morning started off like any other day. Me tip-toeing around the kitchen in the wee hours as not to disturb Miss Dinks. Gently changing her bedding, cuddling her & placing a little kiss on the top of her head. Putting wood on the fire to keep her warm and also highlight her shining and grateful eyes that would watch me go about my morning routine.
Scott would always say good-bye to her by scratching her neck & singing a little song he made up just for her. She would arch her neck to take in the full force of love that tickle was giving her.
Her appetite wasn’t the same at breakfast time. But that’s ok. We aren’t always hungry. So next it was a bath. She LOVED her baths. She loved the warm water lapping against her underbelly and the beautiful scented water that would perfume her feathers. I will never forget that smell as long as I live. I would breathe it in deeply whenever I nestled my face into her neck feathers.
We talked about how well her leg was healing. The bruising was fading, the swelling had gone down & I wondered when the stitches could come out…
Around lunchtime I could see she unable to get comfortable & she called out to me a few times. I moved her. I picked her up. I nursed her. Nothing would help. I phoned Scott and we decided to give her a small dose of painkillers. She was peaceful the rest of the day …… until 30 minutes prior to Scott’s usual arrival time home. Agitated I left everything how it was, wrapped her up & sat by the dam. The sun was setting and the water was rippling silver. She seemed to really enjoy the sun on her face, the cool breeze and the view that was hers.
When Scott arrived home it was ‘his shift’ to care for Miss Dinks as I went into town. It was 1600hrs and the decision was made that we both stay with her.
She acknowledged Scott …. she acknowledged us both and doing so we saw someone else’s eyes looking at us. Pure, black eyes. Eyes that longed to go home. We told her it was OK to leave. We understood. We love her. We will miss her. This will always be her home. We are her family no matter where she is. The pain was all too familiar as we voluntarily ripped parts of our soul out & gave them to her in the form of a golden thread. A thread that will forever bind us in time & space.
Knowing she was leaving we gave her some more pain killers and then held her for the next six hours as she drifted in and out of this existence and into the next. Like someone exiting a train with a lot of luggage. She had to keep returning to the train to collect more luggage, walk away with it, stack it & then repeat the scenario.
The only times she responded to our voices was when Scott sang his little song for her. She would raise her head as if to bring her ear closer to the sound. He was always her first love. I knew that. I didn’t care. There was always an abundance of love to go around.
At 2200hrs we all lay on the bed. Miss Dinks nestled between us being petted and loved. Having names to look for whispered to her. “Look for Abby, look for Lucy. Can you see Fern? Go with them. They know where to go”.
She drew in beautiful royal blues, purples and gold colours.
We heard her last breathe & we wept. Paralyzed with what to do next. After a while we lay her down in her bed. We placed her pillow under her head, tucked her in with her favourite green blankie & spent a moment each saying private farewells.
I awoke at 0030hrs as per usual. The tears were instantaneous. I don’t remember falling asleep again.
At 0400hrs I woke up crying. Scott held me. We held each other. One of our best friends was gone.
We carried her outside in a pink shroud to explain the sunrise and hoped she was seeing it with us.
My jumper smells of her. The fridge contains a lunchbox of her food. The clotheshorse has her linen drying on it. The pain of her departure is all around us. But Oh Lord what a wonderful time we had with her!
Last October she was given 7 days to live. She has accomplished a lot in these last 12 months. Look at what she has given to so many. Look at the connections she has interwoven by using social media. She flushed her extended family out of the woods and onto this page where she could talk to you all.
She has raised awareness and she has saved other hens through wanting to live so badly she took her Doctor to new levels of investigation and information.
An incredible life for a little hen. This is not the last we have heard from her. Her work will continue. She left suddenly. But we don’t like long good-byes either.
Thank you for sharing in her life and thank you for being her friend. All living creatures need friends.
Scott & Nikki xx
(Photo – sitting by the dam she loved so much)