The chickens may have been passing through, but they were bound for the the table. No dog was worth more than food.
We couldn't waste money on a vet. So they got the business end of a gun.
After the age of about 10 this duty fell on me. People from the city were always dumping dogs at my grandmother's house. A load of #8 bird shot from 40 or 50 yards out would send a new arrival down the road. If not, I had to drop it for real.
I did what was asked, and what I was asked was to take care of our survival.
Don't believe what you hear about tying the dead chicken around the dogs neck like an albatross. That's like trying to get a person to lose weight by tying a steak and baked potato to their head. Dog's will eat a fucking diaper and go back for seconds.
I had to snuff maybe three in my life. But if they killed a chicken, they had to go.
This brings my mother to mind. My father and grandmother would confer about the fate of the dog, and issue an edict.
I was like a sniper under cover, waiting to get the green light to pull the trigger.
All while my mother stayed in her room and mirror gazed.
Every single time that there was an event that bookmarked a snap shot of my surroundings, she was always sitting in front of the mirror.
When my father snuffed it, she was in front of the mirror.
The few times she was there in a dog/eat/chicken crisis, in front of the mirror.
Before, during, and after dinner, she would be sitting in front of the mirror.
When she caught me flipping her off, she had been in front of the mirror, and that's where she went after she smacked me.
In the three years her murder charges were pending, I never saw her in that house when she wasn't primping in front of the mirror.
Me and sis would have gone the way of the chicken eating dogs, if the Barbarian could have gotten away with it. And she would have gladly pulled the trigger. If she could have shot us from her seat in front of the mirror.
If you watch Dexter, this will be redundant. This week's show ended as the principles found themselves wishing they were any where else but living the life they are living. The show closes with a Dexter monologue, and him referencing an earlier conversation with a Russian mobster about Argentina being a good place to disappear and begin again.
"Everyone wants an Argentina, a place where the slate is wiped clean.
But the truth is, Argentina is just Argentina.
No matter where we go, we take our damage with us.
So is home the place we run to, or is it the place we run from?
Only to hide in places where we are accepted unconditionally.
Places that feel more like home to us.
Because we can finally be who we are.