Love for Guinevere

I just finished my yoga practice. I dedicated it to our sweet, sweet Guinevere who is away at the vet’s tonight so as to be ready for a surgical procedure tomorrow. I found it impossible not to cry on my mat.

Alan and I went shopping yesterday. I had spent plenty of time with Guinevere in the morning, and I was eager to get some tempting foods for our very picky chicken at the store. We were gone for no longer than an hour and a half, but when I walked into Guinevere’s room, my heart dropped.

As usual, she ran towards me in her friendly, eager way, but I immediately saw that her leg was swollen, and red, and angry, and I felt so scared. I immediately called my much more knowledgable friend, Rosemary, to tell her what I was seeing. We both went to work trying to figure out what was wrong.

Guinevere was walking on her leg, eating robustly, and being her usual adorable and affectionate self though I could see that her leg was bothering her.

We set her up in a dog crate for the night with pillows, soft towels, food, and water after Rosemary had given her an oral anti-inflammatory, and I had held lovely Guin while Alan gently rubbed her leg with a topical pain reliever. I slept fitfully, waking often to worry about this precious, little hen. Why do they always get sick or hurt on the weekend or a holiday? Anyone who has ever had a sick loved one knows what it is to wait for Monday or morning, when the vet or the doctor can be called.

Justin and I took Guinevere into the vet’s for an afternoon appointment. Dr. Burkett diagnosed Guin with an abscess. He found a puncture wound and looked for another. He is assuming this was an injury from before Guinevere’s arrival at Triangle Chance for All. Apparently, abscesses can occur quite a bit after the initial trauma.

The doctor will sedate our girl, open her leg, drain and flush the infection out before suturing it and starting her on a course of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory medication. He will send the drained material to the lab to figure out what one of so many different types of bacteria is causing her pain. It struck me as so sad that the antibiotics used to make chickens lay and chickens grow for greedy humans are just what makes it tricky to know just how to treat Guinevere.

Coming home from the vets without her was so hard. I wasn’t home for long before I thought I’d go up to Guinevere’s room to give her a snuggle. This is something I’ve been doing at least a dozen times a day for the last month. It is a lovely and comforting routine for both of us. And then I remembered that she isn’t here and sought comfort in my yoga practice.

Guinevere is such an important part of our Triangle Chance for All family, and we so hate that this gentle little chicken has had to go through so much in her short life. We just want her well. It isn’t lost on us that so many would say, “She is just a chicken,” but she is not “just” anything but pure love to us.

-Linda Nelson


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