The Story of Hot Shot July 17, 2012
Oh, me, did I ever bite the bullet. One of my lovely chickens, a Campine/Black Marans cross named Hot Shot, developed a foot infection, commonly called bumblefoot. Off we go to the vet and she had surgery to open up the infected foot and came home to live in the house and get her daily foot baths and foot wraps. Everything seemed fine for 10 days or so and it was just lovely having a Talkie Talkie chicken beside me in the rabbit cage while I worked for My Pet Chicken all day.
Hot Shot was so very cooperative, never complained and did a first rate job of endearing herself to me forever more. What she also did, however, was learn to beg with the best of them. Grated cheese was her absolute favorite, with blueberries running a close second. She quickly figured out the system and she sure got my number by cackling her head off every time the refrigerator door opened.
It was so nice to hold her and talk to her while she struck a noble pose in my lap with one foot in a pot of warm water. She even laid on her back in her long suffering manner with her sore foot in the air and relaxed while I bandaged her Bumble. You’ve got to love a chicken like that. And after every wrapping she got her treats. Talkie, talkieing her delight the whole while.
As I said, all was well for a while and then the foot swelled up even more than before. Back to the vet. Now we are talking big time surgery with a two day stay. Home again. More soaking, more wrapping, more treats but alas 2 weeks later it all ballooned again. I crumbled. There was no way, after already having spent $600, that I could consider another surgery with no guarantee that it would work. So with a very heavy heart, a very somber trip to the vet was made and I left my dear Hot Shot there to be put down. I drove home in tears. Well, more than tears… I was bawling my head off.
I consoled myself with the knowledge that I really had done everything I could do and that it would be beyond all reason to sink any more money into a $3 chicken. I cried the next day and the next. I cried a whole lot every time I thought of her patiently standing in her pot of warm water. It broke my heart thinking about her laying on her back with her foot in the air for me to do the wrapping thing and every time I opened the fridge door I cried because there was no Talkie, Talkie begging for grated cheese.
Two weeks went by and the phone rang. It was the vet saying, “I hope you are not going to be mad at me, but the day you brought Hot Shot in to be put down, I had had such a bad day putting down two other animals that I just couldn’t do it again. So I went ahead and operated on her and she is all better now.” I cried again. Tears of such joy. So Hot Shot came home and I promised her cheese for life, and meal worms, and blueberries, and sunflower seeds–I promised her anything she wanted and she said, “Talkie, Talkie.”