I miss my dog. I don’t think of her often because it makes my heart feel heavy in a very real and physical way. Living with animals is something that feels right to me. Not only does dog ownership instil a sense of responsibility in a person and provide excellent companionship (a dog is rarely not happy to see you) but I really think that living with, or close to, animals makes one a better human. Personally, it makes me feel closer to the earth somehow, more connected to nature and as a result more considerate of others, more in tune with other beings on this planet—humans or otherwise. Anything that makes one think less about themselves and more about the feelings and wellbeing of others can’t be bad, right? Having animals around makes a house feel really like a home. While we didn’t get Lily until we were teenagers I hope that I can have animals around when my children are small, what a wonderful thing it would be to grow up with animals.
All of this is to say that despite the fact we miss Lily an awful lot we are enjoying living with some other creatures here in Berkeley: Chickens!
Our temporary landlords were back in Ireland for a few weeks in January and we were tasked with looking after these funny little creatures. Admittedly the majority of the responsibly fell on Richard, as I was working, but he loved it. After a couple of days two of the chickens were bowing down to him to be petted and running up to greet him at the gate in the evening. Plus, think of the eggs! Three of the hens are currently laying and three eggs a day adds up mighty quickly. Free eggs! Free free range, organic, delicious eggs! [Side note: I only started eating eggs very recently. I used to hate them but have begun to come around to scrambled, frittata-d or poached eggs. Yum.]
Look at this guy. Was he not made to be an urban farmer? I definitely see some hens in our future!