It's was a painful experience

Image courtesy of [Brooke Cagle] at http://unsplash.com/

It has been about 5 weeks since the start of college. Each day has been interesting with something new to learn and experience. Through this journey I have found how much of a challenge it is to get your foot into the animal field. Lucky for me, I applied as a animal care taker at the college and was offered two trial days. I was excited! A chance to work with animals, a chance to look forward to work.

Day one went great! I went straight to the rodent room and did was needed to be done. It was only when I was sure that all was done before I headed to isolation to look after the sick animals. To my surprise one of our new chickens was there. Looking in the diary I found that on the Friday she had been moved due to not looking well. Yet there she was, clucking away and being as curious as ever. It had to be a mistake! I fed her, changed her water and cleaned up.

I couldn't give up the chance to make a fuss about her. Having a conversation and gently stroking her feathers. I could tell that she was grateful for the attention. Before long, I had to say my goodbyes and move onto the other animals. I was sure that she would be back with her fellow chickens soon enough.

Next day I returned. Started once again in the rodent room. One of the employers happened to be there and as she loved chickens thought to check out the one in isolation. I watched as she made a fuss of the chicken. Talking, stroking her and doing what needed to be done. Minuets passed and as I was attending some of the rodents I heard her calling out to me urgently.

Rushing to the isolation room, she directed my attention to the chicken. I watched as the poor bird suddenly became disoriented and start to fall. In a matter of seconds she was down. Wobbling to and fro, unsure of what was going on. Without a doubt, something was wrong. We switched places as she made a call. What was going on? She was fine the day before. Head of staff arrived moments later and took a look at the chicken. I couldn't stand to watch only as there were still loads of other animals to look after. As quick as I could, I got the jobs done.

Moments later I returned. There she was, in the same position but her head was just getting lower and lower. The other employer was also there, stroking the poor bird. I was informed that there wasn't anything that could be done. A decision had been made that if she was still in the same state in the next couple of hours, one of the certified staff members was going to have to kill her. We both hoped it didn't come to that.

Taking shifts, we kept an eye on the chicken. Hours passed and I found myself willing for her to just close her eyes and let go. I didn't want for her to be killed by hand. Rather that she went on her own than the other method. As if she could her my thoughts, her eyes slowly started to drift close. Quickly, I called for the other employer and we both stood and watched. Her eyes closed, she took in her final breath, released, and that was the end.

When I was young, I woke up to discover that my hamster had died over the night. Years later I ran out of the vet's as they put down my dog. For the first time in my life, I stood and watched an animal die on their own accord. It was the most eye opening and one of the hardest things that I had to experience.

I know that in my line of work that I will have to experience harder and more brutal things. Along the the way there will be battles with my emotions and memories. Whatever happens along the way, I'll take it as an experience and learn to get past that bump.

26 comments

  1. Oh gosh this sounds like a horrible experience! Working with animals is certainly hard but I hope you manage to find more of the good :)

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  2. This is the main reason why I could never ever work with animals, just too heartbreaking x

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  3. you are doing such an amazing job and if you weren't affected by this then i'd think you were in the wrong job xx lots of love

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  4. This sounds really tough and I don't envy you at all, truly heartbreaking.

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  5. This is so sad! I'm glad you were able to take a lesson from this!

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  6. Oh that's so sad but I'm sure it'll make you grow as a person and it's all experience at the end of the day!

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  7. Oh that's so sad but it was obviously time for the poor thing to go. I'm glad she went naturally and didn't have to be killed but so horrible for you.

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  8. You are doing a great job. It was a terrible experience and one shouldn't become hardened to death unfortunately xx

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  9. This sounds like an horrific thing to watch. So sad.

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  10. I wish you more strenght for the times to come. It will get easier, but still not an easy thing.

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  11. The poor chicken but it is not suffering now and you can remain content in the knowledge that you were there to help it pass its last moments secure in your arms.

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  12. Awwww no. Sat in tears reading this. I'm glad that you were able to offer the poor bird some comford in her final days and moments x

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  13. Oh thats so sad, what an awful experience :( xxx

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  14. It does sound like a very sad and painful experience, but it sounds like you did the best you could for the bird. It must be hard to go through this kind of thing at first

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  15. Oh my, how sad but I'm glad she could go on her own terms. I remember having to put my childhood cat down when I was 17 and it was awful but I tried to find peace in knowing she was not suffering any longer.

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  16. Oh gosh that is awful, I think its one reason I couldn't work with animals, I couldn't bare it when the time came :( x

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  17. It's a real tough thing to see, I used to work in a vets and often stood in for owners that couldn't bear to be with their pets when it happened. So horrid but it does get less traumatic the more you experience it! xx

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  18. This must have been so tough - I can imagine it's something that you never really get used too. I am glad she went peacefully in the end.

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  19. Aaaahhh that makes me sad. You must be a strong person to have watched that. Well done, unfortunately these are the down points of working with animals, but the good side is that you'll save so many more.

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  20. I used to volunteer on a farm when I was younger and I loved working with the animals there. It can be very sad when they pass away though.

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  21. Aw what a sad story. I'm glad like you said that she went on her own and it's nice that she was so well looked after too. x

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  22. That tends to be the struggle in any service field; you see both the worst and best.

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  23. :'( Oh my gosh... your story made me cry, no wonder I could never be a vet...

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  24. Oh this is so sad. The poor chicken - at least you gave her some comfort. I am terribly soft with animals, I could never work with them, it would break my heart. Kaz x

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  25. Oh my goodness! If i was wearing a hat, it would go off to you.
    I could never be in this situation its just way to sad. *cuddles*
    Charlotte x

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  26. I always look up to people who work with animals - you have the biggest hearts!

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