Voice of the Nations – Brown Dog killed a Fawn today: Life, Death and Mercy on the Farm

by Karyn Alexander
August 4, 2010

God’s creation is amazing. I just looked out my front door. I noticed what looked like a strategic gang set up. A herd of deer were surrounding the front of my house. They were spread out, one in each of the corners of the bushes, as if they were staking out the place. It appeared that they were ready to come in for a counter-attack from Saturday’s kill.

My dogs were all lying around in the heat, not aware of the impending attack. I watched Cowboy, the smallest of my dogs, perk up to the smell of the deer. Once the other dogs noticed, in a defensive move, they joined to push the deer back into the woods.

What looked like an everyday farm occurrence may have been an attempt to retrieve and avenge a family member.

Saturday, Brown Dog had killed a fawn. Even though recently Brown Dog had suffered an injury that could have been fatal, he was able kill and return with the body for show. Weeks before, I had accidentally backed over Brown Dog, pinning him under my three-ton truck. Remarkably, only bones were crushed, not organs. Brown Dog, a chow, is a hearty farm dog that had been shot and run over before, and lived “to tell about it.”

He had never been off the farm, but unavoidably that day, I had to take him to a dog hospital emergency room. As he finished an examination, the nurses wheeled him out of the X-ray room on a gurney. I was shocked to get a fresh objective view of my dog. All of the other dogs in the hospital were so clean and small. Even the big dogs were on leashes, clean and tidy.

All I could think of when I saw Brown Dog on the gurney was, “I own a lion.” He has a huge red mane that surrounds his lion-like face and bear-like body. I thought, “Wow, I don’t have a pet. I have a jungle animal, wild and mangy.”

In the weeks after Brown Dog’s injury, I took him on small walks to exercise his severed hip bones. That fateful Saturday, as I walked, I took the same path as usual. The dogs all made their own way, winding deeper into the woods. I heard a small cry come from only about 20 feet off my path. It sounded like a baby (human) or a lamb. The cry was faint, like a newborn baby’s.

Over and over the sound of fear or pain pierced the silent woods. I heard rustling in the underbrush, so worked my way over to the noise. I even called out in case it was a small child. No one answered, so I had to assume it was an animal in distress.

As I navigated through the field of poison ivy, I looked, but couldn’t tell what the animal was. It almost appeared to be a snake. The body was about seven inches in diameter. The skin was smooth with irregular spots. I was now confused about what I saw. I didn’t know whether the snake was causing Brown dog to cry, which worried me, or whether it— the snake or lamb— was making the noise because Brown Dog was hurting it.

I have a walking stick my sister made out of a tobacco stake, so I took my homemade weapon and pushed the brush aside. To my surprise a small brown-speckled fawn was lying on its side crying. I noticed Brown Dog’s movement as he had obviously scared the fawn, but was now moving toward it in a more intentional way. I moved my stick to Brown Dog’s head to gently push him aside, but he was only interested in one thing.

I wished the fawn could have jumped up and run, or I could have reached it in time to carry it to safety. It was too late. I called to Brown Dog to stop, but he continued until he silenced his prey. With only one shake of the neck, the fawn was gone. I felt sick because it seemed needless. I wished I could have grabbed the baby and brought it home.

Later that night, I saw our little fawn lying in the gravel at the front of my house. In his crippled state, Brown Dog had ambled his way back with the dead deer.

My dogs are farm dogs, not exactly pets, so I knew I had better retrieve the body before they made a meal of it. Only weeks before, we had a fresh possum carcass strewn around the front yard, only to make for a week-long snack. Cowboy had dragged it everywhere, so we actually named it, Bones Mahoney, as if it was just part of the family!

How primitive it all sounds, but the food chain is what it is.

Since the almost-invasion this morning, I have to think that living in the woods is really no different from the stories I hear on the news each night: lots of predatory stories where innocence is lost forever and bodies are discarded in the street with no honor.

Let us be mindful that we are not jungle animals or even farm dogs. We are precious people who are valued by our families and our God. Let’s remember to live with respect and live in Love. We know it can be a jungle out there, let’s be humane ~ human.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Karyn Alexander
Executive Director, Winfield House (windfieldhouse.org)
KarynBAlexander@aol.com

Winfield House brings the good news of Jesus in a practical way, giving hope to God’s people.

Voice of the Nations: Rev. 5:9 “With your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe, people, language and nation.”
Send questions or comments to: KarynBAlexander@aol.com

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