Unfortunately, we had a raccoon attack here about a week ago, and we lost our sweet guy Gus. It was really bad, and we’re actually kind of lucky that only Gus was killed. No other feathered family members were hurt, but we’re all traumatized. And of course we’re mourning the loss of Gus.
I’m not really ready to talk much about it yet, and frankly I don’t think I will ever share all the details. You’ll just have to know that we’re doing all we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Gus was such a bright light and a fun character to have in the yard. He was only here about 5 months or so, and it breaks my heart to think that he was rescued from neglect only to die later in what was supposed to be his sanctuary. He should have been safe here.
The other kids are starting to come around now, and adjusting to life without him. But I can’t let go yet. On the one hand, I feel like I did everything I could to keep him safe. We have a net-covered, hotwired, day aviary as well as night pens with hardware cloth on all sides, top and bottom. And on the other hand, I obviously let Gus down. I didn’t anticipate that 3 raccoons would work together to undo 2 different kinds of locks and open a door to a night pen, but that’s what happened. Frankly, I still can’t believe it. I don’t know anyone else who has done more to protect their flock, and it still wasn’t enough.
Since the attack, we’ve extended the hotwire across the night pens and we are replacing the locks with padlocks. Both improvements should help keep our family safe, but nothing will bring back Gus.
The past week has been like a bad dream that just won’t end. Life can be taken away so fast it takes your breath away, and there’s nothing you can do to reverse it and get it back. There’s no second chance for Gus. He’s just… gone. And there’s not a single thing we can do about it.
Right now I’m trying to focus on what a fun, goofy personality Gus was, and let go of what’s too late to fix. I have to ask a few favors from you, and I hope you can understand. Please don’t share your own horror stories about attacks on animals or animal deaths with us right now. It’s too much to take in. And please save the rainbow bridge stuff. We respect your views and honor them, but we’re just not in a good head space for that kind of stuff right now.
I know that’s a lot to ask, but it’s what we need.
I’m sorry to share such terrible news, and I hope we never have to share it again. I’m trying hard to get to a point where I can let go and say goodbye to Gus, but that’s going to be a while. Until then, here’s a couple of videos of him that show his goofy personality.
Gus wasn’t sure what to make of the new girl, April Shadow. But they were starting to figure each other out.
Gus always poked me on the leg or hand when he wanted more treats. He’d often come over to me and jab me in the shoe just to let me know he was around. He never wanted to be picked up, but I think he secretly liked me.
Again, I’m sorry to share such terrible news. But more than anything, I’m just so very sorry to Gus.
Rest in peace, Gus. We all miss you.