Unusual pairings – by Dr. Amanda Glew
One of the things that strikes me working as a veterinarian are the unusual pairings that we see on a daily basis – I mean, when you think about it, the fact that we fall so much in love with a dog can be perceived by non-dog lovers as a little odd. But the interspecies relationships are what interest me, and continually surprise me.
For example – we see a lot of dog and cat relationships. Not a surprise, because we are about as smitten with cats as we are with dogs. When I was growing up we had a little terrier cross called Taco, who allowed my pet mouse Nicky to nestle up in his fur, and fall asleep. I was too young to perceive the irony as Nicky travelled to our cottage on a weekly basis where we would remove the mice from traps…
My barn cat has developed a relationship with the horses and cows. She will trot boldly around their legs, rubbing her head against these large beasts. I am sure they are aware of her, and just tolerate her.
Recently we had the privilege of a true dining experience in the heart of Rigaud. A field to table kitchen, also known as Table Champetre, these small farmers must produce 80% of what you eat. As a result, the normal rules of restaurants don’t apply, and you are treated to a farm experience- you eat in their lovely century old farmhouse, the husband serves the food, while the wife is putting together the next course. The seating is limited, which allows for a small and comfortable eating experience. But what struck me the most at the Ferme De la Rive were the animals wandering around while you dined.
There is Ben, a brown spaniel from Animatch – from one of the raids, who went from living in a cage to living as a King on this farm, greeting and organizing all diners. There is Momma cat, a small ginger cat, who thanks to our spay/neuter clinic, is spayed, and Queen of the castle. There is a young black cat who recently was left (a recurrent problem), and although had balls that day, was quickly remedied by the next. Then there is Henny.
As expected Henny is a brown chicken, one of the ones who produces eggs for the meal we eat. For some reason, she once ended up in Shelley’s kitchen. Curious to see what she would do, she
wandered around as chickens wander, pecking here and there, and then jumped up onto the sofa, scratched, and made her way over to Ben. Ben looked at her with a lazy eye, and went back to sleep. She decided the warmth would be nice and settled herself in.
So Henny can be seen as one of the hosts, but mostly she lies under the fireplace (Roast Chicken?) for warmth, before exiting for the night to perform her daily duty – produce another egg.