Chickens have helped me heal from a loss. Sounds corny right, wrong. In 2009 I was diagnosed with a progressive disease, that over time would totally consume my body, mind and last but not least my spirit. In effect I was a "Dead Man Walking" the doctors had given me 6 months to 2 years. If I did not have a transplant, I would die. Several months earlier, before I became ill, my wife had found five (5) Lab pups in the middle of a road on her way home from work one evening. After a bit of a discussion, we decided to adopt one of the puppies and send the remaining four (4) to good homes. After some discussion with the family, I decided to name our new family member, Katie. As our newest granddaughters name was Katelyn and I also thought of my Aunt who had passed some years before. Katie was very energetic and loved to play and as she grew she needed to be outside more and more. We went to the expense to buy and erect a 12x12 outdoor kennel, it was her new home, while away at Dr. appointments, she could be out and about. Labs are wonderful dogs, if you have the energy to keep up with them. Katie was happy, we walked, we played. Oh how I loved that girl Katie. But life is life and after about two (2) years my health took a turn for the worse, much worse. My life began to spiral out of control as my health deteriorate, more and more my lust for life became dulled, my responsibility shifted to my wife, which with her having to do more and more to care for my basic day to day needs she soon began to feel overwhelmed. I was hospitalized more and more and I think things came to critical mass for her personally. Stressed to the limit, she told me one evening, coming home from the hospital that she had given Katie to the "wounded warriors" organization to be trained to be a service dog (I am a Vet as well). She just couldn't look after Katie the way she deserved because of the way "life" for us as a family had become. To say the least, I had a mixed feelings and do to my condition.... Well needless to say, it was a rough time, it's funny how critters grow on you isn't it. In May of 2015 I had transplant surgery and although my health still was still needing to recover. I started having an overall idea of the devastation that this time in our lives had under gone. Both vehicles had broken down, things were so bad at one point even the microwave was broken down! Gradually things began to improve, day by day my emotional and physical injuries were healing, "slowly but surely" was my mantra. As time went by, I indeed was beginning to put this whole situation behind me. But there was one nagging feeling I couldn't resolve for some reason, Katie and the loneliness I felt with her being gone from our lives. The constant reminder of her presence, was that **** old outdoor kennel. Empty and lifeless, every time I saw that kennel just sitting there devoid and with out Katie, it would seem each time, my heart was broken anew. There was a genuine hole in my life.... Katie's first Snow Storm in the yard. Katie and Sophia having a play date. Chickens in my yard. The "Roost" crate in background. In the summer of 2015, when my granddaughter Bryce finished her 1st grade year of school, she announced that she had hatched a Chicken egg during the school year and wanted to bring it home to raise. After discussing this with my wife, it was agreed that we would let her bring one home. How hard could it be? Bryce and my wife came home, on the last day of school with not just one, but three (3) chicks. Go figure! Other parents with far more wisdom would not or could not let their children bring their project "Chick" home. So we immediately set up a cardboard box with a light in it, some straw and a small water dish and food dish. From the get go, these chicks chirped and chirped what seemed like 24x7. If heaven has a "Chicken Choir" these little guys will be in it! After a while those little Chickens started growing and growing, eating, pooping and chirping. Soon, We moved them out doors into a crate, made secure through a few fixes. But that was not popular for long, so my wife decided to just move them into Katie's old kennel. The crate became a roost complete with a ramp up into and down. At first I was a little hesitant, it seemed "weird", my feelings still being a little raw and my health recovery still in future mode. It indeed was a difficult arrangement to digest, but I allowed my wife to do what she had to do, after all she is my wife. After a time had passed, I realized these poultry had helped retune my perspective. God doeth have a sense of humor, I soon realized that what had been missing in that old kennel was "Life" any life. While I was so dismembered from being ill, the entire family had suffered to some extent, lost in the noise was that my entire family "been affected" in some way as well, Katie, wherever she is in some small way is better off. If I truly love her, I will let her go in peace. I will be Okay with "Life" Life is funny, regardless of the pain of loss of health or home or the gratification of more stabile times, in the end God and life gives us little glimpses of ourselves through a completely different set of eyes. And oh those Chickens, when I go out into the yard to the Chicken kennel, those birds turn their heads and watch me like a hawk. I put some grass through the fence and they act like I gave them a treat. If I make a clicking sound, they look at me intently, as if to say "we know who you are". I can't put'em on a leash, I can't play catch with them. But life comes in assorted packages, whether man or beast and I'd have it no other way. I understand now that for all the things in life I have ever wanted, God has given me what I need in so many ways. P.S. If you've been wondering why I chose backyardchickens.com to write my mini thesis on life. Why spill your guts here you might ask? Much like the title says, I don't have a clue about chickens, I know you feed them and they lay eggs hopefully. I don't know what kind of chicken breed they are or why sometimes they give us tiny little candy sized eggs. I know the kids have named them, Fluffy the territorial rooster, Oreo the dark small hen and last but not Tinkerbelle, the multi colored hen (I think that she and fluffy have a thing for each other) Are chickens monogamous? There's life out in that old kennel and what better place to tell my story about how "Chickens fixed a hole in my life" and how I can return the favor.