Jerry Lee Lewis says it well in his hit song – “you’ve got personality”.. it’s in the way you talk, walk, just the way you are.
Think about the beings in your life; what are the traits they possess? Which ones do you like? Which ones make you a bit crazy? Here is a list of the traits of the individuals in my life that mean the most to me:
Agreeable Impulsive Open Aggressive Kind Social Sympathetic Rigid Happy Cold Creative Conscientious Reactive
And here is the twist, this list isn’t just about the traits of the people in my life that I am closest to.. but the animals too!
The story of how Chexy came to be in my life is one I will share at another time; but rest assured her path crossing mine was meant to be and she has been a very important part of the last 5 years of my life. She is a beautiful 14 YO buckskin QH mare; she is what a horse person would call quality; she is from great blood lines and is an easy keeper.
Chexy is sweet and conscientious. She senses when you need her just to be there and always gets extra soft around people who seem intimidated or require extra care. After I had surgery last year she seemed to move extra slow around me and didn’t pull any tricks when I rode her.
She can also be neurotic and we joke that if she was a person she would be that sweet auntie that is always a little tipsy and over the top. I have seen her get on her knees and crawl through a puddle and on the same day walk through a creek, she has jumped 10 feet when seeing a hose laying on the ground, after walking over it twice with no incident or notice. Last week we rode for an hour in the arena and all the sudden she took off at a full gallop; I realized upon reflection that she noticed the fence rail that was broken and all the sudden became irrationally fearful.
Chexy reminds me that we all have our issues.. but can still be loveable!
I think Gus is the cutest little bean you could ever see. He is a 2 YO American Bully and we joke that he is an old man who hasn’t figured out he’s actually a dog. He is loving and social and always up for a cuddle. We also think he may have doggie narcolepsy; he will frequently lay down in any position his body lands in snoring loudly as his body hits the floor. It is adorable and great when you are snuggled on the couch watching a movie.
Bella is affectionate, aggressive, and reactive. I also think she either blind or sees things we can’t (Haley Joel Osment’s statement “I see dead people” comes to mind from the movie Sixth Sense.) . We got her from a dog rescue and have had her as part of our family less than a year .. she is just relaxing and developing her own entity as a member of our tribe. She will crawl up your body for a hug irregardless of what you are doing. Who can turn down a hug?
My Ladies, My Fowl Friends
Yes.. chickens have personalities. I never would have guessed that I could be so content in the presence of (live) chickens. Previous to owning them my only thoughts about them involved whole, half, legs, wings, or breast while standing at the meat counter in the grocer. I love keeping chickens. I love every part about it .. from the cleaning of the coup to the calling them and watching them coming running to me. Each night I go out and make sure they are tucked into the coup safe n sound.. often spending time cooing and petting each one.
I haven’t given them names.. I don’t have the mental capacity to do that. I barely remember the names of the people in my life much less trying to keep straight the names of the chickens.. and frankly the ones of the same color look the same.. so I just call them all “Chicken.” There are a few that stand out because of the way they act. There is a young buff that is always apart from the rest exploring. She is curious and bold and I hope it doesn’t lead to a bad end for her.
There is a black and white barred hen who will freak out if separated from the duck we have. She will sometimes get lost in the moment scratching at the feed I have thrown on the ground and will all the sudden realize the duck has moved off which will send her running clucking madly to the duck who will act like she is unaware that they became detached.
There is an older hen who likes to sleep. She is the first to bed in the evening and last to move out of the coup in the morning. She can often be found laying in the sun. More than a few times I have gone to check on her as it appears she might have met some untimely demise only to have her rouse and look at me as if to say “what’s up?”
I know there are those that would argue it is wrong for us as humans to attach personality traits to animals.. but when I am sitting looking in Chexy’s eyes and whisper “I love you” and she closes her eyes softly and nuzzles my neck.. well that’s better than most humans would do.