A Memorial to Puff, the House Rooster
by Alice Wooley
(Sevierville TN )
In 2008 we incubated 7 Barbu d'Uccle booted bantam porcelain eggs that our hen would not set on. First to hatch was Silly Britches and almost 3 weeks later, Puff hatched. Puff was the second to hatch. Silly Britches was 3 weeks old when Puff was 3 days old. Sadly, Silly Britches passed away with coccidiosis.
This was the first time to hatch my own so I did not know about coccidiosis. I was so upset that I started calling vets all around me until I found on 45 mins away that took avians. So this was Puff's first vet visit.
I got him meds and had to keep his bottom clean. One afternoon I was trying to soak his bottom and he moved. I looked down and had little feathers on the towel. Puff was bleeding. I put him down and ran through the house to my husband and yelled I killed him too and went to the bedroom. I was still upset over loosing Silly Britches!
So my husband, who is a trained EMT, went and got him and held a cold compress on his bottom until it stopped bleeding. I woke up to the surprise of hearing him chirping!
So this started his 8 years and 5 month journey to being a house rooster and then he became my therapy rooster for Meniere's Disease!
He stuck right beside me everyday after I had to quit my job and became house bound. He would come in every morning and pounce on me to wake me up. If I did not move or wake up by a certain time he would start pulling my hair. With Meniere's Disease there are weeks I would spend in bed and he would be right by my side to keep me company.
He was diagnosed with a sluggish crop in 2014 so we had to change his diet and give him Milk Thistle. He adjusted well to his new diet and looked forward to his blueberries and grapes. He also loved for his diddy to crack up him some peanuts into small pieces.
He would not let me wear red! Found that out at an early age! Lol! And the only shoes he would let me wear were my pink slippers. He also would not let me wear socks or long pants. He was a funny sort about that!
On March 7th he began to start mouth breathing so on the 9th we went to the vet. She said that he was one sick boy that he had bronchitis. Gave him 3 shots and meds at home.
On March 16th we had just set down to eat supper and all of the sudden he crowed 3 times then went flopping across the living room floor. When I caught him he could not breath. So as his diddy was holding him I was blowing air in his face. Took him outside for fresh air and then I told my husband I was calling the vet.
The vet said to get him to UT Vet Hospital right away. So we had to find someone to drive us. I can't drive and my husband can't see in the dark. My sister and brother in law came and took us to the hospital. When we got there they had us come in a different way because of the Avian Flu that is in TN. The lady met us at a door in the back of the building dressed in protective drab.
She took off with him to get him to the oxygen tank. We then had to wait for the doc to be called in. Then the doc come out of one of the rooms and we went in to talk to her. She said that she could feel a mass in his belly that it could be cancer. So he stayed overnight.
That was the first hardest night in my life. So Friday the 17th me and my husband went back to the hospital. They wanted to do a test that would require him to be put under anaesthesia. But I asked is there something else they could do first. He was too weak for anaesthesia.
So they did an ultrasound. The doc came to talk to us and said it is not a mass, but he has so much fluid in his chest that it had moved all his other organs down so they were feeling the gizzard. So they got a cardiologists to do an eco-cardiogram on him. But the fluid was too great for him to say if it was his heart or not.
He said the left side sounds strong but the right was dull sounding. So they put him on Lasix and a better antibiotic. He spent the weekend at the hospital and was very oxygen dependent. He could only stay out 10 mins and his comb would turn blue purple and start gasping for air.
On Monday morning the 20th they called me and said he is not doing well that he can only be without oxygen for 5 mins and was not eating for them. So we got to the hospital as quick as we could. A good chicken friend met us there.
When we went to see him he just wasn't the same little Puff. The only option we had was to do the test with the anaesthesia. I got to feed him some grapes and give him loving. I told him to be a good boy and that I loved him very much! They got him ready to do the test.
We were waiting in the lobby for about 1 hour then the doc came out and said we need to talk. My husband had left because it was getting close to dark. But my friend was still with me. We went into the room and when I saw all three doctors there I knew something was wrong! I sat down and he said we have bad news. And I knew he was gone!
The doc said as they were going to do the test Puff was on 100% oxygen and they had given him a calming med so the could put a tube down his throat. He said they were almost to the test room when Puff stopped breathing. They tried CPR for 7 minutes, but Puff was too weak and was already gone to heaven.
That was the worst day of my life ever! I got to hold him after his passing and my friend called my husband to come back. I held his lifeless body for a good while. Just couldn't let him go. But I finally had to. That was the last I got to see my baby whole.
We had him cremated and I have made a memorial table for him! I miss him so much I still cry and wait for him to come pounce on me in the mornings. Love him so much, but I know he is at peace and in heaven waiting on momma and diddy!
Thank you for letting me share!