What to do when your dog eats the neighbor's pet chicken (or, you screw up).


Weekend news from my suburban cul de sac:

Brutus, the neighbor's lovable, energetic dog, ate another neighbor's pet chicken. Saw it, wanted it, reached under the fence, caught it and then ... ate it. I didn't see it, but I'm pretty sure Brutus also left plenty of evidence as to precisely what went down.

This left one neighbor down a pet (and, I assume, revising their Sunday morning eggs and bacon plan) and another with some 'splainin to do.

We've all been there.

No, seriously, we have. While maybe the specifics of our tales did not involve the neighbor's chicken, we've all had moments of complete "Oh, shit," after which we've got to make some quick decisions on how to manage a dicey situation.

Do you attempt to hide the evidence? Do you act indignant toward the chicken owner and suggest that the chicken maybe PROVOKED the weekend buffet?

Do you close your blinds, lock the doors and just pretend nothing happened ... with the hopes that maybe no one will even notice and life with go back to business as usual?

What do you do?

You see poor responses to this sort of chicken eating situation in business with relative frequency. In business it's called passing the buck. Creating a scapegoat. Taking the easy way out. Covering your ass.

Whatever the semantics, responding like a loser when you botch something is cowardly. And makes you look not like a chicken, but like a chicken shit.

So again, what do you do when you (or, in this case, your dog) screw up?

You own up.

You face the situation head on.

You go over and knock on the neighbor's door and explain what's just happened, honestly, with care, and with full responsibility for your contributions to the screw up.

You take a deep breath and get ready, because the chicken owner isn't always going to respond to this news all that calmly.

You stay calm anyways.

When you've made a move that's compromised your reputation, your livelihood or your relationships you don't hide the evidence.

You have that difficult conversation, you apologize, and then you propose a solution.

And, in this particular instance, you for sure go fix the holes in that fence.

 Photo by: Me. And that's not Brutus, it's Lily. She just dreams about eating chickens