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I took part in a kidnapping today. I’m not proud of it, but I promise it’s a good story! I went to feed my chickens some apples this morning and noticed the gate was shut on their coop. They are usually able to roam around in a big run outside of the coop during the day, so I wondered why it was closed. We have had an escapee chicken – Luke’s teenager chicken flies up to the neighbor’s fence, then hops down to feast on their green grass. I thought perhaps my husband was tired of chasing this rebellious chicken down, so he left the gate closed. I was going to be working in the yard, so I decided to open it and let them roam while I was out there and could keep an eye on things.

I spent about 30 minutes picking the last of my pears and plums, then went to start cleaning out my garden. I passed the chicken coop and noticed a chicken out on the lawn. Thinking it was the rebel, I went after it, only to see it wasn’t Luke’s chicken after all. That’s when I noticed a lot of chickens ALL OVER my yard! In fact, there were only three left in the coop. I had failed to notice the large hole under the fence surrounding the chicken run. (Perhaps this was why the gate was closed…) They had all happily crawled through the hole and found some tasty green stuff to munch. I now had to round up 14 chickens from all corners of the yard.

Chicken wrangling is not as easy as it sounds. Lessons learned today 1. They do not respond to calls like “hey chicken, chicken, come here chicken, chicken.” 2. They are just like children – as soon as you turn your back they go right back to doing what you told them not to do 3. They will not stay in line 4. They don’t care that you are sweaty and have better things to do. It took a long time to get them all in the coop, and by that time I had another appointment and had to give up on the garden cleanup for the day.

On my way to my appointment, I turned out of my cul-de-sac and noticed a car stopped about 1/2 block away. As I looked closer, I saw that the car was stopped for a rogue chicken standing in the middle of the road. You’ve got to be kidding me! I had a hard time counting them because they wouldn’t stand still, so I guess one had wandered farther than I thought. I called my husband to come and get the chicken (he was now home, laughing at my foolishness). He rounded her up and carried her home.

When I was driving back home after my appointment, I got a phone call from my still laughing husband. “We kidnapped a chicken,” he said! All of the chickens had been running around picking on one chicken, so he took a closer look. He counted, and we now had 18 chickens. The run away wasn’t ours… I thought about putting up a found poster with a picture of a big red chicken head on it, but instead we just started knocking on doors. We found the rightful owner and took her home, frazzled but doing fine.

Sometimes things just aren’t what they seem at first glance. It’s worth it to slow down a little, look again, ask some questions. I could have saved a lot of time if I had asked my husband why the gate was closed. We could have avoided a kidnapping if we had looked closely at the chicken in the road. This goes for health issues as well. I promised I would talk about health today, and I’m going to , but in a different way than I had planned.

I have a good friend, teacher and mentor that has been a practicing dentist for over 25 years. He had a strange lump in his lower jaw, and finally took an xray of the area. Finding something unusual, he took the xray to an oral surgeon he was friends with. The oral surgeon didn’t like the looks of it and sent him for a biopsy. You can probably guess the next part of the story – it turned out to be cancer. He went to a very prestigious hospital to have the cancer removed, and they said they thought they got it all. A large portion of his lower jaw had to be removed and it affected his smile and his speech. Through everything he has been positive and upbeat- lifting those who are trying to lift him. He is still battling the cancer, and may not win the battle. How ironic – a dentist being afflicted with oral cancer. Not what it seemed at first glance… So if you have anything that you are questioning, just follow your gut and have it looked at. We are offering free oral cancer screenings, no questions asked, this month and next. If we can save one person from having to go through what my friend is suffering right now, it’s worth all of it.

That’s the health tip of the day: Have it checked out!!

Thank you for letting us be a partner in your health care. It has been such a privilege to get to know you all, and it is very rewarding to see you improve your health and improve your lives. Come get an oral cancer screening – and bring your friends and family with you. It’s free for everyone in October and November. I will see you soon!

Love,

Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

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