As odd couples go, maybe there is none stranger than the unlikely friendship that developed between Peri and Taj. A chicken is an unusual enough pet to have, and Peri is not just a chicken, but a blind one at that. Taj, on the other hand, is a pit bull and Peri’s staunch protector.
Adopted at just a few days old by Christa Hubbard and her family, Peri was fine until she was struck by an eye infection six months later. The family gave her daily medications, and even brought the distressed chicken to specialists to seek treatment. Unfortunately, various doctors informed the family that her blindness was inevitable.
Knowing that change was certain and unavoidable, the Hubbards set about helping Peri out, and made sure that she would still be able to do things she would normally do.
Hubbard said, “We made adjustments to help her as she lost her sight: bowls on a throw rug that make noise, special low roosting bars, an ottoman in the living room to ‘watch’ TV with us in the evening and an extra large ottoman in our room, next to our bed, for her bed. We hired a chicken ‘nanny’ to help her out when we weren’t home.”
Peri was quick to return the love and support she received from her family. At a very young age, she needed constant care and attention, and the family went the extra mile to make sure that she was happy and comfortable. Peri shows her appreciation for all the help she receives by being the sweetest pet, always ready to cuddle with her human family.
Taj, one of the family pit bulls, was particularly protective of Peri. When the chicken first became blind, Taj seemed to sense immediately that something was different, and that Peri needed assistance. The dog instantly became her main guardian and all-around defender. “He was 3 years old and quickly took to helping her find her way,” Hubbard said.
“A seeing eye dog for a hen. These two spent the next eight years together. He would guide and protect her. They napped together, sunbathed together. Taj died in July 2018 after a long battle with cancer. Peri was lost without her buddy — she knew he was gone.”
The family worried about Peri’s well-being when Taj passed away, knowing that the pit bull was such a crucial figure in the blind chicken’s life. How would Peri managed without Taj to guide her? So while the family was still grieving Taj’s demise, they thought of Peri’s welfare and went ahead and adopted two pit bull puppies.
The pups brought new energy to the Hubbard household, and no one was more excited than Peri. She quickly perked up again, joyful for the arrival of new friends. The two puppies grew fast, and Peri found herself growing more attached to Gracie. The two were quick to establish a special bond, similar to what Peri shared with Taj.
Gracie, however, has herself made the extra effort in caring for Peri. The young pit bull adorably brings Peri her toys, perhaps knowing that the toys cheer her up and are a great source of comfort.
Knowing the chicken’s predicament, it seems that Gracie is worried that Peri might not be able to find the toys on her own. “Gracie will bring Peri a toy, place it in front of her and wait,” Hubbard said.
“When Peri is out in her yard doing chicken things, Gracie can be found laying outside the fence waiting for her (Peri has a fenced-in area as we have a pool). When Peri is on her ottoman ‘watching’ TV, Gracie brings her a toy. First thing in the morning when we get up, Gracie checks on her sleeping friend.”
Taj might be gone, but the unlikely friendship continues with Peri and Gracie. The two are inseparable, and Gracie must believe that her mission in life is to keep Peri safe and happy. Hubbard shared, “I believe this is just the beginning of where Taj left off. Two sweet souls have found each other.”