What made that day unusual was that Kera, who was ambling ahead of me by only a few paces, suddenly stopped in her tracks, sniffing at the ground. Being a bit behind her I couldn't see what she obviously could so I hurried to catch her up. Sitting in the tall grass at the edge of the track was an adult crow. It didn't move as I approached, just watched with unblinking eyes as two strange beings (much larger than it was) peered at it. Just by looking I could see it was in trouble, the top part of it's beak (mandible) had broken and since this is the hinged part, it could presumably no longer eat. I picked it up very gently and it didn't even struggle, another sign that things had deteriorated beyond much hope. I could feel it's breast bone, quite literally the poor bird was starving to death.
Of course walking around a field with two dogs off lead is quite different to going home part way with two dogs on lead in one hand a crow in the other!
Maybe it was luck, but both Kera and Poppy were as good as gold; they always walk well together and today was no exception. It's almost as though they knew - fanciful? maybe, I can't imagine many of my other clients behaving quite so gently or quietly but they truly surpassed themselves.
Once back at the house I wrapped the crow in an old dog towel and took it to the vet.
It had to be put to sleep, and sad though that is, in this instance it was also necessary.