What a weird 10 minutes I just spent. I drove up to my carport after work and noticed a huge bird sitting on top of the next-door neighbor's shed, just on the other side of my driveway. I grabbed the camera, sneaked around the back of the house, and managed to get half a dozen shots of this peahen before it ambled down the other side of the shed roof.
Back inside, the dogs were protesting loudly that I hadn't allowed them to go with me. I let them outside and started uploading the peahen photos, and in about three minutes, they were back. I brought them in, gave them treats, and turned back toward the computer, then heard choking and gagging sounds behind me. I turned around to see Butch hunching his shoulders and trying to expel the big jerky strip he'd inhaled without chewing. He was obviously in distress and couldn't catch his breath. I began doing what I guessed to be the doggy-version of the Heimlich maneuver (during which time Kadi tried her best to wedge her big yellow-orange body between Butch's and mine), and the jerky strip popped back into Butch's mouth--and he promptly tried once more to swallow it whole. He choked again, and I Heimliched again, and eventually he began breathing normally and chewing the big lump that had landed back in his mouth. Scared the crap outta me!
He's fine now. He asked to go back outside, so now he's happily walking the fenceline, wagging his tail and trying to attract the attention of the neighbor.
The peahen, by the way, isn't a total rarity in our neighborhood. There's a patch of woods across the road from my house. Behind that patch of woods is a bird sanctuary, so we get strange feathered visitors every now and then. I like that.