So yesterday, the cattle hustling quartet spent time with gathering up the AI’d pairs here at home. The N bunch came home with the exception of a cow on the far N hill who must have been staying with her calf who was further N in the wrong pasture. Half of the W bunch had ventured home to the big lot so I jostled some range cubes in the bunk to let them know that coming home was a good thing. The SW bunch was splattered all over their pasture. They were not interested in coming home when I called them but when they could see that some other cows were lined up along the bunk then they decided they’d venture my way. So the cowdogs and I waited and the SW bunch did indeed come on home. The W bunch? Well it didn’t matter that they all did not come home because ultimately all three bunches were going to become one…in the exact same location as where the W bunch stragglers were bedded down. So there was no reason to hassle them. They were at peace and it was fine to leave them at peace. I got the Deere and 2 bales of hay and headed W. The cows at peace got fed and it was funny to note that they were all cows that have been spending their lives together at the Windmill until I brought them home for calving. They are older cows that all have contributed a replacement heifer or a bull calf throughout their lives. They are all AI’d sired from the days when I did natural heat AI by myself. All but one still have good mouths. They have been a great set of cows and it will be hard to watch them leave someday. I strung hay, the calves jumped and bucked and head-butted the hay and the cows lazily got up to come to feed. I went back and opened the lot gate to the SW bunch, let the pairs stroll on out, held one cow back and followed the pairs on down the hill to where the hay was, shut the gate behind them and went on back home. Hawk, Ducchess and I went to inspect the lone cow and the lone calf over N. The cow’s bag was tight, the calf’s nose was scratched up with barb wire lines and the calf was two fences away from where he needed to be. I gave the cowgirls the, “Psstt, psstt” and they quietly leaped off the iron steed, got behind the calf and off we went to the gate, through another gate, to the lane, and headed back N to take the calf to the open gate and back with his mom. We left them be so that he could nurse. Back at home I strung some hay in the big lot for the N cows. I had sorted the calves off and they were in a trap with hay and range cubes. I opened the gates and Hawk & Ducchess moved the cows through the corrals to the big lot with the hay. Next task was to get the lone pair way over N. The calf was done nursing and the pair were grazing. Looking at Hawk & Ducchess I said softly, “Hunt ‘em up & bring ‘em”. They had a tad short of a mile to reach the pair and all I saw were cowdog butts going up and over terraces, in & out of sight. The cow spotted the cowdogs and spun around, trotted to her calf and off to the N they went…headed to the branch and the cedars. It wasn’t long and weaving in & out of the cedars along the branch came the cow, the calf and the gathering duo. They traveled the cedars until they ran out of cedars and Ducchess got ahead and made them bend to come on up the hill. Yep, that went well. Sorted the calf off and put him in with his Signature siblings and let the cow out into the lot for hay. I got Bandit, hooked up the trailer and the foursome we headed N to the Windmill to bring 6 cows and a calf home. The six cows heard me get to the gate and they strolled up the steep branch banks and looked. Five range sisters stared and the 6th range sister had spun around and bombed back down the bank and all I could see was the rear of a cow heading W up the opposite bank and out to the open field. I gave the cowdogs the, “Psst, psst” and they got in behind the 5 and brought them to the pens. I set the gates told Bandit to stay with me and sent Ducchess & Hawk for the pair. Down the steep bank, up the steep bank and gone were the cowdogs. I couldn’t see but I knew they had arrived at their destination because I heard the cow bawl that she was not interested in the cowdogs. Bandit was whining and I said, “You wanna go too?” Looking at me, he cocked his head, slowly blinked once and said, “Yes, please?” “Okay, go on,” I said. Down the bank, up the bank and pulling ground with all 4s he went. I couldn’t see the cowdogs but I knew they were making progress. There was a periodic cow bawl and the sound of the bawl let me know they were closer. Sure ’nuff, soon I heard the cow, calf and cowdogs come down the W bank, into the water, tracking through the water and then they appeared in the horseshoe bend below the corral. The cow had her calf against the bank and she was at the front of the water and earth fort…staring down the cowdogs. I let them be and the cowdogs all came to one side to flush her out of the horseshoe bend. The range sister was not interested in more movement so she lowered her head, pawed the rocks, took a driving dive at the cowdogs, got nailed in the nose by Bandit, heeled by Ducchess and they had the cow at the open end of the horseshoe. Hawk was behind the calf and all 5 were now out of the horseshoe. I watched. The cow whirled around for her calf, Ducchess heeled her again, she spun around and to the corral they came. Up the bank, around the corner, passed the big red oak, around the wing of the fence and into the pen. The cowdogs paused at the gate smiling. The cow was pissed. The calf was calm and had not been touched by the cowdogs…perfect. I absolutely hate cowdogs that will disrespectfully pick on a calf and harm a calf out of sheer meanness. It is not fair and it is predatory and makes a set of cows mean when you get cowdogs that attack calves. I bought a few cowdogs like that once and they don’t last here. But a cowdog that works with discipline and packs the ability and brains to use force wisely is priceless in my book. The cow was not receptive to me doing the loading in the trailer so I let the cowdogs load the 6 cows and the calf. She was sort of wound for sound but she loaded and off we went. I tagged the calf, gave him his vaccinations and turned them to the lot to mingle and eat hay. The cowdogs and I left, went E to get a bull and haul him home to have ready to put with the cows. In the big picture, all went really good yesterday. We got things accomplished and I do regret that the Windmill cow got all bent out of shape and got a split ear out of the deal. But, she refused to bring her calf to the pen at the Windmill on her own, refused to come easily, refused to load easily and her refusing to come home with the rest of her sisters was not an option. She will heal and be fine. Glad we got done what we did yesterday because it has indeed begun to drop snow. Won’t be much snow…just inconvenient ground conditions so that is why we added to our “to do” list yesterday. All is well…even the sore ear.And the calf on that cow is fantastic. He is a keeper….long, stout, wide top, gentle, and smooth in his build. All 6 cows were called “open” on preg day, hauled to the Windmill and all were actually bred. Glad I held on to them for a few months. The other 5 will calve in a week or so. The fantastic bull calf was born back in September at the beginning of the calving season. He must have been really hidden on preg day. Today might be a lazy feeding day and a good foto day with the skiff of snow. ~Thanking Yesterday’s Cowdog Trio
Ah yes, the AI’ing is in the record book. Data recorded and time to clean everything up and put stuff away until the fall of 2015. Now we wait to see the harvests of our cowdog labors. Being on this outfit would not happen if I did not have the cowdog crews. Gathering the pairs yesterday at the tip of dawn went slick. Letting the cows drift into the lot & the trap and holding the calves back went slick. And the mud was stiffer so one could hydroplane at times without the fear of that feeling of your boots and socks being sucked off your feet. It was chilly. It was windy but it all went well. And a big thanks to the Select Sire rep. Mr. Dan. 1st thing he told me when he got there was that he was not feeling well. I was glad we only had 37 hd. to do. We got started at 9 and were done by 10:15. Some folks would have called in sick. But not Dan and the cowdog crew. Nope, we had a time sensitive task and we all showed up and got it done.
Now. For a glimpse of the rest of the story…lol.
It was sorry windy. Loaded up Hawk, Bandit, Ducchess, 4 buckets of range cubes and pulling out from down by the granary Ole Red the flatbed began to fart, buck, cough, choke, snort and gasp. Outta gas? No. Bad gas? More than likely. Fuel filter plugged? Could be. Time for this today? No, Ole Red…bad timing. You get on up here and get your butt on down the road. We coughed, bucked, barked, banged, gasped but we got to the S place. Not a cow in sight. Set my gates at the trap, set my gates in the corral, tip-toed into the lot to see how soft the mud was. Put the range cubes in the lot bunks. Hollered for the cows. Listened. Ah yes, cows are calling back, telling the calves to get out of bed. It took awhile but they began to stroll to the corrals. A few stragglers so I sent Ducchess and Bandit back about 1/4 mile to bring up the rear. The N cows and calves gathered at the gate and I let the cows in and made the calves stay back. Went to the S pairs, opened the corral gate and let the cows in and made the calves stay back. Hawk, Ducchess and Bandit held everything while I did the sort. Took basically 10 minutes or less to do the sort and the processing crew and I left for home. Ole Red did not want to start but we managed to get back home. So I was frustrated because my socks had worked their way off my feet. I’ve worn these 2 pairs of socks together before and had great luck. So, why today do my sock pals need to work off my feet? I was running out of time. But I literally ran to the house, got different socks out of the dirty clothes basket, stuffed the socks in a pocket, ran back to the pickup and pulled up to the shop. Popped the hood on Ole Red, yep that dang little rubber L-shaped ditty had blown itself off the line under the air filter. Ok. So, I shut Ole Red off so that I did not have my wildrag get caught up in the serpentine belt. The little rubber ditty seemed to not be long enough to stay where it needed to stay. Ok. I ran to the house, got some tiny zip ties, ran back, had to take my gloves off to handle them, nearly cut some wire with the needle nose pliers and it still was not a snug fit but I was running out of time so I slammed the hood down. Grabbed a bottle of Heet and drove Ole Red to the gas barrel. As I was gassin’ up Ole Red I was po-go hoppin’ around changing my socks. My gawd it was chilly having my feet bare in the wind and the cold. But hey, I am a multi-tasker right? Got my socks changed, flipped the sliding bad girls on the dash, thought to myself, “Crap, I forgot to screw the air filter back down…dangit”, so I ran out hit the hood in the “sweet spot”, flipped the hood up, put on the air filter, dropped the hood, ran around, fired up Ole Red and we were ready. No, wait. We need a chain and some extension cords. I got the chain and in the process forgot the extension cords. Went to the house and got the semen tank and here came Dan. He tells me he is not feeling well and I had to pause…that makes 2 of us! Thinking to myself, “But, I have socks that will stay up so I’m good.” We got to the S place and I had to run back home to get the extension cords. We got all set up and worked from 9 to 10:15. With the two groups of cows done we loaded up, went home and Dan headed for his home and bed. I am just grateful he did not cancel, “Thanks man!” I hosed off Hawk, Ducchess, and Bandit, let them drip dry a bit, fed them and left them at my mom’s in the basement. I went and got Levi and he and I went to feed. It was Levi’s 1st day to ride solo in the Deere to go feed in over a year. That cowdog was nothing short of over the moon. He was so excited he could hardly contain himself. I got in the Deere, looked at the ground and Levi looked like a washing machine on agitate. I told him to load up and he didn’t even use the steps. 1st thing he did was smile at me and then he looked at the ignition key and smelled it. I said, “That’s right…a new key…and don’t you dare break it off like you did the other key.” Levi & I headed S, found the N pairs out of the wind, fed them some hay and went and found the S pairs and fed them some hay. Then, the day went back to being a normal day. Yep, behind the scenes with Tammy & the cowdogs. Today, we are going to find some bulls, take our calving books and record some cow & calf numbers and get things ready to gather pairs tomorrow to co-mingle them for 30 days with some bulls. Keep your socks up and have a good Wednesday.
My folks started their family in a part of the Sandhills of Nebraska in Grant County. The closest town of any size was Ogallala and it was basically 68 miles away. We traveled a sand trail or road from the cook house to the “main road”. The main road was a one-lane oil strip that ran N & S. On the N end of the oil strip was Hwy 2 and Whitman. On the S end was a highway that ran from Tryon to Arthur then on S to Ogallala. The drive on that one-lane oil road was the most beautiful drive. And it still is the most beautiful drive in my memories. Tall, lofty, choppy hills. Winding flatter areas that snaked along the edges of some sub-irrigated wet meadows which led to more ascents and descents of those huge sandy hills that laid from the NW to the SE. Hills built and formed by the blowing prevailing winds chasing the sand into mounds. With time some grasses took a hold then the winds blew again to cover the grasses with more blowing, drifting and piling sands. Sands as light as dust. My mom referred to the sand and the hills as “hell” on many occasions. My dad referred to the hills as “a gift from God”. On a few occasions, my mom would take my brother and I to Ogallala on Sundays so that we could go to church. There was a Lutheran church in Ogallala. We always sat in the back at the end of a row. Sometimes we would get there on time. But a lot of the time we were late. Sometimes we would leave early. Sometimes we would leave after greeting the pastor after the service. Before we would leave town my mom would take us to a store. She would give my brother and I a nickel, a dime or once in awhile a quarter. I cannot tell you the joy that those nickels, dimes and quarters brought to me. She gave us that money with love and we knew that what she gave us was all she had. It truly was all she had. I bought the same thing every time. The little chocolate balls colored green, yellow, orange and brown that came in a little clear plastic wrapped tube. The money I had left was given to mom and when we’d get home she would put the money in my black Angus bull piggy bank. My mom always got herself a Cherry Mash. My brother would get the little packages of licorice nibs. We’d get back in the car for our nearly 2 hour journey N to home. The key to the joys of that candy gift was to make it last all the way home and maybe even have some left to share with dad. My dad loved chocolate too. Those days of “giving” from my mom have stuck with me my entire life. The pure, simple joy of a nickel, a dime or the occasional quarter. Love in a piece of metal that gave more than 68 miles of sheer joy. The joy of sucking on each individual chocolate ball. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the entire world could see how much greater life could be if everyone took up the gift of giving…giving without expecting or demanding something in return? Now today, the cowdog processing crew and I are going to be giving some cows some range cubes, taking out their CIDRs, giving them some Lutalyse, and returning on Tuesday to give those range sisters some Protege Profit swimmers. We hope those swimmers give some range sister eggs some company and hook up to make babies to be seen in the fall of 2015. Remember, what I do today is what I will receive in a year. Take up the notion of giving…giving without taking. It really is a good thing.
Updates from FB (12/10/2014, 5 AM) are below the original post.
Hangin’ Tree Cowdogs…
At an event held recently at/near Las Vegas was some sort of dog competition. Some fella with a Hangin’ Tree Cowdog was there. Another fella was there with a dog of another breed and a conversation ensued. The Hangin’ Tree guy began to run me into the dirt and told the fella with the other breed of dog that, “her dogs are crap and they cannot be registered…so they are crap.” lol… I have been very clear that “I personally do not want” my Hangin’ Tree cowdogs in the Trayer club. I’ve written openly about “my decision” to not be a part of that “dog club”. Buying a “retiring from the cowdog business” set of cowdogs was nothing short of a joke and a conglomeration of lies from the seller(s). Via DNA testing, I was able to salvage good things and sort off bad things and unravel lots of issues in the breeding of the dogs I purchased. They certainly were not from a 3 or 4-way crossbreeding program. My website home or Welcome Page is clear about my decisions, my blog has a category for other postings relating to the purchase of Trayers’ Cowdogs. And, if one needs more information, you can google the public court records of Cole County Missouri and find the results of litigation that clearly put a stop to the fella’s madness. I know, I know, he also says to folks that he drove it in my ask on the lawsuit and that he “won”…well, he lost. And lastly, do not think for a minute that I am the only person in 20 years that got a dose of untruthfulness. The antics of the last two meetings of the cowdog club pretty much spoke/and continue to speak for themselves…in as much as the minutes posted are not in any way, shape or form true to what really occurred. Talking smack about me is fine Chuck. I own a cattle operation with certain needs and am determined to live a clean life. You best just let it go. You are hurting no one but yourself. ~Just Sayin’
Ken Fox I agree. Stand your ground. It’s a poor man that runs down the competition.
19 hrs • Like • 3
Glenda Snyder Ericsson I used to joke with Choc, it’s a dog eat dog world in the Cowdog world. I know when I hear a breeder running another breeder down, I’m turned off by that.
And I do not register my dogs in that association either.
19 hrs • Like • 4
Tia K Farley Your friends support you!!!
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Paul Brady Tammy, I sure appreciate your straight talk. Always enjoy reading your post.
19 hrs • Like • 2
Paul Brady Glenda Ericsson I have good memories of Choc. I hope you are doing well.
19 hrs • Like • 1
Erin Gonzalez What an ass, him. Tammy, people are insanely jealous of what they cannot have, do, make, or produce. I would bet the farm if he were to get a free breed or Hangin’ Tree puppy on the down low; he’d be on it like white on rice.
18 hrs • Like • 4
Lisa Bedell Do I need to punch somebody in the nose?
18 hrs • Like • 4
Geri Smith-Cyphers Unbelievable
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Kristina Farnsworth I only hope that someday I can say I have a Tammy’s Cowdogs dog!
17 hrs • Like • 3
Erin Gonzalez Ha! LOL, me too!
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Heath Curry My Grandfather used to say that a man would lie to you quicker about a dog or a horse than anything else ! stand up for what you believe in !
16 hrs • Like • 5
Steve Krutzfeldt You probably don’t recall but I called you some years back about a dog in Montana (solid red cowdog) I saw on a ranch on a flatbed with your name on his collar. I said then and say now that was an impressive dog in presence and build and one any true dog man or woman would be proud to have. The fellow bought him at auction and I could see it would not be a fit……(dog would have gotten frustrated eventually and not done well) I believe you found another buyer or bought him back which was a testament to your character. You might recall the dogs name? I had a new catahoula x at the time who is now 4 and very good at what he does. Kind regards. Steve
15 hrs • Like • 3
Tammy’s Cowdogs Cowdog Luke was in MT. Luke had more on the ball than the new owner. He worked with Luke here at the sale and I told him to take him, use him and if he could not get up to speed with Luke that I wanted him back. I bought Luke back. And I do recall visiting with you Steve Krutzfeldt. Thanks for the note. Luke and Levi were in the same litter.
14 hrs • Edited • Like • 4
Ashlee Janda Dickey We have some of Tammy’s Cowdogs “crap” and they are awesome!!
14 hrs • Like • 4
Nicole Beaufils Results talk
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Gwen Shepperson Some people would rather focus on the dogs and improving the breed, and others I would swear live only for the drama, drama, drama. You just gotta hope Karma drives a big ol diesel teuck!
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Suzanne Fairchild I’m with Gwen!!!
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Matt Carter You go girl and I know your cow dogs are the best because they eat the best damn maple syrup around
13 hrs • Like
Heath Curry Hey do you know anyone that gathers sheep and goats with heelers
12 hrs • Like
Sd Cattle Friend Page Congratz, you must have some pretty good dogs to have gotten in this guys head that bad.
10 hrs • Like • 1
Debby Goodwin I am with Lisa Bedell…just give me a name. And I thinkSuzanne Fairchild might be in the mood too
10 hrs • Like • 2
Linda Prentiss Way to go Tammy’s Cowdogs girl!!!! Stand up for yourself in a man’s world and you’re my sis!!!!
8 hrs • Like
Tammy’s Cowdogs lol…Yes, before Luke made it back to me he got caught up in a “prostitution ring” and sired at least 2 litters of pups. The folks involved in “stealing Luke’s virginity”? The transporter, the guy that had bought Luke, and 2 HT “breeders” …you cannot pinpoint the masterminds who used Luke to breed some bitches “before” he was delivered back to me “after more than 30 days with the hauler”. I was assured Luke was fine, happy, being well-cared for…over 30 days to deliver my Luke back to me. But, 2 ranchers who bought pups from 2 HT people contacted me when their pups were about a year old and inquired about Luke and if I had Luke because they wanted more pups out of Luke. That is when I started putting 2 & 2 together and could then confirm my suspicions. Both the ranchers were willing to take their cowdogs to get DNA samples and we sent the samples off and sure enough…both pups were sired by Luke. 100% matches. So. There is the “honesty” factor in the HT world/club. Thieves, throat cutters…jealous people. They are not worth spit to me. But they damn sure like using my cowdogs for stud service. Oh..and by the way…they “registered those litters” and “registered their cowdogs”…from my Luke – a not registered cowdog. Honesty does not exist with that bunch. Well, maybe it takes on a “whole new flavor”. Period.
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I know many of you have noticed that I stopped posting my new litters of puppies on my website “Blog” and my two Facebook sites…Tammy’s Cowdogs and my Tammy’s Cowdogs Page. I’ve posted before in all these locations about some of the reasons why I have stopped or limited my puppy postings. I have had a long waiting list for puppies over the last several years. I have let folks get on a waiting list with a deposit. My deposit policy is that I do not use a deposit “until” the person selects a puppy. The deposit simply stays on file after a receipt has been sent to the person who sent in the deposit. I have never seen a need to use a person’s deposit until they have selected a puppy. And that policy has not changed since 2007.
I really tightened up my cowdog breeding program after I purchased over a dozen outside cowdogs in Jan. 2008. The majority of those outside cowdogs did not pass my standards for breeding purposes. If they had genetic flaws, disposition flaws, temperament flaws, conformation flaws, attitude flaws, mental flaws, recessive gene flaws, basically any flaw, then those cowdogs just were of no value or use to me. The verification of those cowdogs’ relationships, sires, dams, brothers, sisters, etc. was put through a series of DNA tests to create and verify relationships and profiles. A few years ago, I stopped sending my litter information to sources outside of my own cowdog breeding program. And, through a lot of processes of elimination I have really narrowed up my gene pool and focused on matings that create a cowdog product that I like and want to use here on my cow/calf operation.
Having a closed cowdog breeding program has been very successful. And not sharing my pedigree information has nearly eliminated the use of my pedigree information for so-called registration purposes. As of September and October 2014, the internal squabbles and unrest of the registration services continues to be an issue and to be a part of the problems of those groups is not for me or my breeding program.
In 2013, I made a decision to not take anymore puppy deposits until I got my current waiting list folks taken care of. I am nearly caught up with my waiting list folks. And I really do appreciate all the folks that have wanted and waited for cowdogs and puppies from my program. I have to turn away a lot of folks simply because the list has been too long. It takes 4-6 litters per year to keep up with requests for puppies. And, I do not breed any female more than once per year. It simply is too hard on the females to put them through back-to-back pregnancies. I don’t treat them as puppy milling sisters. They are working cowdogs too and they cannot maintain peak body condition if they are always pregnant, nursing or raising puppies. Raising puppies requires a lot of time to manage things properly. And, I do not believe in having other folks raise the litters and ship the litters to me so that I always have puppies on hand to sell. Brokering, trading, swapping, milling is just not for me. I do not operate my retained ownership cowherd in that manner and I’m sure not going to pick up those practices for my cowdogs.
When I get my current waiting list folks taken care of, I am going to raise a few litters of pups out of my 3rd and 4th generation cowdogs and take in some new customers. In other words, I am not going to use my deposit process. The pups will be 1st come, 1st serve when I have litters available. I’ll see how that works for the beginning of 2015. I’ve got some pups that I have kept so that I could watch them grow and mature here. I’ll be starting these young cowdogs later on this winter after I get my AI work done in November and December. And, fingers crossed that we don’t have another winter of weeks and weeks of “Polar Vortex” weather. That darn weather sure puts a kink into time, the short winter days and the ability to train cowdogs when it is below zero. It is kind of like the amount of training that occurs when the temperatures are over 90F in the summer months. I don’t keep sheep or goats around for round pen training so when the weather is too cold, too hot, too dusty, too whatever…well, we don’t train during those extreme weather conditions.
First and foremost, this place is a cow/calf operation. The cowdog training takes place when we work cattle on cattle working days. I work alone and my help is my cowdog crews. I still give private training sessions to folks when time allows. Giving private lesson sessions seems to work really well because folks are more relaxed and at ease if other folks are not watching. The personal one-on-one time seems to work really well and allows for more questions and practice.
I post some sort of working cowdog or ranch work story every day on Facebook…just look for Tammy’s Cowdogs. My Tammy’s Cowdogs Page on Facebook is where my website Blog stories or posting will automatically post to. Well, sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. It is really easy to follow the daily postings, pictures or videos on Facebook and I have the site set up so that the postings are public to anyone and you do not have to have a “Friend” status. I am max’d out at the 5,000 Friends level but you can select to “Follow” the postings. Give it a try. Some folks don’t like Facebook but be like me and just use Facebook for things you are interested in and skip all the other stuff that is of no interest. That makes Facebook tolerable!
Thank you very much for following my website blog and give some thought to setting up a Facebook account. The cowdogs & I would love to have you along for our daily working ranch activities.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014…
What a long, long, long day…pooped from yesterday and at a gallop today. Good thing I have good company, good help and loyal friends to share my day with. Hawk, Bandit, and Ducchess are great hands in finding hidden calves, coyote trails and warning me when they fear for my safety. They are really getting good at “find the baby”. The predators (coyotes and that blasted bald eagle) are creating lots of anxiety for the cows and me.
Tuesday, September 23, 1014…
Tues. up at 4 AM. On the road at 6 with Levi and his mom Hawk. Destination? Univ. of MO Vet Hospital. Goal? Take care of the 1/2″ opening along Levi’s upper rt. wolf tooth that is allowing stuff into his nasal cavity, look at 2 discolored teeth to see if they are dead, see if the upper rt. top wolf tooth has survived the accident damage, and a major league dental. Levi was like a back-flipping circus performer, “Open door, woo-hoo road trip, yaa-hoo, gitty up let’s go, yeah…vacation day, whoop whoop…”. Me, “Levi, you have no idea what your day might look like. Settle down.” He didn’t care what I thought…he was H A P P Y…! We get to the Univ. and he’s ready to bomb out of the pickup. He knows where he is at, yes we’ve pee’d on this bush before, and he was like a draft horse pullin’ a heavy, bogged down sled as he headed across the parking lot to the door. The receptionist, “Levi, Levi…look at you, you are so H A P P Y…you look wonderful!” She looks at me and is amazed at how good he looks, so handsome, athletic, bright, shiny, handsome. Me, “Yes, he’s thrilled to be roading around today. He has no clue!” One of Levi’s new students comes out to greet him and get him checked in. Oddly though, Levi was not sure of her and gave her the “stern look”. Levi rarely knows a stranger so this was odd. I had to tell him, “Levi, hey, no. She’s fine.” Levi’s main doc came in and Levi remembered him, wiggled, but he was also a bit cold to Dr. Meadows. They decided to ignore Levi and just talk about the day, the anticipated problems they theorized from the fotos that I had posted for them a couple of months ago, and anticipated surgery procedures that Levi would go through today. Levi was not going with them out the back door. I had to tell him, “Levi…go on…be H A P P Y.” Off they went. I had planned to just wait in the lobby until 4 PM or so. As I stared at the clock and wrestled with being away from home, I started out the door for home. I’m calving and my AI calves began arriving on Sunday night and the pace of the calves hitting the ground was going to pick up speed. I got to the sidewalk, turned around, went back in and told the reception gals, “I’ve decided to go back home and not sit and wait for Levi. I’m calving and I really need to go home.” They looked at me like I was nuts to leave Levi and go all the way back home “for calving”. I assured them that Levi was in good hands and I’d keep my cell phone close. They called the docs and apparently the docs were a tad confused, but they came to the conclusion that it would be okay. Gosh. I felt terrible. Like “bad mom”. Hawk and I get home, get Ducchess and Bandit, and off we go. Heading to the worst pastures with the most brush 1st. All was well at all locations the night before at 7. I don’t know why I anticipate fixing problems instead of anticipating all to be just fine. Well, I do know why…because I’ve been there before…you leave home and all hell breaks loose. Sometimes, just the mere thought of “going somewhere” will create havoc in the pasture. You can stay home 24x7x365 and all is well and the second you think you can sneak away, things will be fine…well, guess what! My pasture crew and I did 14 hrs. of work in 4. We flushed a few cows out of the brush that were prep’d to calve in the solitude of the tweeting birds, under canopies of cedars, and heading them to less secluded places, shut the gates as we went along. 4 pastures & places later we had things as good as we could get it. Calves were coming, other cows were starting, and I was feeling better about having decided to come home. In between the heavy checks, we did the evening feed/water/cleaning at the cowdog kennels. They got the short version of out and about and were a little puzzled but I assured them a little play time was better than no play time. Long about 2 I headed back N for Levi. 3:30 the Dr. Meadows was explaining to me that all went well with Levi. The teeth we thought were bad were actually good. But they found 2 other teeth that had to be taken out due to serious abscessing. The hole into Levi’s nasal cavity was clipped and sewn shut. They were just amazed at how Levi had come out on the positive side off his accident…and in just 10 months was looking so good and back to work. The back to work part was hard for them to fathom though. They figured Levi would be retired and would never even want to go back to working cattle. Should have told them about the penning of “Hammer Down”. They brought Levi out to me and that H A P P Y prancing cowdog was H A P P Y no more. Nada H A P P Y. He was groaning and wanting the hell outta that place. Out the door at a snail’s pace, down the steps, across the parking lot, to the pickup…groaning. Ears down, head down, sad, eye’s bugging out. I had to pick him up to get in the back seat of the pickup. He stepped on mom Hawk, she growled and gruffed him for stepping on her in her air space. He stumbled to the window and sat there…weaving in pain, moaning and groaning. All the way home, moaning & groaning. We wuz not H A P P Y no mo. Pain meds down the hatch Levi. He moaned until midnight when I finally tossed in the towel or passed out from being tired. What a dang day. But Levi has been released from the Univ. docs. He’s good to go as far as they are concerned. He’s a miracle dog and a part of the permanent teaching classes and continuing education courses for vet students and practicing veterinarians. Doc Meadows classifies Levi as, “A miracle. A celebrity around here.” A 1st in the arena of facial reconstruction at a level no one in the textbook world has ever written about…until Doc Meadows and the surgery team at the vet hospital and the newborn team at the U’s doctor hospital. All is well Levi. All is well. This morning (Wed.) he’s moaning but he was in the lead at 6 when I turned he, Hawk, Ducchess, Bandit, Sly, Martin and Liza out to “go potty”. Levi will stay home for a couple of weeks to heal up again and then he will be back on the payroll. ~All is Well #hangintreecowdogs #tammyscowdogs