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Archive for September, 2014

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.

Fall Babies Dirt Fight...Wed. Sep. 24, 2014 009

#hangintreecowdogs #tammyscowdogs

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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
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In August 2002, I purchased my first Hangin’ Tree Cowdog. He was just a pup, but ready to work. I named him Bert and for the next four years, he and I completed all the ranch work ourselves. When we started our journey together, neither knew that a mere 14 months later, he would save my life. How do you ever repay a cowdog for such an enormous gesture? In the time after that, I came to realize the only thanks he wanted was the chance to work with me, beside me, day-in and day-out. Bert was larger than life. He was smart. He was athletic. He was loyal.

In every cattle working situation, he knew what to do without instruction. I could simply point out a sick calf in the wean lot and he’d quietly and respectfully take the calf to the corral and ease it up the alley to the chute. When we’d finish working a set of cows, he knew to gather them up and what gate to head them to to go out to pasture. I could leave him at a gate, go feed, come back and he’d still be at the gate, waiting for my return. If a cow’s calf was hidden in the timber, I could tell Bert to “find the baby” and he’d put his nose to the ground, search until he found it, return to me and take me back to the calf. He simply had the ability to size up any situation and apply the right pressure and make everything work. We’d get done working cattle and you could tell him, “Bert, thanks for your help” and he would look at me with a big smile – as if to say, “You are welcome, now come on let’s go”. We’d be driving down the road and he’d take his right paw and pull my arm so that I’d rub his neck. Or take his head and bump under my elbow and say, “Hey, rub my back.” And, he loved taking his pups out and mentoring them. His mate for life was Hawk and he truly loved her. They were an amazing pair and produced some tremendous offspring. Bert was majestic—more than any other animal I have ever known.

On September 6, 2010, after an accident on the ranch and the gallant efforts of the University of Missouri Vet School, I lost Bert. Tammy’s Cowdogs exists today because of Bert. He is the foundation of my cowdog program and the model all my cowdogs must live up to. He took more than eight of my years with him. I will forever be grateful for the joy and loyalty he brought to my life. Words will never be able to describe how much Hawk and I will miss him

-from the Welcome Page of the website of Tammy’s Cowdogs “Tribute to Bert”

Today, Sep. 05, 2014, the rural route mail lady stops. She’s got a box from Idaho. I can hardly sign the card. Scott Jason Hall, his wife Betty, and Bret Bret N Melanie Haskett? I cannot put words to the remarkable pendant. Scott, your are gifted my friend…the itsy bitsy engraving on the gold, the silver engraving of Bert…I am speechless. Betty, the rein chains are, “Some kind of wonderful.” Bret, your rawhide braiding of the romal reins is, “Perfectly completes this gifted piece.” Bert, 4 years ago today we sat out in the grass at the Univ. of MO vet hospital and took in our last conversation of how much we loved each other. And 15 hrs. later a blood clot to your lungs ended your life. I got the call around 9:30 AM to hurry to your side there were problems. I tried to get there Bert, I did. But, I drove home on the 6th of September with a dog in a box…heartbroken. My life has not been the same since. I will take you with me when I leave here to meet up with you again.

~I love you Bert.
Bert Pendant...Fri. Sep. 05, 2014 001

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