Archive for May, 2015

Facebook post…Friday, May 22, 2015, 9:04 PM

~~ Smelling Opportunity ~~
Making the rounds this morning to feed the weanlings some range cubes. The heifers have it all figured out. They hear me get to the granary and holler, “Hey…girls!” and they come trotting out of the timber in the pasture to the N. They proceed up the hill to the lot with their legs kicking sideways and their tails in a kinked up V shape. The steers out S and SW? Well, half of them get it and the other half could care less. The SW bunch will come when I send a few cowdogs out to walk them on home to the bunks. The S bunch is a pain in the ass. But, it is not a big deal. It gives me gathering time with some young cowdog pups. Today, the S bunch had two steers at home for water and the other 30 some were still out grazing. Off the cowdogs and I went. We get to the S end of the S pasture and I call out the female cowdog names and send them to gather and bring the steers. I call the male cowdogs back and send the females on. The male cowdogs and I are out front, driving around the curves of the terraces and the female cowdogs have the steers gathered and are keeping the steers moving home yet not pushing the cattle past me. We get to the lane and I pull to the side and let the female cowdogs push the steers into the lane, then I call the cowdog girls off and have them return to me. Back to the W is a steer along the fence. At first, he looked like he was in the other pasture. I sent Ducchess on a “look back and bring ’em”. She took off through the tall grass. I kept the other cowdogs with me. The stems and blooming heads are tall enough now that the cowdogs have to bob up and down to see where they are going or stand on their hind legs to see and locate stuff. Ducchess didn’t need to bob up and down. She knew where to go and followed a steer trail to get there. I could tell she had arrived at the steer but she wasn’t doing anything. She was not heading him. She was not heeling him. I just figured the steer was indeed in the other pasture and, if so, Ducchess knows not to cross the fence to another pasture unless I tell her. I was a long way off so the other cowdogs and I went to inspect the situation. I get close to the steer and I can tell I have a big, terrible problem. The steer is straddled across the fence. His hind quarters are on one side of the fence and from his flanks on forward he was on the other side of the fence. I literally thought, “Ah shit…no pliers.” As in fencing pliers. Vise grips…use your vise grips to cut the wire. Thank the Lord I had a vise grips with a cutting edge. I cut the top wire, the second wire and the steer fell to the ground. I figured he was sawed in two. He was dehydrated…eyes all sunk back in his sockets. Blow flies were buzzing around. When you have a blow fly party…well, it ain’t a good sign. Blow flies smell opportunity. I like blow flies as much as I like buzzards. This time of year, blow flies and buzzards smell out nasty situations and are leading indicators of looming, pending death. I booted the steer in the rear and he got up, staggered around, wobbled and headed in the wrong direction. I left him be. The cowdogs and I circled the iron steed around and headed on back to the lane. Mission? Feed the steers that had strolled on home, go back and get the injured steer, bring him home to water (hope the heck he will travel), take him to the chute, check him over, fix him up, turn him to water, give him some range cubes, then go get barbed wire, stretchers, fence pliers and fix the fence. When the cowdogs and I trailed the injured steer home, I noticed patches of “white”. I couldn’t see for sure, but my suspicion was patches of blow fly eggs. I hoped there were not any blow fly larvae yet. Gawd I hate maggots…especially screwworm maggots. I scrubbed the steer up and washed the piles of blow fly eggs from their latched patches. Gave the steer some pain meds, some antibiotics and washed his wire burned sore patches and cuts with some stuff to keep the flies at bay…well, fingers crossed. I pondered what to do with the steer. Leave him in the lot with water? Turn him to the other lot for grass? Or, let him go on back to the pasture to rest in the tall grass where he will be able to stay cleaner if we actually get rain tomorrow? He’ll relax more if he can be with his other steer pals. I opted for the option of letting him drift on back to the pasture after he cleaned up some range cubes. Little before dark, the cowdogs and I went to check on the injured steer. He had traveled to a draw and parked himself in some tall grass. The other steers were not far away. Poor steer is in a mess. Very sore. I just hope he doesn’t have internal pinched intestine issues. I know one thing though…if I had not found him when I did…well, he would have died. So, if he kicks the bucket due to intestine blockages or bruised up damage…well, at least I tried. I would have been a sad person if I found him dead astraddle of the fence. Begs the question, “What the hell happened to send the steer airborne over the fence in the first place?” ~Always Something

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Facebook Post…Friday, May 22, 2015

~~ Shhh…Don’t Tell ~~
My mom. For a few weeks, she had been sifting and sorting through old farm/ranch/fencing records…back to 1970. I’d come in to check on her and she’d say, “You’ll never guess what I found. One of Dad’s speeding tickets from when he went to that cattle dispersal sale down south.” A day or so would go by and she is still working on her project. I come in to get a drink, “I found Dad’s speeding ticket when he went and got that new welder.” Each speeding ticket had a very colorful story attached to it. I remember those trips and stories and speeding tickets. The entertainment at many a family or community dinner. Some interesting community folk went to that cattle dispersal sale down south. And though my dad is long gone, those stories from those community folk live on with much laughter and jestering. About how they were all not carrying money or a check that day to pay off the patrolman. The fine, for Dad and the big brown Thunderbird, was steep as the speed was 92 on a rolling hilly 55 highway. They were driving to get the full impact of the “wheeeee…” as they hopped those hills. Mom put all of Dad’s tickets in a clip and handed them to me, smiling and saying, “You know. I’ve never had a speeding ticket in my entire life. But you and your Dad cannot say that, can you?” Me, “Well, no Mom. I’ve had a few. My most memorable one was at 2:30 in the morning coming across the Colorado state line into Nebraska and some little newly pressed young man caught up with me in Hitchcock County. It was a beautiful night. Stars out. No wind. A long, flat stretch of highway. Chattering to a friend on the phone (sorry, but I was on the phone). The Riviera was smoothly sailing along in the stillness. Then. From way, way back I see a what? Red light? Thinking…oh dear. Said to my friend on the phone…uck-ooo, I sure hope that red light is going after something ahead of me. I was not so lucky. It was me the red light was after. The newly minted officer was plum tickled to death to have been at the right place at the right time. The locals know that stretch of highway as ‘where they pull the pots over’ speed trap. The HP hide in the rushes and tall grass along the highway.” An amazing fine it was. Like my Dad, when you go way past 55 into the 90 somethings…well, it gets stiff.
Fast forward to mid-May 2015…a day or so after my conversation about speeding tickets with my Mom. She goes to town to get her hair cut. That night, I come in to check on her. She’s at the kitchen table. I sit in Dad’s kitchen chair by the window. She looks at me with a look of shame, “You know what happened to me today?” Me, “Hard to tell. What?” Mom, “You know that long, flat stretch of road we take to come into town from the back side…that runs by Ria’s? Well, I got a speeding ticket.” My eyes must have twinkled, but I held the smile back and gave my Mom a long look. Mom, “Really, I got a speeding ticket. I had no idea I was going 55 in a 40.” Me, “Did he fine you?” Mom, “No, he gave me a warning and told me I need to be more aware of my surroundings.” Me, “Well, he is probably right. Just be more careful, okay?” lol… I got back outside and grinned, thinking how Mom could almost add a ticket to the stacks of Dad’s and mine. I’m just glad I got to the point (finally) that driving the speed limit is okay. Go Mom in my ole Riviera. That baby drives nice…I know! Dad would have gotten a ticket in the Riv too if he had ever driven it. ~Smiling Today with Speedy Ms. Daisy…she’s 81.

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~~ Dear Dad ~~ Mom is on her way to visit and leave you flowers for the weekend. I went N to the place you wanted to retire to with a little cabin on the N side of the windmill that you brought here from the Sandhills of Nebraska. I need to climb the tower with oil and lube. Sorta don’t want to teeter on the platform. Mom feels close to you when kneeled next to the stone. I feel close to you when sitting in the pasture, with the windmill and the yearling heifers. I see you looking at the wildflower pretties along the road bank. Glad those purdy flowers are not in the pasture…I’d be grittin’ my teeth, mixin’ up Grazon in the spray rig and beating it back to the pasture to mist the colorful sisters. I love you Dad. You left too soon. Seems like the past 19 years without you were just yesterday. Then again, a lifetime ago. Teresa Burleson, down Texas way has a poem that pretty well fits my life’s thoughts…she calls her words, “Rhythms”. A great penning Teresa…a great penning.


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~~ UPDATE…Wednesday, May 13, 2015 a.m. ~~ CANCELLED…cowdogdays15 – May 15-17, 2015 … CANCELLED due to forecast of rain for Thursday through Monday. The weather forecast has rain setting in beginning late tonight (Wednesday the 13th) and sticking around until Monday the 18th. If the chances were for spotty showers we could handle “spotty showers” but the percentages are 80, 60, 40, and 40. I need the rain, I cannot use the barn this year for the demos, so the cowdog sale must be cancelled. I’ve visited with a lot of southern folks and Texas folks who sure wish they could miss out on anymore rain for awhile. I just hope the coming rainy days leave a couple of inches of rain here. ~~ UPDATE…Monday, May 11, 2015 a.m. ~~ Since 2009, I have been having a cowdog production sale in the spring…middle of May. It has been over 100 degrees, dirty, and miserable. It has been in the 70’s and pouring down rain, muddy and miserable. I’ve had an indoor barn to use when the weather was just horrid. This year, I won’t have the indoor barn to use. It has hay in it. It is to rain Thurs. through Sunday…according to 2 of 3 TV stations. Should I cancel/postpone the cowdog demos, sale and client work days? It is Monday, let me know if you will still attend if it is raining. Send me a note/email to tammy@tammyscowdogs.com to let me know. I already know of 5 families that cannot make it now…rains and flooding will keep some home, snow from May 10th will keep 2 families at home since they are calving and now have cattle indoors/fighting with the mud, and one family with a child with a broken leg. I will plan to have the events and make the final decision by Wednesday morning – May 13, 2015. I am leaning to “cancelling” for now. But, am open to following through on a small scale if you are up to wearing rain gear. If the rain is to be thunderstorm-type weather…well, things will definitely be cancelled. tammy@tammyscowdogs.com is listed on my website http://www.tammyscowdogs.com “Contact” page. Click around to find it, send me a note, and we will go from there. I’ll just have to set a new date or do a series of field days/demos in June (work around the heat/humidity). http://www.tammyscowdogs.com

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The format for the cowdog production sale will be the same as previous sales. The activities begin at noon on Friday. It is a good idea to arrive by 11:30 or so, to get registered, grab a bite to eat and get acquainted with the surroundings. Please refer back to cowdogdays14, cowdogdays13 blog posts for a little more general info and to see how things went at previous sales.

I hope to have five 6-month old pups for the sale, a couple of yearlings and maybe an older cowdog that is pretty much an all-around cowdog. I’ll post pictures this week some time with some data. Here are a couple of photos from yesterday’s ranch work. I had 60 bull calves to work so I had the pups out for the work day. My Facebook post for the day was:

~~ Home Schooling ~~
Yes, I’m a “home schooler”. Today, the next five new potential cowdogs spent several hours at the corrals. They got to browse the pens, the alley, through the chute, then to the pickup to watch their great-grandma Hawk, great-aunt Ducchess, and great-uncle Bandit work 60 bull calves. It was hot today and they are not used to the heat, but they took it all in, got a water break, and took in more watching. Then they got to browse more when the cattle work was all done. They were tuckered out by the time they spent several hours doing things and watching “the big cowdogs”. I know my feet are tired. And, the laundry lady will need to put some baking soda in the water to get the green out of the jeans. We need “rain”…runnin’ the sprinkler to cut the dust. Dirt + pollen has me weeping water from my eyes and working with a runny nose. ~Tylenol, Alavert

PS…I see that a lot of my posts for the last 6 months are no longer available. That is due to Facebook account changes during the last three weeks. It is a technical thing, a headache…as they say, “It’s complicated.” I don’t plan to re-do these posts here on my blog. It took dozens of hours to post the fall calving, fall AI work, and winter cattle work…so I don’t plan to take the time to replace the posts. Wrong time of year…too much other stuff to do. Sorry. Plus, I have had to take care of some unforeseen family matters for my mother the last couple of months. All the little glitches just chew up a person’s time and has made me late in getting my cowdog sale pulled together.

Keep tabs on my blog here for sale updates, weather updates. With the odd spring, some folks are late in planting crops, getting spring calving behind them, getting cattle to grass. Some folks have already said they cannot make the May sale and are planning on coming to look at cowdogs and watch demos during June. When it gets ultra-hot in July & August, the demo time will slow way down. So, if you cannot make it to the sale in May, just send me an email or call. We can work something out for a visit later on.

If something happens and I have to postpone the sale…I’ll post by May 13, 2015 (Wednesday) that the sale day (May 15th) is postponed. Sometimes we have to work with life’s “curve balls”. Thank you for visiting my website, my blog, and my 3 Facebook sites. I’ll get that FB stuff corralled and streamlined – someday!

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