Plays Nice With Others

Disclaimer plus warning: If you’re squeamish (or eating), DO NOT read this post! Or read it, but don’t look at the pictures . . . I’ll just leave it up to you.

My Cowboy does a lot of hauling and day work for other farmers/ranchers in our area. Today, he was hired to haul a calf to the vet for a little “doctoring”.

He asked me if I would go along to help. Well, ok, it was more like a bribe. Anytime he starts his sentence with, “If I buy you breakfast, will you . . .?” I know I’m in big trouble.

I whined, simply because that always makes me feel better, then I got my boots and coat on, and drug myself out the door. Bacon is just too hard for me to resist . . .

It was misting . . .

The truck wasn’t hooked to the trailer yet . . .

And to add to the complications, Lilly, our momma barn cat, had spouted out 3 new babies INSIDE the livestock trailer on Saturday.

So the first order of business was to move the new family to a safe, dry location. We installed them in the mudroom of the shack:

Lilly approves. She has the entire room to herself, with her own food dish and water supply. And it’s dry . . .

After hooking to the trailer, My Cowboy decided that I should now learn how to pull it. I have no problem with driving the truck. I am a bit concerned about driving the truck with the trailer hooked on. Even more concerned about driving the truck with the trailer hooked on and a live creature actually inside the trailer.

But it was empty at first, and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I know, because I tried it. I even whined some more with no effect. Then I pulled the trailer through the gate, raking the trailer tires against the gatepost. My Cowboy never said a word, but I saw him trying to hide a grin . . .

Then he made me pull it all the way to where we needed to pick up the calf. And through another gate. Twice. I did get better . . .

But I drew the line at actually getting out on the “real” road with the calf loaded, so he took over. And it’s sprinkling pretty good by now.

We got the calf to the vet, and loaded into the working chute.

Once said calf had his head trapped in the objet d’ bovine torture, aka the headgate, I took his picture. I thought he might want it for his scrapbook later . . . his mother would be so proud.

The vet popped his head around the corner, and said: “Are you taking pictures?”

I said: “Yes. It’s my job to inform the general public about real life on a farm.”

He just laughed. Then asked if there would be accompanying video, or only pictures. I said: “I’ll give you time to fix your face first . . . ”

Our subject got a brand spankin’ new red eartag . . .

Wormer . . . vaccinations . . .

And a big unpleasant surprise, poor little guy.

The vet declined to describe the impending procedure to the calf beforehand, for obvious reasons, but did warn him: “This’ll change your life. Now you’ll play nice with others.”

My Cowboy held the calf’s tail, while the vet sliced . . .

Grabbed . . .

Pulled . . .

And snipped . . .


I know, baby. Well, actually, I don’t, and I don’t want to, either. But I can sympathize . . .

He couldn’t wait to get back on the trailer! And we deposited him safely back at home, where he told everyone all about the horrific trauma he’d just been put through.

While the bull remained clear on the other side of the pond, where I’m sure he was saying: “I’m glad that wasn’t me!”

And My Cowboy took me to breakfast. Now we’re into a full-blown steady rain shower that looks like it’s gonna hang around awhile. My Cowboy’s off to his next hauling job, and I’m gonna stay inside and quilt. (Now that my belly’s full of bacon!)

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Poor little guy. The farmers in our area didn’t bother with vets, they did it all themselves, too many calves to haul.
    Mmmmmm…bacon *heads to the fridge to see if there’s any*

  2. I hate pulling things that make a pickup as long as a semi–or near thereabouts! (Not that I’ve had to do so for about ten years or that I even want to.) So I understand.
    Yep, that calf will now learn to play nice with others–*that* part I’m willing to think about, just not the surgery!

  3. I considered marrying a farmer once and I’m glad it never came to fruition. You’re a hell of a gal and I enjoy reading your posts. Signed, a city slicker.

  4. Haha! That’s great. Here’s how I learned to drive the trailer with animals in it…Hubby gets bucked off horse in the wilderness of Utah. We get back to campsite, and I drive him 2.5 hours to nearest hospital, where we learn he has 3 fractured ribs and a partially collapsed lung. I drive back out to campsite, where my sister and kids are hanging out. I have to drive to the trailer (which we had to disconnect, because there was a deep wash we had to drive through to get to the campsite) and hook up. First time I had done that by myself. Loaded up horses, and proceeded to pull them up a mountain on a dirt road that was about as wide as a gate opening (and full of big rocks). I just prayed no one was coming down ’cause there was nowhere to pass….And I was not backin’ the thing up. We did see one truck, but thankfully there was a turn out where he waited for us to pass. I was in second gear the whole way up. Got out to the highway in about 30 min, then drove 2.5 hours to where the hospital was. Found the county fairgrounds and deposited horses and dropped trailer. Found someone in town where I could buy some hay, went back and fed said horses. Then found a campground in town for us. Then, after 5 days in hospital, had to drive hubby home (he was on morphine and on O2 so he couldn’t drive). It took us 5 days to drive home from Utah to Ohio. I drove the entire way, pulling the horses. Every night, wherever we stayed, I had to find the fairgrounds, deposit horses, find hotel, go feed horses…got the drill? Oh, yeah, and another ER stop in Breckenridge, CO because my husband couldn’t breathe. That was a fun trip.

    I am woman. Hear me roar.

  5. In the light of full confession about trailer pulling, I have to admit that my reluctance to pull a trailer actually saved our marriage. On a camping trip with our then three small children my husband was so mean and grumpy and downright ornery that I longed to fasten our Jeep Wagoneer to our recreational trailer and pull out of the campground leaving the grouch behind. Since we were in western Nebraska and home was in the Rocky Mountains, this would have meant that the grump would have had a long walk to repent of his grumpy ways. I so hated the thought of hooking up and driving this rig by myself, that I just kept hanging on for one more day, keeping in mind that I could always hook up and go. I didn’t; and was fully penitent when we found out upon arriving back at home in the mountains that the grouch actually had walking pneumonia and still took his wife and kiddies to the lake even while suffering severe illness. All is not always as it seems! Sometimes a little fear is a good thing.

  6. Hi there!

    Haven’t heard from you in a while…

    Everything okay?


  7. I have just found your blog and I am still laughing at all your stories…We mark our calves ourselves on our farm, but we are so much kinder, they get a little rubber ring.. On our farm I have to drive everything that the boys do, girl power!!

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