The weather was fine. In the fifties with sunshine ripped me away from chores I should be doing and the dogs and I were off for a walk. My usual loop heads down past the studio… but we have some cows down there. Not wanting to have the puppy meet them yet, I turned and headed for the pivot field.
Only a few steps in and I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy the walk as much as I’d like. The warmth and sunshine had turned the field into a slippery course. While the planted rows offered traction, the space in between was red mud. I’d like to enter it into a “slippery than.. “ contest. Bentonite would beat it, but maybe not by much.
Then there were the turkeys. Boy, they’d be fun for a puppy to chase. I adjusted my walk again.
Well, we’d just head for the creek and look at rocks. We did… and I contemplated hauling a chair down at some point! It’d be great to have dry seating to watch the creek flow by. My, the cows must be enjoying the day too, as occasionally I could hear a whoof from the field. They must be lying out of sight, soaking up the sun, and whoofing.
After a bit, we gave up the scenery and began to head home. Bravo took off, followed closely by Puppy… and their excited barks called my attention to a large black object on the ground. I called them off, and they came to me immediately. Then I got a proper look. Four legs in the air, mud caked head from thrashing, lay a cow.
She was alive and the grunting I had heard was her in distress. I started hustling back home, checking my cell phone for bars, and yelling in case Vernon had returned while I was gone. Cows can’t survive on their backs too long, their organs compress their lungs, and she looked bloated as well. It wasn’t good.
All the way back, texting but not sending, I tried to recall what the guys did with bloat. They stab them to let air escape, though I’ve never done it, and they tube down some soap which lets them burp out the gas buildup. Clomping into my house, my phone wouldn’t connect to my wifi until I was in my kitchen. Ugh. I called Tess hoping Daniel was around. She ran to get him. The phone rang and Brandon gave me instructions from over the mountain as he was driving home from their Thanksgiving visit.
I didn’t want to stab her, but I grabbed a bigger knife and climbed in the Jeep to return to her side. Taking the time to look closely, I wasn’t sure it was bloat. Sure her stomach was distended, but she had her back in a tiny swale. Those three inches were preventing her from rolling over and up. I reached in and grabbed my tow rope lining up and wrapping it around a back leg.
I begged for the guys to show up. If I rolled her over and it was bloat, she’d be laying on the side you need to puncture. I walked up to stab her in front of her left hip like Brandon told me, but I couldn’t do it. I knew she might die right in front of me, but, gee, I just wanted the guys to get here!
Finally. FINALLY. Daniel and Vernon arrive. They have the stuff to tube her but Daniel takes the faster option and stabs her. No air comes rushing out, so he stabs her again. No air. Well, let’s roll her over. Take off, Vernon instructs. My tow rope slides off her leg, narrowly missing my back windshield as it whips off. We switch to a chain and the side by side and with minimal fuss this time, she’s righted. Her breathing eases. She looks around at the world right side up once again.
She wasn’t perky but she was alive. Vernon took her some water later… still alive and he made her stand. She did. She’s still alive this morning and had moved down closer to the creek. She might make it. Amazing how a simple walk can turn into an adventure. I prefer the ones without four legs in the air! I would normally say that’s never good… but with this instance, it may still have a happy ending.Find me here!
7 thoughts on “Never Good”
That was certainly an unplanned adventure. Glad you were there to help. Even happier that the guys showed up. Well done to all.
People have no idea how much ranchers do to put meat on our tables. Thankful this story seems to have a happy ending.
Wow. It was hard for me to breathe just reading that. I can’t imagine how you felt. Glad everything turned out fine
OMG- I cannot even imagine stabbing a cow. Your menfolks came to the rescue! Good for the cow, and for you, too.
What an emergency! Made an interesting story, too. She is one lucky
Wow she is lucky you decided to take a walk!