All of a sudden life is hectic. 1800 pairs now, a few babies to treat, moving herds into the fields we’ve picked to breed in this year, company, hired help to feed, colts to ride, pups to start working. It’s like an explosion on the lease. I miss the ranch and how one work winds down and with another season life shifts seamlessly into a new work.
Aussie, the barrel racer’s 3 year old, had his first ride out today. I don’t know what his problem was but he must have bucked a dozen times. The patience of a cowboy (my cowboy) amazes me. He got by him and still got his work done. Of course, it did hurt that I was there to back him up riding his good horse: calm, experienced, capable, handsome Wilbur. I roped one calf (I am the worst calf roper in the world but if they are sick enough and just stand there, well I have that down pat) then my cowboy switched me horses and roped a few more. Hot days and cold nights and the stress of folks trailing their cattle out to the lease, it’s all just a recipe for pneumonia.
Yesterday we were moving a herd across the pavement into their breeding field and I almost killed my good dog. He’s 9 and got fat over the winter. It was hot and the help was inexperienced and we had to work extra hard. He got overheated before I realized it. I should have been watching him closer. I tend to over focus on the work. Everyone moved on with the herd but I stayed with Blue and kept wetting him down and shading him
Luckily I had taken to 500 ml pop bottles full of water for the help. I used every drop of both bottles to cool him down. He couldn’t walk, and he was too heavy for me too carry very far but I got him to a well site that had a tiny bit of shade and I shaded the rest of him with my new hat. I tried loading him on my horse who is way to figgity to stand still and got him up there twice but couldn’t get the horse to stand so I could get on too and Blue didn’t have the balance he needed. My cowboy finaly came back for me and my dog and the story ended well.
Except I have to face the fact that my best dog is too old to keep up, too old to be my right hand. It was a sad day and hard realization. I wish, of all the animals in the world, dogs lived longer.