Monday, December 20, 2010


There are cow punchers, cowboys, cowgirls and cow dogs but recently, I was elected a cow saver by my neighbor's herd. It was not something I sought nor wanted. It just happened.

My neighbor, SA has a lovely piece of property and manages about 30 head of cattle on his land. He is more in the order of gentleman rancher as opposed to a working rancher. His real job is as county judge.

I just love watching the herd peacefully graze, play, fight and have sex, all from the comfort of my porch swing. I don't have to feed, vet or work them, just enjoy. Wish I had thought of this years ago. He also keeps 3 horses in with the cows. It is a very compatible group and I enjoy my pretend ownership.

My neighbor also owns a large pit bull. This dog has run a hapless cat on to my property more than once. Fortunately, there is always a fence between us and I use my very best meter reader “get the blankety- blank out of my life” voice that sends the dog running. She is all muscle and no backbone.

A while back she had a litter of 4 puppies that somehow all convinced SA that they should be allowed to stay. The puppies have been growing and are now about 6 months old. Two or three dogs constitutes a pack, 5 dogs is a scary pack. Lately the whole bunch, mom included, have decided it would be great fun to run the cows.

The dogs start yipping, chasing and pretty soon there is a thunder of hooves and bawling to mingle with the yips. I have seen what a pack of dogs can do to cows or horses by running them thru fences and getting them cut up on barb wire. This is not good. I have also seen the after effects when a pack takes down and tears up a calf with no problem.

I told one of his teenage boys what was happening and they swore they would take care of it. Well no one has. This does not occur every day, but often enough. When I hear them yipping, I go out and stand at the fence line and insult their ancestors in my loudest voice and demand they go home.

The pack will fearlessly taunt a giant bull, but that crazy old gray haired lady at the fence line seems to scare the bejebies out of them. They run like they have been scalded when I crank up my best yell. Now this is a large pasture and sometimes my voice just won't carry across twenty or more acres. That is when the cows have learned to improvise.

I have never thought cows particularly smart. Sweet--yes, lovely eyes--yes, smart--no. This herd however is rather clever. They noticed that I have influence over the dogs so the cows will run helter skelter to my fence line, pile up in the corner and wait almost calmly for me to run off the dogs.

I yell, the dogs run home and the cows bob their heads in my direction in appreciation and the horses come over for a nose rub. So far a workable situation but one that needs to stop. It is not fun running out in the cold of dawn in my jammies trying to be that scary old lady the cows want me to be. Pretend ownership has real drawbacks.

So you have now officially met a “cow saver.” Should I be shopping for a spandex outfit with a big CS on the front? Of course if it were a herd of bulls, I could put BS on my super hero outfit. Might be more appropriate.

Wonder if this ability would carry any weight on a resume?

It has been several days since the last running of the cows. Perhaps my career is over. Sorry I didn't get pictures but I never thought of a
camera till the dogs had been run off. Superhero extraordinaire, photographer a total failure.


  1. You should defintely get the outfit! Maybe an air horn, too! Seriously, though, that does sound like too many dogs to be running loose with the cows. You should be careful!!

  2. Oh Patti,
    I bet that would have been fun to watch! I am still laughing and by the way, you're a genius; how inventive of you to find a job title in today's economy :)
    Take good care and thanks so much for all your kind words! I do appreciate them so (((hugs)))

  3. I think I might pay a call on the owner of the dogs and cattle and tell him what is happening, since the kid didn't pass it on.

  4. LOL, you are some woman, but for Pete's sake be careful they don't come charging at the fence and end up charging you. I think you need a very brightly colored spandex outfit, and fast running shoes. Although let's face it, could you run if you had to, I know I couldn't but then I'm a few years older than you. I might be surprised what I could do if I had to. LOL I wonder, does he think since he's a judge, the laws about how many dogs you can have on one property doesn't apply to him?? Wonder how fast he could run if the pack of dogs goes after him one morning? Have your camera ready.

  5. Who needs a camera with the way you write? Loved this!

  6. I hate those dogs...they scare me and I mean really scare me. My neighbor, the deputy sheriff has 3 and they have charged me more than once barking and growling when I was trying to walk in the neighborhood. Once he just stood there watching until I yelled at Him to call them back. We finally, as a group, reported him to his boss the sheriff, who has an elected position. He has now built a fence. There's no good reason to have that many of them. blessings, marlene

  7. I also think the judge needs to be informed about what is going on. I have seen how dangerous dogs can be when they are in a pack.
    I bet those cows consider you their protector!

  8. Ya know, when us old broads use our super power, usually our yell, lots of critters take notice. I sure am glad you're having a go at being a cow saver. It's such a rewarding avocation. I'm a roadrunner saver myself. And at least you get a head bob, all I get is the zoom part of it all. Happy Holidays super hero.....The Olde Bagg, Linda

  9. Patty...SA must be told that the dogs are chasing his cows. Very bad for the cows. And you be very careful. Packs are dangerous.

  10. Time pull out the pellet gun and sting some butts.

  11. Patti you are a heroine! Very brave of you to face the weather and scare away the dogs. Is your neighbour grateful? I hope so!
    Have a merry Christmas and a relaxed one too!

  12. That's a disaster waiting to happen for sure; hope he gets rid of some of the dogs they sound dangerous; hope you call him directly and let him know what is happening or animal control. If the are running cattle they are running other creatures too, like deer, squirrel, and next it will be a child.

  13. I go out and stand at the fence line and insult their ancestors in my loudest voice and demand they go home. That was my favorite line. Patti, you are such a treasure.

  14. An outfit would be effective; but an admonishment from some animal cruelty officer to the county judge would be appropriate.

    Any pack of of undisciplined dogs, not just pit bulls will destroy herds. We have a failing tourism site in town that kept sheep. Packs of dogs regularly tore these sheep up for "fun". They were not hungry, just their idea of "fun." They left barely touched carcassed strewn across the landscape.

    Neither were they all strays or pitbulls. Many were allowed to run free, or let out at night. The pack assembled, and much like some teenagers, went looking for something to do.

    Finally, most of the dogs met their demise as unprincipled owners took no action. But the sheep herd was not replenished.

    But you certainly must have an uncommon commanding voice, being as the dogs run and the cows stay near you.

  15. In asnwer to your question about the eclipse, NO, I wasn't about to go out and freeze my butt off, plus it was cloudy here, started snowing again around midnight, just a light snow, and now they say we'll be getting some freezing rain this afternoon. Have my radio on and they're playing I'll be Home for Christmas, it's kind of sad, plus I remember my one Grandfather telling me it was his favorite, so I always think of him when I hear it. Have a great day.

  16. Deb,
    Air horn might be a good idea. Don't worry, I keep a fence between us.

    We work with what we have. I'll bet if I put "cow saver" on a resume, I'd get a call back.

    Evidently the kid finally remembered what he was supposed to tell his dad for it has been quiet for about a week now.

    Since there is a monster bull in the mix, I will stay away from a red cape.

    RV Vagabonds,
    Gee thanks for the nice compliment.

    I am so glad you situation has been corrected. That was scary. One dog could hurt you badly, three is purely dangerous.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    Think he finally got the message. It has been quiet for a while now, nary a yip.

    Linda in NM
    Sorry you don't get appreciated. Those rascles do run fast. I am pleased with the head bob.

    I know, I have seen packs work. Scary. These dogs are scared silly of me but I still stay on my side of the fence.

    Gosh, with my aim, I'd probably hit the bigger target, the bull and be in deep do do.

    Reader Wil,
    Not sure if my neighbor is grateful but those cows and horses sure are. Merry Christmas Wil.

    Linda Starr,
    Sadly we do not have animal control here. As quiet as it has been lately over there, I am thinking he has found homes for all but the mother.

    Aw, thanks marcia.

    We had that problem in Florida with packs of strays.
    The odd thing is that if I am in a group of people, you can barely hear my voice, it is so weak. Somehow when I shout, I can be pretty impressive.

    Christmas songs do remind us of the people no longer with us. I don't get sad, but enjoy the happy memories this time of year brings.

  17. I blame the gentleman rancher. If he's a judge, he's most likely heard it all, so he has to be aware his dogs are harassing his cattle. Pit bulls often get a bad rep but I had one leap up to my throat just a year ago. The owner was standing right beside me and did reach him fairly fast but I would have hated to be there alone. Scary, scary.

    Why do they need dogs.... for coyotes or wolves? In Montana the ranchers have started using llamas in place of dogs for guarding cattle and sheep. They don't require special "dog food" and graze with the herds. I used to raise llamas and they could scare off coyotes and single dogs but not so much a full pack of dogs. They are relentless!!!

    You are a super hero. Smart cows, dumb dogs. Patti, the saving-grace.

  18. My daughter's farm is next to a farm with a Bison herd. No dogs but hers on her side of the fence. Can't understand the judge. Is he insane? Dogs can form packs and become bullies very easily. Happy to hear your voice is so useful. The cows deserve better from their owner. I would report him to the SPCA or Humane Society if the dogs come back.

  19. You be very careful, any pack of dogs is not a good thing.
    Love the idea of you flying out the door in your witch, er Saver outfit, screaming at the top of your voice.

  20. I just love that the cows know you will help them and save them from that pack of dogs! I LOVE Cows...I have never had a close relationship with one, but there is a peacefullness about them and as you said, a Sweetness!

    Your writing is so colorful Patti and so descriptive--I always picture everything you write about so clearly---like a great photograph or in some cases--Movie! Keep on 'keeping on', my dear. And I must admit, I would love to see a picture or two of those Sweet Dear Cows!

  21. AWWW,that is one sweet post. Cows and horses heading to you , dogs fleeing. There's a worry though. These dogs could chase a child and that outcome ?? But your voice might just save the wee one if you were nearby. I love you way with words.

  22. Brilliant post ....loved visualizing it all ....not sure i would want to live close to that pack of dogs.

    Take care and I wish you all the seasons greatings ...enjoy it all. xx

  23. Manzanita,
    I think it was just a case of the family pet multiplying. It has really been quiet over there,I think the message got through. Hadn't heard of using llamas but they do use donkeys here for that same reason.

    Oh, I think bison are so amazing. They are so massive. I think the judge just was not aware of the situation. Believe he has it under control now.

    Closest I got to a super hero outfit was jammies and a down jacket. Not to impressive.

    Thank you so much Naomi. That is a lovely compliment. I used to raise day old calves and got way too attached.
    Also, watching cows graze will lower a person's blood pressure.I too love them.

    Thank you so much for the lovely comment. I think he may now be aware of the danger for I haven't seen nor heard the dogs for a week now.

    Thanks so much for the compliment. I am a bit relieved that they no longer seem to run loose as I do walk on the road by his driveway.
    Have a wonderful holidays your self.

  24. You're a good neighbor and a friend to those cows. I agree with the commenters who said you might want to contact the owner, if the dogs are still harassing the cows. If the dogs have stopped, which it seems they have, then your excellent work is done! Be ever vigilant, though!

    Happy holidays to you, Patti.

  25. Patti...I don't see an e-mail address listed, so will leave a note here. Will be away from blogging for a while. My husband has had open heart surgery this past week.

    Thank you for the nice comment at my blog.

  26. robin,
    Thanks. I think it is OK now to put away my cape. It has been peaceful for quite a while now. I retire once again.

  27. I'd say that you deserve a pair of cowgirl boots, but made of leather? Maybe not!

    I have read that cows are one of the species which would disappear were it not for humans. Not that humans treat them kindly! You may be nominated for sainthood--St. Patti of the Bovines!

  28. No everybody can be a cow’s best friend – that certainly is a distinction. I enjoyed your witty tale.

  29. Yes those cattle do know you are their savior! I can't believe the owner is not more worried about that pack of dogs. Yay! for your scare skills!

  30. marylee,
    The ones I have met are not mental giants. However, look at the wild turkey as compared to the domestic turkey and you might think it is something we might have done to them.

    Thanks. However, now that the dogs have been penned up,the cows barely notice me now. Fickle bovines.

    Coloring Outside the Lines,
    Most people just don't realize what constitutes a pack. I'm sure to him, it was just a bunch of big puppies.

  31. You are braver than I would ever be. You can put BS on your superhero outfit--bovine saver.

  32. definitely, go and dress the part.

    Perhaps you could use your formidable foghorn of a voice to scare the farmer and his kids too? There must be a rule somewhere that says you are not allowed to let a pack of dogs lose in a cow pasture.

    That gentleman farmer doesn't sound much of a farmer to me.

    Anyway, I wish you a very happy Christmas with no disturbances by man or beast.

  33. HAHAHA! What a good laugh - no bull! ;) Tee hee! The superhero outfit is a definite yes! CS on one side and BS on the back, maybe?!
    Merry Christmas, Cow Saver. You deserve it!

  34. Oh Honey, I feel for ya...Protector of Cattle and all. We run donkeys in our cattle and the keep dog packs, coyotes and wolves at bay. Not so good a scarin' the big cats and bears though. The owners must not value their herd as they should or they would take care of the dog issue.

    I just came in from the cold after runnin' wild~eyed cattle back in and fixin' the fence. Had a barb break and Hubs won't be in 'till after dark. I am woman.......


    God bless you sweetie and have a Merry Christmas surrounded by those you hold dear...and fudge, heaps of great delicious fudge!!!

  35. are a very brave woman. Dogs are nothing to mess with.I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a new year of fun and creative blogging. Dee

  36. Olga,
    Now why didn't I think of that? That would work.

    Merry Christmas back at ya. What is odd is that my outside voice scares dogs, my inside voice is barely heard.

    Lynda G.
    That would cover it all huh? Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Now you are the super hero and I can hear you roar. You are out there face to face, I need a fence between me and my cows.

    Fortunately, these dogs are real wimps around people- or at least old ladies.
    Merry Christmas.