A Full Farmily Update

It’s officially summer; the sun is hot but not too hot, thunderstoms entertain us every few evenings, the alfalfa is tall.  Life is good.  It’s time for an update.

Once Daisy started letting the calf suck, she adopted him wholly and completely as her baby.  She communicates with him with the various moo’s I have come to recognize from being around Mike’s cows: “moo” = “baby, where are you,” “Moo” = “baby, come this way,” “moo” = “baby, I love  you,” and “MOO” = “kiddo, if you don’t get over here by the time I count to five…”  She bathes him with her tongue and he follows her and is thrilled to be hers.

Daisy has taken to bathing me as well.  She’ll walk over and start licking my legs and my head (this is sweet yet painful if I’m not wearing a hat) with her foot-long, very acrobatic tongue until my jeans are wet.  She is mother to us all.

She doesn’t particularly care for the smaller animals though – she’s distrustful of Charlie and Chloe and eyes Eli like she wants to mash him in the ground.  She nearly killed a goose.  Yet the other day, Mike’s brother came over to help me work on my truck and he had his two dogs in the back of his pickup.  Daisy ambled over and within moments had befriended the two dogs and soon looked as though she wanted to climb in the back of the pickup with them.  It must be a height thing with her.

I managed, within three days, to train Chloe (who is half cowdog), not to bark at Daisy and the calf. Chloe is an excellent watchdog but needed to learn that these two are family, not intruders.  Now, Charlie, Chloe, and the calf have a sweet relationship born of curiosity, and often the three of them hang out as close as possible on opposite sides of the fence.

The calf is my baby bull; he has my heart.  He is soft and sturdy and his personality – sweet and lively – is really starting to emerge.  Though he would probably be the tastiest Daisy-raised, grass-fed, organic beef ever, he is clearly not meant to be food.  I have another job for him when he grows up, one I’ll share down the road.

And in a sweet turn of coincidence, one of Mike’s bulls tested sterile and this calf looks as though he will have the ideal conformation for a breeding bull – long body, strong straight legs, small head, straight sheath (I’ll let you figure that one out).  These traits lend themselves to healthy offspring and easier births for the cows.

Ranger, my horse, is not discussed much here on the site – it’s almost like our relationship is too personal, too ethereal, to put into words.  I can say he’s in the best shape of his life and is Head Horse of his gang, which consists of himself and Mike’s three horses.

Many people have emailed me wondering what Charlie’s and Eli’s relationship is like these days, and it is as it has always been – Charlie worships that cat, covers him with licks and bows down before him.  Chloe follows suit.  Eli could care less.

Eli spends much of his time out being a teenage delinquent and the rest of his time on my lap when I’m on the computer or sleeping on my bed in the loft (which is off limits to Charlie).  I try to get Eli to hang out more with Charlie, but he cops an attitude similar to that of a 17 year old boy when asked to watch his 10 year old brother: “aww, do I have to???”

Which brings us to Charlie and Chloe.  Charlie and Chloe are the Laverne and Shirley of canines.  There’s really no better way to describe the two of them.  As they bring a fuller meaning to the phrase, “the dog days of summer,” they bring me countless smiles and endless laughter and my heart grows bigger, and stronger, daily.

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