Hi Y’all! Kodi here, head of security and all round best pal at the Clem Ranch. If you have never heard of me before, read my first column first.
Yeaaaaa! Fall is finally here! Now I know it wasn’t nearly as hot and miserable a summer as the one last year was, but the thought of cool days and chilly evenings makes all four of my paws want to do a little happy dance. Sometimes on cool evenings my daddy will fix a fire in the pit on the deck and we’ll sit out there by it for a spell. My folks prop their feet up by the fire and sit and enjoy the crackling of the burnings logs. Mr. P and I get close by and lay there and enjoy it as well. Those sure can be some good times you know, just being with your loved ones. Those little things in life make for the best memories.
Another sign that it’s fall is all the squirrels scurrying around here and there gathering stuff to get them through the coming wintertime. I haven’t seen any here at the house, and I’m kind of surprised because there’s a big pecan tree in the backyard. That tree is full of those tasty nuts, and the squirrels love them as much as I do. Actually, there are so many this year I guess it would be alright if Mr. Squirrel got a few to carry back to his house. There will be plenty to go around so sharing some would be the nice thing to do. The squirrels at the golf course are gathering other things like pine cones and acorns. Now don’t tell anyone, but the other day I got to chase one up a tree. He wasn’t gathering anything, so I didn’t actually interrupt his work but just gave him a good run for his money. He got away from me, scampered up the nearest tree and said some things that made me think he didn’t appreciate being chased. It was sure fun though! I don’t get to do that very often because it wouldn’t be good manners on the golf course, but there was no one around so my folks said, “Go for it!”
Lately there’s been quite a bit of racket around here since we’ve been weaning calves. I had to help separate them from their mamas, and my girls never take that too well.
Then I helped load them into the trailer for their trip to the weaning pens here by the house. They walked and bawled and walked and bawled for several days, but then finally settled down and got ready for the next phase of their lives. Their mamas did the same, but since they were in a pasture a ways from the house, I didn’t have to listen to their bawling. Of course when I went with Daddy to check on them each day they gave me some dirty looks since I helped in taking their babies away.
The weaning process is kind of a sad time actually, but it’s just part of life and before you know it those cows will have new babies to take care of. New calves are even being born right now to my girls whose calves were weaned last year. They sure are cute little buggers. It won’t be long before they’re running and playing and trying to get me to chase them. That’s great fun until their mamas take notice and put a stop to it. They don’t like me getting very close to their little ones until they’re older.
Mr. P never likes weaning time because he says it’s harder for him to sleep with all the noise, but I noticed that he managed pretty well. Every time I saw him, when he wasn’t at his food bowl that is, his eyes were closed, so I don’t think the bawling bothers him too much. Actually, even when his eyes are open one of them is still kind of closed because he must have gotten stung by something. He will look up from one of his eight-hour naps, and it’s all I can do to keep from snickering. But, since he didn’t laugh at me last year when my entire head swelled up after I got stung by something then I guess it’s only right that I don’t make fun of him. Best pals sympathize with each other, not make fun of the other’s misfortune.
You know one reason this past summer was less miserable was that we’ve had ample rainfall here in East Texas. However, the downside to that comes in the form of mounds and mounds of fire ants. Have you ever stuck your nose into a fire ant mound? Now I don’t mean on purpose because that would just be plain stupid. I’ve gotten some on my paws before, but the other day I got stung on my nose and “yeouch” isn’t a strong enough word to say how that felt! I was following a grasshopper in the deep grass when all of a sudden he disappeared. So I nosed around trying to find him again, and that’s when I managed to stick my nose into a fire ant nest hidden from view. Those little devils can sting you instantly, and I drew my nose back in a flash. I rubbed and rubbed it with my paws trying to get the stinging to stop, and it finally subsided. I’m sure glad none of those evil things crawled up into one of my nostrils because a sting on the outside of my nose was bad enough; I would hate to think what one on the inside would have felt like. And what if one crawled all the way up into your sinus cavities and on into your brain? I would hate to think what a brain sting would be like because you couldn’t get to it to rub the hurt away. I’ve heard of a “brain freeze” when you drink something too cold too fast, but a “brain sting” would definitely be worse. Note to all concerned: Fire ants are one of those things that are best left alone, and that’s a fact.
By the way, have you noticed all the butterflies flying here and there? They seem to be everywhere this time of the year. Mama said they’re called Monarchs because of their size, and they do seem to be bigger than the yellow and pink ones that hang around during the spring and summer. These big things seem to be mostly shades of orange, kind of like the colors of fall. Anyway, they seem to show up about the time the hummingbirds leave to fly south for the winter. Isn’t it great how Mother Nature gives all critters, birds and bugs just the right instinct to know when it’s time to come or when they should be packing to leave? Speaking of hummers, there are still three hanging around the feeder on the deck. Those little jet fighters buzz around so fast I have to take a second look just to keep up with where they are going next. They don’t get along very well either and fuss and fight over the juice in the feeder. I keep thinking they shouldn’t be so worried about sharing some of it with each other because there’s plenty to go around. And mama keeps it filled up so they shouldn’t worry about the stuff running out.
On a pleasant note, we just got back from a trip to the mountains out in Ruidoso, NM. My folks enjoy going out there every so often for some R & R, and of course I get to go along since I’m their traveling companion among other titles I hold. We stayed at a house that had some stairs, and I had soooo much fun running up and down over and over. I wish we had some here at home, but mama said she was glad we didn’t because I sounded like a small herd of horses. They got in some golf, did a little hiking and, as always, enjoyed the beauty of the mountains. There sure were lots of mule deer everywhere out and about. They were even walking down the streets of town just like tourists. We saw them everywhere we looked, but I was told in no uncertain terms that giving them a chase was out of the question. Mama said they had horns and hooves and knew how to use them! One even collided with our vehicle as we were heading home. He came up over that guardrail so fast that daddy couldn’t avoid him. He fell down after the impact but then got up and ran away. I hope he’s ok. I was asleep at the moment of impact, but I can assure you I woke up when he hit on my side of the Suburban. Unfortunately for my folks, there will have to be quite a bit of repair work done to fix all the dings and dints he caused.
Oh, I forgot to ask last time if any of you have an ear that sort of has a mind of its own? Ever since I was five pounds of wiggly fur my right ear pops straight up on occasion, and I have no idea why. It’s sort of like a radar device on a submarine, and I expect it to start making that “beep-beep-beep” sound anytime. When I was little, mama taped a coin to the tip end to help train it to lay down correctly and 99.9% of the time it does. But then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, it will stand at attention. It makes no sense as to why it has a mind of its own. When this happens my folks call me “Radar”, which is a nickname I really don’t like too much. Now I like to be referred to as “The Princess Kodi, The Mighty K or Wiggle Butt” because they seem to fit my personality better, but Radar not so much. Let me know if you’ve ever had this problem with one of your ears.
Ya know I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes it’s good to be ME. I get to be a cowdog when I’m needed (that’s what I was bred for); I’m head of security and keep my folks and Mr. P safe and protected; I get to travel and meet new people and their dogs, so life doesn’t get much better for a little cowdog with a wiggly butt.
Well, so long for now. Be sure and get out and enjoy the beauty this time of the year brings to us.
Happy trails to ya,
This monthly series is based on a book titled, “Letters from Kodi, The Little Cowdog With The Wiggly Butt”. The book is written by Brangus producer and IBBA member Phyllis Clem, through the eyes of Kodi, a miniature Australian Shepherd. Kodi attends all the Brangus events the Clems go to so you may have had the opportunity to meet her. She is very friendly, and since she has trouble holding her licker you may have been on the receiving end of a hand washing.
Hope you enjoy this series full of Kodi’s adventures!
About the Author:
Phyllis and her husband, Garry, are long time, 40+ years, Brangus breeders who live in East Texas near Jacksonville. Their herd consists of donor and donor type females and they strive to produce the highest quality cattle they can. When they have free time they enjoy playing golf, watching professional bull riding, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
The book is available by contacting Phyllis at 903-726-3463. The cost is $10 plus $2 for shipping and handling.