Kodi the Cowdog- “Down Under”

Kodi the Cowdog stories are a monthly series 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.

Hi Y’all,

We recently had some visitors from ‘down under’ as they say. They were Brangus cattle breeders from Australia and were in the US visiting ranches and came by to see some of ‘my girls’ and visit with my folks. They sure were a nice bunch and liked the idea that I’m an Aussie too, even though I was born here in the states. You know my ancestors came from that continent several hundred years ago when boat loads of sheep came to the western coast of America along with their Basque sheep herders.  Actually I can trace my ancestor line further back than that , all the way to the country of Spain where the little dogs like me were called Spanish Shepherds. I don’t know if any of my relatives back then lived large like I do now, but I bet they were good at cattle and sheep work cause I sure have that trait running through my veins. I wonder what they looked like back then and if they were as cute as me? Did they have brown eyes or were theirs blue? Did they have black, shiny hair or was theirs more the blue merle type? Those are fun questions to ponder over. Do you know much about your ancestors? If so let me know where yours originated from.

Kodi is making sure the yearling bulls didn't leave any feed

Kodi is making sure the yearling bulls didn’t leave any feed

Looks like the calendar says that it’s springtime again. Course I didn’t have to look at a calendar to know, cause the crazy red birds are back at the windows fighting their own images. Those bird brains of theirs never let up when it comes to this annual ritual. It will go on for several weeks and then one day they’ll decide to get on with their nest building  projects and we’ll have some peace and quiet around here. That is until Mama Mockingbird hatches her young in their nest in the pecan tree by the deck. Then I’ll have to go into dive bomb mode until those younguns fly away and it’s safe to go in the backyard once again. This has been going on forever and I guess it will continue, but sometimes I get just plain tired of her tryng to poke my wiggly little butt with her sharp beak every time I get near that nest. Wouldn’t that get on your nerves too ?

Another way I know it’s springtime is all the yellow stuff that’s coating everything right now. Everytime I walk across the driveway I leave a trail of footprints behind me and if I lay down on the deck for a little rest, then I leave an imprint of my body. I understand some folks are allergic to the yellow stuff and I believe it cause everywhere I go it seems as if people are sneezing, blowing, coughing, etc. Even ‘my girls’ are sneezing some; their noses are yellow from grazing and I guess they get the stuff in their nostrils. When you look at Sug’s muzzle it’s yellow too and she does a lot of snorting. Even Mr.P has been “ah-chooing” some, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to bother me.   I guess I’m a lucky pup not to be bothered by the springtime allergies. My folks haven’t been bothered much by the pollen either, but Mama sure hates that it keeps her vehicle looking dirty all the time and you know what a neat freak she is. Soon enough everything will get through blooming and we’ll get a good rain and all will be normal again, that is until the next season of things to be allergic to.

I understand that the 1st of April is called ‘April Fool’s Day’. Wonder why that is? Are people supposed to go around acting or looking goofy on that particular day? I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary around here. It was my Daddy’s birthday so we kind of took the day off and did some relaxing things and that was nice. Now Mama did come back from Wal Mart the next day and said that there was one goofy looking guy in there and the car she saw him get into later was also strange so maybe he thought that Tues. was the day for ‘April Fools’ to be out and about. Of course every time she comes back from WallyWorld as she calls it, she mentions that she always see some ‘different’ looking folks  in there. Wonder why they seem to show up there so often?

I  decided the other day  that there’s never a dull moment around this ranch. And I never know when I might be called on to ‘save the day’. For instance one recent afternoon Daddy headed off on the tractor to do some pasture work and Mama and I headed out the back door to fill up Sug’s water tub. As we rounded the corner of the house we noticed that a group of yearling heifers, not ours, were running down the side road headed for the busy highway. They belonged to a neighbor who lives about a mile back up that road, but they were headed in the opposite direction from their home and in a hurry, too. Mama told me to load in the mule and we took off in a flash to try to stop the mob before they could make it to the highway. Fast moving cars plus loose cattle make for a disaster just waiting to happen. We got there just in time and headed them off. Then I got my instructions to get out and herd them back up the road toward the field they were supposed to be in. Now you know I speak “MOOOOOO”  and ‘my girls’ understand my different barks, but I wasn’t sure about that bunch of wild eyed heifers. I gave them my “get moving or you’ll regret it “ bark and I guess they understood cause they did just as they were told. The language of “MOOOOO” must be the same no matter the breed of cattle. About this time the owner showed up and opened a gate so they could go down a lane and at least get away from the road. I backed off for a bit, let them settle and then Mama told me to “put  ‘um down the lane, Kodi” and away I went. One turned at the right spot and the others followed with me right on their heels. The gate was closed, the crisis  averted and we all heaved a sigh of relief. Mama was concerned that they might have tried to get in our pasture  cause they were bouncing off the fence and our young super star bull, Texas Star, was on the other side of that barbed wire, but luckily that didn’t happen or it really would have been a disaster. The owner took over from there and mama told me to load up and we headed back to the house. One bystander watching all of this from his truck commented,” that little dog sure knows what to do”. And I thought to myself,” well of course I do; I’m a little cowdog and that’s  how I roll”.

We just got back from a short trip to Abilene. We go out there about this time every year for a bull sale event. You may remember my mentioning the barn dog, Jake, who pestered me so much last year. Well, I didn’t see him anywhere. I kept expecting him to show up everytime  Mama took me for a walk, but I guess he had business to take care of elsewhere. There were a couple of dogs in the back of a truck parked next to the barn, but they stayed put and they didn’t have that “let’s play” look on their faces anyway. There was a little white dog in the front seat of another truck, but he stayed put as well. He did go crazy though everytime I walked by. I got my usual round of hugs, head scratches, and ‘what pretty hair you have” and I always enjoy that. The night before the sale while we were sleeping, or trying to, a big storm blew through. I was curled up next to mama and my spot was nearest the hotel window. All of a sudden the storm came barreling through with lots of thunder, lightening, rain and hail. Now don’t get the idea that I was scared of all that racket, but I decided to move myself to the other side of the bed behind daddy and get away from that window. Safety first is my motto. The next morning when we went out it looked like it had snowed there was so much hail still on the ground. It’s so dry out in that part of Texas that those folks were happy to see moisture in any form, even the hard kind.

Guess I’d better  sign off for now. I just heard Mr.Donkey-in-the-next-field braying, so I need to check the skies for anything unusual.

Your friend,


P.S. I forgot to mention that I hope you and yours had a wonderful Easter Sunday. I know that Christmas Day and Easter are two special days for those of the Christian faith. What I don’t get is how a bunny and looking for eggs/candy got to be part of that day. But with my super sniffer I bet I could find more than my share of stuff to put in a basket if I had the chance. I mean I can find one of my buried horse hooves months after I’ve hidden them. Those things just get better with age – yum-yum. Think I’ll go dig one up and have a little chew. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

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 of cattle that 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 or ggclem69@aol.com. The cost is $10 plus $2 for shipping and handling.

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