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.
How are things at your place? Everything is fine here at our ranch. Busy as usual though. There never seems to be a day when there is not something that needs doing. I guess it is better to be busy rather than bored because I would probably get into some trouble if I didn’t have things to do. You know how mischievous I can be. Now that I am four years old, I had a birthday on the 20th of May, I am getting to be more mature, but every so often that little devilish voice comes into my head and I’ve just got to go and do something I’m not supposed to, like bark at Sug or the young bulls or pounce on Mr. P when he’s napping. Sometimes I get away with my devilish deed, but usually I hear “Kodi, NO” and have to go back to being a little angel. Mama says my halo is a little crooked most of the time. I wonder what she means by that. Mr. P says he laughs just thinking about me being an angel because in his eyes, my devilish side is the one he sees most of the time. In my defense though, it would be kind of boring around here if I always behaved as I should.
And as I’ve said before, there’s never a dull moment if you’re in the cattle business. Only one of ‘my girls’ was left to calve this spring, so when Daddy and I were out making our afternoon check of things a few days ago, we noticed she was in the calving process. We waited around a while from a distance so as not to disturb her and a little heifer finally came into the world. But mama cow was near a creek and when the new baby tried to stand she fell over, you guessed it, right into the water. Daddy was afraid she might drown since it was about four feet deep in that spot and the calf was in over her head. Daddy got there in a hurry and jumped in to get her upright and out on the bank. Well her mama didn’t like that at all and she came in the water after him. All this time the little heifer was bawling which made her mama fighting mad and to make matters worse Daddy thought he saw a snake swim by (he doesn’t care for those critters). The bank was slippery so he had a lot of trouble pushing the baby up and out to dry land, made even harder since mama cow was snorting mad! Finally the task was completed and the baby followed her mama off to join the rest of the herd. You should have seen Daddy because he was soaked to the skin and tuckered out. I stayed put during all this fiasco because sometimes it’s better to be quiet and not make matters worse. And I didn’t want the mad mama to remember this incident the next time I’m in the vicinity of her back feet. The next day mama cow and baby were with the rest of the pairs just like nothing had ever happened. And a few days later that little heifer was just one of the “band of rowdies”. She doesn’t know how lucky she is though because things sure could have turned out differently if we hadn’t been there.
You may remember my mentioning that there have been lots of different kinds of ducks on all our ponds this past winter. One day they all seemed to disappear, but a few mornings ago I noticed one swimming around on the small pond near the edge of some woods. And she had a whole bunch of little ones paddling right along behind her! My folks stopped to look as did I and I guess that bothered her because she started quacking and flapping her wings kind of like she was telling those young’uns to get moving since there’s danger close by. She didn’t need to worry about me though, but she might have thought I was a coyote. I guess ducks can’t tell the difference between us little cowdogs and a dangerous coyote and need to be careful. She got those babies to swim over to some tall grass where they were hidden from view and safe. I haven’t seen them since that morning, but I always stop and take a look.
Do you have a favorite toy? Since I’m a lucky pup I have a toy box full of things to play with and plenty of chewies, but when bedtime rolls around I look for my little weasel. The stuffing is long gone and mama refers to him as my ‘weasel rag’. The other night I nearly had a stroke because he was nowhere to be found. I looked and looked and when mama noticed I was in a state of panic she joined in. We searched under things, behind pillows, even in trash cans, but he was gone! I thought, “How can I go to sleep without Mr. Weasel tucked in safe and sound beside me?” Finally mama thought to get a flashlight and look outside. It seems that when I went out the den door that morning I had him in my mouth and dropped him so that he got caught between the storm door and the den door. I was so relieved to see my little friend. I grabbed him and headed off to bed knowing that I would get a good night’s sleep with my friend beside me. I sure hope that doesn’t happen again. Mama now checks to see if I have him in my mouth before she lets me out in the morning. Knowing me I’d take him outside to the pasture and there he’d be until I couldn’t find him at bedtime and we’d have to go searching again.
I’ve decided to add power saws to my list of things I’m not fond of. You know I don’t like gondolas, loud train whistles nor helicopters and now power saws rank right up there with them. My folks have been trimming some dead wood out of a tree in the yard as well as cutting back some shrubbery on the north side of the house. When that saw gets revved up I make myself scarce. I guess it’s the loud noise that I don’t like. After that shrubbery was cut back Mr. P sure had a funny look on his face when he went around on that side of the house. His eyes got big when he noticed one of his napping spots had disappeared and he looked back at me with that, “What the…” look on his face. Of course he has plenty of places he can go to get his naps in, so I’m sure he won’t miss that shrubbery too much.
I guess I also need to add thunder to my list of noises I dislike. You know I mentioned in an earlier letter that when we were in Abilene for a bull sale a few months back that I was awakened in the middle of the night by a very loud thunderstorm with hail hitting the windows. And I very quickly made my way to the side of the bed away from that window. Well, we were recently at a bull riding event, and late that night a storm blew through with lots of thunder and lightening. Again I was on the side of the bed nearest the window and decided that to be on the safe side I should make my way to the other side behind daddy. I got as close to him as possible and stayed there for the rest of the night. Now I don’t want you to think I was scared, but it’s probably better to ere on the side of caution don’t you think? Lightening is nothing you want to play around with and being close to a window didn’t seem like a good place to be. Actually, under the bed probably would have suited me better, but I couldn’t get under there like I do here at home,
I’ve mentioned this before and wondered if any of you have a helpful hint about curing my obsession with chasing squirrels. I’m worried that I might have a stroke over this problem. Now here at home we don’t seem to have any that hang around, luckily for me. When I’m out on my morning run, every so often I’ll see one out in the woods and make sure I put it up a tree. But when we’re at the golf course those furry tailed varmints are everywhere and I can’t do anything about it. When we turn in the driveway my heart gets to pounding and I start whining even before I see any. I think they know I can’t chase them too because they’ll dart right in front of the cart or climb up a tree and talk trash down to me when I’m sitting there. It’s enough to drive a sane dog crazy. My folks tell me to just chill and let them be, but that’s so hard to do. And, today they were scurrying everywhere I looked with me on a leash in the cart and not able to chase a one of them. After 18 holes of seeing them I was exhausted and probably will dream of the little critters tonight. If you have any thoughts on this matter please get back to me because I’m just about at my wits end as to what I should do.
I forgot to mention our recent trip to Abilene for the Western Heritage Weekend. My folks look forward to it from year to year and now that I’ve been 3 times so do I. There’s so many things to do and lots of people to meet who love to give me a good head rubbing. And this year there were several little Aussies with their folks. Now I don’t know if they were little cowdogs like me, but it was nice to meet and greet some of my kind for a change. Of course at night I had to stay at the hotel and catch up on some tv watching, but after hearing my folks talk about what they saw at the Ranch Rodeo I kind of wish I could have gone to that event. The Budweiser Clydesdales were there and put on a performance during the rodeo. Have you ever seen one of those gentle giants up close? I have when we were out walking around and they are HUGE! I mean most horses are tall from my viewpoint, but these guys were so tall that I bet the weather was different up there. And during the rodeo there was a guy who had a trained mustang who could do all sorts of things without wearing a bridle or even a halter. Mama said it was an amazing thing to see that horse actually sit down in a convertible while the guy drove around the arena among other things. Sometime it would be fun to get to go to the rodeo, but I guess that’s not meant to be. Anyway it was a fun weekend especially since the weather was so nice and cool because we know it’s already gotten too hot for my taste.
And speaking of the weather getting warm, I was wondering if you’ve ever laid in the cool grass under a shade tree on a hot afternoon? If not you should give it a try. Now that it’s June I look for ways to cool off because sometimes I’m too dirty to come inside where the AC is until mama gets me cleaned up. Usually when I come back from our afternoon check of ‘my girls’ and my run, I’m hot. That cool, green grass is sure inviting. And if I happen to doze off for a bit, well that’s even better. A little nap in a cool spot sure is good for the soul, don’t you think?
Well, guess I’d better go. I’ve been outside for a while now, but I hear my name being called so it’s time for mama to get me cleaned up where I can come inside where the AC and cool tile floor are. I bet when my little belly feels the cool tile it will say, “Ahhhhh”.
About the Author:
Phyllis and her husband, Garry, are long time (40 plus 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is $10 plus $2 for shipping and handling.