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.
I was wondering if you have made out your Christmas wish list yet. 2013 is half over, so you might want to start thinking about the holidays. It will be here before you know it. Of course, the good ol’ USA just celebrated her birthday, and that’s a special day, too. My folks always go to a family fish fry that time of July. They enjoy visiting with folks they only see a few times a year, and the fish is good, too. I got to sample some fried catfish last year at my cousin, Boo’s, birthday party, and I decided it was pretty good stuff. Of course, food of any kind is always on my priority list.
It has sure been quiet around here lately except for the sound of the lawnmower and weed eater. Those things seem to be getting a workout this year. All the spring calves have been born, and the fall calves are weaned and on their own. One pasture is full of yearling bulls and another of heifers. Those young bulls sure can make a mess of things, since they tend to like to dig holes. Sometimes when I’m making a check of things, I’m head of security you know, I’ll see a bull digging for all he’s worth. That’s when I go into action and let him know he should stop or suffer the consequences, which is my nipping at his heels! Those rascals know I mean business, so the digging will cease, at least till another bull takes up where that one left off. Now the heifers don’t seem to be diggers; I wonder why that is. Sometimes, though, they get too close to the fence for my taste, and I have to ‘talk’ to them, but at least they don’t leave holes all over their pasture.
Speaking of bulls, one of the grown ones somehow managed to get out of the trap he was in the other day. And of course he made his way right to the yard, which had just been groomed. He was pawing and digging in a shrubbery bed and using a big cedar shrub for butting practice when Daddy and I drove up in the mule from our afternoon check of ‘my girls’. Daddy ran in the house and called to Mama so she could come out and help corral the rascal. We all went into action and got him headed toward the barn and then back into his trap. Then Mama got a rake and started smoothing out all the mulch he’d been digging up. He made a mess of one area, but it could have been much worse if he had stayed out for very long. One day last year all the yearling bulls got out, and they sure did make a mess of things since there were so many of them. Of course, this guy is pretty good size, and he managed to move quite a bit of mulch around before we got him stopped. No telling what he would have done with that cedar shrub if he would have had some more time.
Even though it’s kind of a down time cattle wise, we did have some calf work to do the other morning. It was time for those spring young’uns to get their shots and dewormed. All went well with mama working the chute, daddy giving shots and me supervising, of course. But when we turned the little ones back out of the pen so they could go join their mamas, one of them went the wrong way. Why does that always happen? She saw the others go forward, but she turned and went past a hay trap and over a pond dam where she couldn’t even be seen. Then she panicked and started bawling and running every which way. We loaded up in the mule and went after her and finally got her to turn and head in the right direction. I thought to myself that it’s the same way every time we work calves; I guess there’s a rebel in every crowd.
Guess what! I saw another alien a few days ago. The thing was crossing our driveway, but unlike the first one, it had a head and four legs. When I got close to inspect it and poke it with my paw, the head and legs disappeared! I decided to leave it alone for a bit and when I checked back the thing was gone. It’s all very strange if you ask me. I wonder what it would be like to have retractable legs and head. I guess I’ll never know unless I get to actually ‘talk’ to one of those creatures some day. I’ve decided that Mr.Donkeyinthenextfield is not very good in early alien detection, so I know I won’t be able to rely on his big ears after all. Oh, Mr. P saw it, too. He wasn’t too sure about getting close, so he gave the thing a wide leeway. I told him it was like the earlier alien, but he kind of gave me a look of disbelief. I’m not too sure he’s on board with this alien thing anyway. I told him he should be wary of things like that, or they might just beam him up into their spacecraft and fly away with him. Of course, it would have to be a pretty good size craft to hold his fluffy body.
Not long after that, my Dad spotted a snake in the yard! Yikes! We were relaxing on the deck late one afternoon and noticed some mocking birds acting strange. They were fluttering around and looking at something on the other side of the fence. They never got very close but kept acting like something was there in the grass that we couldn’t see. Then we saw the sneaky thing slithering toward the yard and us. It was a copperhead, and that’s not one you want to get bitten by since they’re dangerous. Not that I want to get bitten by any kind of snake, but copperheads will make you very sick. Daddy went and got a gun and took care of the culprit. Mama then got a shovel and threw it way away from the fence. Makes me shutter just to think about that thing coiled up under a shrub and biting one of us when we walked by. Now I know God made all creatures for a reason, but I’d just as soon that snakes stayed out of my territory. How about you?
Since I live indoors I get my hair brushed a lot and my feet washed all the time. But the other day I got a scrubby, dubby, soapy bath with shampoo and conditioner. It was all because my folks said I smelled terrible. Daddy noticed my odor when we went to work on some fence around a hay trap; Actually, he worked, and I supervised from the mule parked in a shade. As we drove along the pasture road, he sniffed and then said, “Whew girl, what have you gotten into?” I wondered what he meant because I smelled okay to myself. I had found a dead mole out in the pasture and thought a roll in it was just the thing to do, but I guess I was wrong. That smell must be an acquired taste. Anyway, he made me ride on my side of the mule even though I kept trying to get close. When we got back to the house, he told mama I needed a good bath, and after one whif, she agreed. Now I love to get in ponds and creeks and get all wet and dirty, but a bath is not to my liking so much. Mama even washed my collar, not the pretty red one, but my everyday one because she said it even smelled. I was squeaky clean and fluffy after all that grooming. Note to self: If you don’t want a bath, then stay away from smelly things because no good can come from rolling in them.
We’ve been on several weekend outings lately. One was to Fredericksburg down in the Texas hill country. My folks enjoyed the newly renovated golf course and going to a music show. I thought I was going to have a stroke while on the golf cart that day because of all the squirrels running amok. I couldn’t get out and give chase, and it nearly drove me crazy! One of the fluffy tailed little varmints even came right up to the cart and stared at me with that ‘na na na na, you can’t chase me’ look. I barked at him though and then heard, “Kodi, NO!” from my folks since they were on the putting green. I was exhausted after four hours of squirrel watching and not being able to do anything about it. One of these days, I’m going to jump out of that cart and give chase no matter what the consequences.
Well, guess I’d better go and sign off for now. It’s been a long day, and I’m ready for my brushing and then dinner. After that, I think a snooze on the couch sounds like a good idea. I’ll go get my little weasel rag, curl up in a ball right under the ceiling fan and let the sound of the TV lull me to sleep. Hopefully, I’ll have sweet dreams about mounds of chewy toys and not ones about squirrels running everywhere or sneaky snakes. If so, I might wake up more tired than when I dozed off.
Happy trails to ya,
Kodi, The Cowdog
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.