Wednesday March 1 2017
Sometimes Dudley does OK when it comes to moving cows and watching cowboys and cow dogs work. Other times, I think he's been watching too many shoot 'em up Westerns, and he thinks some old fashioned Good Guy Bad Guy Western Shoot Out Mayhem is going to break out and he won't know which way to duck.
We headed out onto the north flats today, just to see how many cows were out that way, and we didn't find too many, because cowboys were on their second day of moving the herds to the south flats. Dude was surprised, nay, startled mightily to see a cowboy on a horse out there when there's usually no other humans or horses in sight, ever.
We said our howdys and chatted on the nicer weather, while Dudley casually ogled the cow horse who rather totally ignored Dudley, drop dead handsome though he is.
The cowboy and his dogs rode on over a hill, and Dudley really wanted to follow, so we climbed the hill and watched a bit while that cowboy and another drove a small herd westward. We stayed back but followed a ways… until several cows shot off to the south, and a cowboy and several dogs peeled off to head them off, disappearing over another hill.
That's when Dude starts to get very excited about the whole Giddyup Moooooove 'Em Out Ride 'Em Cowboy Move Along Little Dogies YeeHaw aspect of things. When he's close enough up to cows and calves to where he could bite them if he wanted, he's fine, but watching all these naughty running beasts trying to escape in all directions can set him off and turn him into a volcano ready to explode. (Same with an endurance ride sometimes, when he can see horses strung out long and far along a trail.)
We left off and turned back (mostly so I wouldn't make a fool of myself, getting bucked off and having to be gallantly rescued), and anyway Dudley got some good animated exercise into his walk home as he ruminated over the Wild West in which he lives.
We did see some sights today, besides working cowboys and working horses and working cow dogs.
We saw a calf with a busted knee. He stood up when we rode by the first time; on the return trip he just laid there and looked at us. He won't be going anywhere but down a coyote's gullet. (I did tell a cowboy, but how would he find it, or catch it.)
We watched a coyote, making a big circle around another newborn calf… with mama cow off grazing around a corner draw and unaware of impending disaster. Dudley and I chased the coyote off a ways, but none of our hollerin' brought mama back bellerin' in defensive mode, and the coyote just made a wide half circle.
We saw pretty fresh cow afterbirth splattered on the ground… no coyote or Ravens had discovered it yet.
And we saw the gorgeous Owyhee desert, with the still-snow-draped Owyhees for a backdrop. It's one of Dudley's favorite views.