Ranch life in the Big Sky state through the eyes of one who has lived through it...so far.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Big Apple and Bog Dogs

I intended to use today's post to regale you with all my adventures in New York City, but I regret to say I have nothing of particular interest to report. At least nothing entertaining. I had a spectacularly good time but everything went off without a hitch, which leaves me with not much to write about since there's nothing more boring than being forced to listen to someone ramble on and on about their awesome vacation.

Face it. It's the disasters that make for good reading. Unfortunately for you, my various hosts during the trip herded me from one venue to the next with the single-minded intensity of a pack of border collies. I didn't have a chance to put a toe out of line, and the only time I got robbed was by the guy selling umbrellas in Grand Central Station. Caveat Emptor, or something like that. Anybody who knows they're going to be walking a mile across Manhattan and is still too dumb to check the weather forecast deserves to pay four times the going rate.

Speaking of border collies and herding, have I mentioned lately how nice it is to have a working cow dog on hand again? We've been without for three years, since our old dog retired from active duty. She'd been gradually slowing down over time so we'd gradually gotten used to not having a working dog.

Enter Max. She's a year and a half old now and though still a little rambunctious, it's amazing how much easier and faster we get cattle moved from place to place. Emphasis on the fast, if you let Max have her way. Of all the ways she helps, the absolute best is when it comes to bogs.

We have a lot of coulees on our ranch, and nearly every one has springs along it's length, which means every coulee has a bog in the bottom, like this:


Mixed with water, our soil turns to thick, sticky gumbo mud. When horseback, one has to choose their crossings carefully because spots like the section above are belly deep, hazardous to both horse and rider. Cows, however, have no problem wading out into the middle of them, or cutting across to escape and leaving me fuming on the other side.

Enter my bog dog:


A little mud doesn't slow Max down and now that she's on the job, there's no more riding half a mile up and around the head of a coulee to get to a cow that got across the bog on you. Which is a good thing because given the weather the last few days, there's going to be plenty of muck when we gather the big herd for branding.




5 comments:

Linda G. said...

Sometimes it takes a real bitch to get the job done right, huh? ;)

Darlene Underdahl said...

Cute dog. But have you considered getting a bunny? OK, Champsis is more into sheep...

http://www.kval.com/news/offbeat/Sheep-herding-Swedish-bunny-becomes-online-hit-138651259.html?tab=video

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Linda: Don't we know it.

Darlene: I showed Max that video, she did a disdainful sniff. "Anything can chase stuff that doesn't chase back. Let's see the rabbit take on a Longhorn."

June said...

I am imagining the conversation between Max and the dogs in my apartment building. They would be stunned that she is expected to work for a living. Max would be stunned that they lie around most of the day, go to the dog park and have their pooped collected by their people. It would be hysterical.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

June: We were taking guesses today how far Max would have to run to get tired. My husband said she did about six miles today without slowing down, then took off full blast chasing birds on the way home.