Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Praise of Captain

My Neighbor moved his cattle tonight.  They gather in the pen in the corner of the field across the street.  Once they are in there he opens the gate and they amble across the street through my field and then directly into his field.  It has happened so many times in the last 12 years that they know exactly where to go and what is waiting for them over there.  (fresh grazing!)  At least most of them do!

Each year when the calves are born there are one or two exciting passages across the street, until finally even the calves get the idea and go calmly.  They may kick up a heel or two, which I love to see, but they rarely stray from the path.  (I am really good at standing up the road, just close enough to keep them going but not so close to spook them.

This year we had a really late calf.  It has to be about 3 weeks old max!  The cutest little thing, but she spooked and headed back up into the fields.  My Neighbor went looking for her, but couldn't find her.  He came over to ask me to keep an eye out for her.  He has already lost a calf to the coyotes this year.   I asked him if he wanted us to help him look for her.  Dear one got on his bike and headed up the road to make sure it didn't go beyond the pasture, and I got Captain, (my Great Pyr who was a stray last spring) out and we met my Neighbor in the field where he had last saw the calf.

I let Captain off the leash and he started galloping around the field.  He followed my general direction for awhile and then he took off after my neighbor for awhile.  Once I saw him eating another neighbors dog food.  I thought, "Great, you are doing such a good job!"  In fact the next time I caught sight of my Neighbor I said as much!

About that time Dear One came back along the road, and we headed off to the farthest field and Captain thought it was great fun following along with the bicycle.  We searched a little while longer, but the sun was slowly sinking, and we were calling our thanks and good nights as we headed back, when I flushed the calf out of the brush!

I hollered to everyone that I had found it!  Captain was with Dear One and it took him a minute to realize what he was looking at as the calf literally high tailed it down the field toward the corner pen.  When he did, he took off!  There they were running full tilt, a black calf and a white dog!  I yelled at Dear One to go by the road on his bike and open the far end of the pen so that they could go across the street.  We could hear that calf complaining a little.  I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from Captain really, he had been practicing with the goats, but this was totally new.

I was still on my way when I saw them cross the street and straight to the proper field!  Dear One saw it all.  He said that when he got there they were staring at each other.  Then the calf went under the fence and the dog follow right behind him!  He chased him across the street and into the field and then he peeled off and started sniffing around at the cow patties that were there.  His job was done!

Dear One, my Neighbor and I are impressed with Captains skills.  Maybe next time he will know what we are doing from the beginning, and help us find the calf in the first place.  It is so nice to be able to help!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina


  1. Good Boy Captain! What a great face Captain has. Must be Captain is a natural cow puncher.

  2. What a most Excellent Boy! I hope there were treats later on. :)