Monday, March 28, 2011
So I heard on the radio the other day that there is a growing number of people out there who are becoming CPR certified--on animals. It's called "Mouth to Snout." I'm not kidding you here, it's for real. I must admit that I am batting a thousand on my CPR animal attempts. I have actually performed CPR on three different newborn calves and managed to save them. I probably would attempt it on dogs and cats, too. I am a self-professed "chicken whisperer", however, I don't believe that would fall into my realm of performing CPR. And I absolutely, positively, would not perform CPR on a reptile of any kind. And, believe it or not, there are people out there who are getting certified to save said reptiles. I always have had the philosophy that a good snake is a dead snake. Well, I'm not quite that harsh. I have been known to gather up a bullsnake or two and toss them back over the fence into the pasture, while giving them a good scolding on why they are not to ever appear again in my yard. I'm sure they have understood every word I said. Rattlers, on the other hand, are a different story. I use no bargaining power with them and it will be a cold day before I perform CPR on a rattlesnake. I remember the time I was working for the local weekly newspaper and there was a murder/suicide in Elbert County. These people had all kinds of snakes in the house, including some very poisonous ones. The sheriff invited me to go along so I could get the "scoop" as they attempted to capture the snakes which had been set free before the human deaths occurred. I politely declined the offer to tag along. So that's probably why I am NOT the proud owner of a Pulitzer today. Anyway, throughout the ordeal, the law enforcement officials and some snake experts from Reptile Gardens in South Dakota managed to corral all but one of the slithery creatures. The one missing? A cobra from Thailand. They searched high and low and could not find this guy. Oh, I might add that this was all being done in the month of March. Let's connect Colorado, March, and Thailand. What do those have in common? Well, Colorado and March have cold in common, which is not too common in Thailand. The "brains" decided to look between the mattress and bed springs and there he was...too cold to move. They scooped him up, put him in a special snake barrel and fired up the heater in the pickup. It didn't take Ole Slithers too long to come alive! They shipped him to the Reptile Gardens where I'm sure he lived a full and happy life with his other slithery friends. So, I ask, should CPR have been performed in this instance? Maybe on me if I had been there!!!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Today is tough. I've got my Bible open and I'm trying to read, but sometimes all I see are words. That's not right. There is a meaning here. Last night, Limon police officer Jay Sheridan was killed in the line of duty. That cuts deep. First of all, things like that are not supposed to happen in Limon. They're not supposed to happen anywhere, but it is the type of news we'd expect to hear in Detroit, Chicago, New York, and, perhaps even Denver. It shouldn't happen in Limon. That peaceful little village was rocked by a devastating tornado years ago. They rebuilt from that and they will rebuild from this horrible tragedy. But the tragedy goes even deeper. I know the family. I know the in-laws particularly well. They have been my friends throughout life. Now what kind of words can I offer than can help in this situation? There are the cliches--"if you need anything, let us know"; "what can we do for you?". Everyone is sincere when they say those things, but it sounds so cold. I want to be able to do something, so I am. I'm dedicating this blog to the Sheridan and Pfeiff families. Their lives must go on. They have to find a way to cope. I think of the new Rascal Flatt's song that could easily be played on Christian stations: "I will stand by you, I will help you through, when you've done all you can do and you can't cope; I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight, I will hold you close and I won't let go." That sounds so much like God talking here. Yes, we can question God, we can wonder "why?" But isn't it in these situations that God is testing us for all we have? He knows where the rapists and murderers stand, but doesn't He want to see where we stand as Christians, to do things "For His name's sake?" Two scripture verses jumped out at me this morning: "I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one." And the other verse: "Be still and know that I am God." May God bless you, Tim and Penny, Heather and Firecracker, and all the rest of your family. Please know that we are here for you in whatever way you need us! We love you.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I was herding a chicken. That's why I was late for church yesterday. I'm thinking this could be a new Olympic sport--hen herding. No, I wasn't doing this just for the sheer fun of it or just to practice. Let's start at the beginning. Hubby went out yesterday morning early to feed the cows. I headed out to go check for new babies. It pretty much works this way every day of the week, so why should Sunday be any exception? I'm making the rounds, drumming my fingers to the beat of Randy Travis singing "Diggin' Up Bones", tagging a few calves, and generally enjoying life on a beautiful Sunday morning. Then I pull back in by the cattle cafeteria line to check on the babies lying around there. Nothing going on here, so I start heading for the house--a half mile away. That, my friends, is an important distance. The cows are nonchalantly munching hay while the babies are basking in the sun. That's when I spied her--the hen from the hood. I have two hens that definitely think they are "hood hens"--they somewhat have an attitude, like to give you a certain look, cock their heads and peck the cats on top of their heads. There she was--bright ruddish-colored feathers with the black-highlighted tail--busily scratching in the hay. I had to do a double-take. I couldn't believe my eyes. So I get out to see if I can catch said hen. She's just swift enough to get past my outstretched arm and she ducks under the pickup. We go round and round to no avail. Finally I create a wire hook and try that--again to no avail. So I get back in the pickup and slowly pull away, heading toward the house. This hen begins to follow, just like cows follow the feeding truck. I again cannot believe my eyes. There she is, coming on a trot behind the pickup. This works for a ways, then she decides she needs to go back and scratch in the hay. Through all of this, the cows and babies are undaunted. I manage to jump out of the pickup and turn her around. She darts back under the pickup. So I begin driving the pickup down the trail a ways, then get out and herd her back toward the pickup. As long as the pickup is a refuge, she keeps coming. Well, this is gonna take a while. Meanwhile, hubby has fed a cull cow in the corral and notices me in the pasture so he heads my way thinking I'm having problems with the pickup. He is not a hen herder by trade, so he headed back to the house, I'm sure laughing all the way. Well, me and the hood hen keep making our way in little baby steps back toward the house. I decide to try catching her again with the wire hook. I am nearly successful, but the wire isn't strong enough. It's enough to startle her, though, and she takes off on a dead run toward the house. I'm jogging behind her, wire hook in hand, herding her much like kids drive hogs at the county fair. (I always knew that experience would come in handy). We round the corner at the hen house and there is hubby, looking for a cage to bring back out in the pasture and help me. "Bet you can't bring a chicken in from the pasture!" I proudly exclaim to him. He shoots me that certain look and replies, "Bet I don't need to, either. But I will get you a champion chicken herding patch for your jacket."
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I was out working in the pasture today, doing a little "animal control", if you will. The date is March 2nd and it was a balmy 68 degrees. There was absolutely no wind, America's Mountain shined graciously on the horizon, and there wasn't a sound to be heard. The cattle were grazing, occasionally shooting me a somewhat unconcerned glance, even from a couple of momma cows who had bedded their babies down while they went to eat. I couldn't even hear the cattle eating. It was almost eerie at how quietly the cattle ate, slowly moving their way from point A to point B. They didn't even care that the dogs were lying beside the pickup. Of course, they probably realized it would require some generated energy for the dogs to move, so the cows weren't too concerned. Pretty soon, one of the baby calves stood up and stretched. Momma, grazing at a distance, immediately stopped eating, looked at the baby, and smartly made her way to the calf. There was no pomp and circumstance. There was no noise. The momma gently nuzzled the baby, who decided it was time for an afternoon snack. I kept working, but was also watching the mother-baby bonding. When snack time was completed, the momma and baby trekked to the stock tank for Momma to replenish herself. Then they walked on about a quarter mile before Momma resumed grazing. The baby skittered and played a little bit (as much as a day old calf can play), before lying down again. The thought occurred to me that animals are very intelligent (just in case you didn't already realize this). They don't need anyone to tell them to feed their children. They put their kids down for a nap and the kids obediently stay there until Momma returns. There is no fussing and feuding. Momma knows best. They are fed nutritious meals and do not worry about what the consequences might be of ingesting too much lactose. The children are taught to play freely with each other and they get plenty of exercise. When they misbehave, they hear a stern beller from Momma and they immediately know they had better respect the discipline. I'm thinking we humans all need to learn some lessons from animals and there is no better time for school to be in session than right now. Springtime brings new beginnings. Winter is waning away and new life springs up everywhere. Let's watch the animals and see what we can learn about parenting. It just might humble all of us.