Here’s my story:   “On the last day of Roundup,  Puncher became a victim of Mad Cow Disease! She got attacked by a mean, snot throwing, raging mad, mother cow….. and  and  stomped her into the ground…… and and  broke her foot. …… and and….”
  Well, not exactly.  We cowgirls and cowboys (mostly cowboys) love to tell stories about our horses, cowdogs and visions of grandeur… ad nausium.   It must have started with Paul Bunyon. I could feel my story building right after it happened.  Mercifully, I was too upset to talk about it.
It’s been three weeks since my ego got Puncher’s foot broken.  I’ve had plenty of time to reflect (obsess) about it. Here is what really happened. For simplicity and accuracy I’m substituting “My Ego” for “Mad Cow”. 
I was so proud of Puncher this fall.  Her first roundup. She is 1.5 years old now. We have come such a long way this year. She was settling down, minding well, not causing  hardly any wrecks. She bites hard and is very agile. These 60 cows were grazing on our place for the summer. They were dry cows (meaning for some reason they didn’t have a calf this year)  Our  obviously wealthy neighbor  turned them out with some bulls to try to re-breed them.  (? Yes I know??)   They didn’t have calves and were not on the fight so I used Puncher many times on them out in the open. That morning we gathered them into some make-shift pens and were loading the stock trailers to take them back to their home ranch.
  Enter Terah’s ego.

Life like drawing. No snapshot available.

Puncher gets used a  bunch to push cattle up the alley to load trucks.  This day I had her on leash and we were counting and walking  the cattle up. It teaches her patience and control of when to bite. These cows weigh around 1100 lbs as opposed to about a 400-700lb steer that we usually work.(1st ego override)  Several people were watching from outside the panels. (2nd ego override)  The wired together  panels were not open enough so Puncher could escape outside them easily and there was a narrow turn (3rd ego override) I wanted to show off Puncher (4th and largest ego override).

Artist rendering. Dogs that bite sides usually don’t die of old age.

Puncher was doing great she was in control, quiet, biting heels and noses when asked.  Then in one millisecond, as I’m admiring my dog, and  the cowboys were Yipping  and  Cayaying (cowboys love to Cayay), Puncher  got excited and jumped high and bit that cow right on her left rib.  OHHHH NOOOO !!!! was my thought minus the profanity. The cow bawled loud, whirled around and Puncher got sucked underneath her thus grinding her right front paw into the ground with 1100 lbs of torque.  It is not Puncher’s style to bite the sides. She bites hard heels and noses. However, the position and situation I had her in was…..well you get the picture.
Thelma & Louise  aka Dr Pam Howell and Jeana.  I love you girls!!
She ran straight back to me yelping, holding up her paw. I could see tendons. It was hanging limp.  I told Rick “I’m outta here.” He said “Go”.   I unhooked the trailer, threw up and drove to town. I still don’t know how they got the cows home. Anyway… My good girlfriends here, Thelma and Louise,  were waiting for Puncher at their little country clinic, Sunflower Vet, which happens to have state of the art equipment and talent. This is what I love about living in Kansas!!!  They stitched and set Puncher’s foot, and loved her up while she was there. 
Then I took Puncher on vacation with me to Santa Fe to convalesce. Why not?

Ironic. Puncher’s favorite toy says “Bite Me”
I know you get that my Ego is the Mad Cow.  The cow was only trying to get that alligator off of her rib cage.  What would I do different next time? First; leave my ego at the house.  Cattle were too big, dog too young, handler too green.  Second; let those Yipping, Cayaying cowboys get behind those half-ton cows in the alley. 
I know how good Puncher is.
Love Cowgirl Red,   aka    Terah.
P S Puncher is healing well.  She has never chewed her bandage. Never had to use the dreaded  cone-head.. She likes being a couch potato.  We are both gaining weight. 
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  1. pluckychickenheart says:

    Oh..poor sweetie Puncher. No conehead too? Lucky dog. Lucky Terah.


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