It’s official. I am grounded and afoot, not going to Cow Camp. I woke up for the 8th day in a row with a throat that’s on fire and a head that echoes. I deferred to my better judgment and chose NOT to go gallivanting across the desert in sub freezing temperatures looking for cows for the next 10 days.
I watched sadly, as they loaded up the cook shack and the new quarters in preparation to head out. The boss offered to haul my horses out in case I feel better in a couple of days, but I declined.
Meanwhile, they will be none the worse off without me, as I sent what I had already made and a more than adequate cook showed up to happily take my place. His charming wife came to the ranch with him, to see him off. She owns a restaurant, so the crew are all in good hands, as I am certain some of that knowledge has rubbed off on her good husband.
Cletus was ‘body guarding’ me as we made our introductions, while Bruno observed from 30 yds away. One of the boys’ 6 week old pup came up and was busy pestering Cletus who was awkwardly trying not to step on the little booger, as he is such a gentle dog, at least until his charges are threatened. The lady enthusiastically commented on how well behaved both Maremmas are, mentioning her own dog would not be nearly so ‘mellow’…
“…but then, he is only 2”.
I told her the Maremmas’ 1st birthday was only this week and she was doubly impressed by them. I called to Bruno and he gladly came over and sat by me and allowed her to pet him. It’s so interesting to me how these dogs are neither overtly friendly, nor threatening, to strangers. They are just watchful and aloof, but in no way that makes one uncomfortable or distrustful. I am certain, however, that if someone posed a problem, they would act very differently.
I went in the house and heard a commotion. ALL the ranch dogs came down and mobbed the Maremmas. They fended them off without fighting, but by use of their superior weight and size, then resumed their spots where they continued watching all the activity, totally unruffled by the unprovoked attack on them.
It was a little like watching gnats bugging a water buffalo.
The crew has taken off for camp. The storm moved in this afternoon and I am watching the driving snow, thinking how cold its gonna be again. I could grieve missing another trip, but I think instead, I will revel in the fact that I have a flush potty and a warm bed tonight, while Randyman and I eat homemade steak fajitas and chug down a margarita. The boss said I could haul a horse to camp later in the week if I am feeling better.
Cider went out front to play, while the pups went on patrol. True to his “Sid Sawyer” personality, Cider wandered too close to the barn, where ‘Ike the cow dog’, who loves to bully him, hangs out. One warning bark from Cider and two white streaks passed the house, heading in Ike’s direction. Cider trotted home, while the 100+ lb pups stood to either side of Ike until he submissively slunk back into the barn.
This must be what it’s like to have the Secret Service watching your back. Awesome.