It's finally gotten hot here. I can't let Em and Sushi stay in the pasture Em has been living in, because the leppie calves out there keep trying to sneak up and nurse on her. That's what killed DollyMoo, was everyone nursing on her and it threw her into ketosis. The horses have the enormous pasture to the South, but I'm a little worried about mornings when they come in for supplements, that Mister might get food aggressive around Em, so I need to just keep them separated. The horses tend to stand by the water trough in the dry corral all day anyway, so I decided to kick Em and Sushi out during the day where she can graze and have lots of cool shade and grass to lay in, then fill her up with alfalfa at night when I milk and kick the horses out for the evening. That was the plan at least. You know what they say about making God laugh...just tell him your plans.
Em decided NOT to come in last nite. We went a-hunting, but my leg became so painful I couldn't get past the end of the lane so Randy and the Maremmas scouted around the pasture and came back alone with this information.
"She's not coming, she has already set up housekeeping in the willows."
Yup. She has a nice little clubhouse going out there in the shade that is just dandy. Every mama cow's dream. I figured she'd be in this morning, but nope.
Late this morning I decided to go see if she needed milking. I grabbed my camera and headed to her 'clubhouse'. Once i found her, I stuttered, "Wh...what did you do with Sushi??"
Emma was laying there all alone. I pulled on her halter and told her to take me to Sushi.
She obediently got to her feet, and headed out the backside of her clubhouse, through the willows. For the next 35 minutes, I hiked, crawled and drug myself through heavy brush, willows, down and up embankments, across creeks and over rocks.
Em would go ahead about 20 ft and stop and see if I was still coming. I followed and followed, tripping, stumbling and crawling until we got to a fenced in corner and she stood looking out over the ranch. At that point, I looked at her bag, which was not overly tight, so clearly Sushi had nursed sometime in the past few hours. The Maremmas had only been in the house for a short time so I determined that Emma was messing with me, because nothing could have nabbed Sushi in the short time the dogs had been absent so I headed back to the house, grumbling and complaining. I finally made it back almost to Emma's clubhouse and a buck deer was sneaking across the pasture. It spotted me and began to speed up, then suddenly jumped to the side. I got suspicious so I headed over to the tall grass where it had deviated course. Sure enough, hiding in the tall grass like a good, obedient little bovine child was Sushi.
I knelt down and petted her and she remained absolutely still. I headed home leaving Emma back in the South 40 somewhere.
I took a painpill, cooled off a bit and headed back out to the pasture with the dogs in tow. Emma was under the apricot tree, munching on whatever she could reach. We headed across the pasture towards Sushi's hiding spot but Em ignored us and headed toward the corrals, hoping for handouts. She found the gate locked.
She finally turned around and headed our way. We were all surrounding Sushi, who had not moved, even with the dogs licking and sniffing her.
Em got within about 10 feet, looked around in the grass and acted as if she'd lost her. She moo'ed and Sushi jumped up and ran to her. She might not be able to remember where she left her baby, but she has her well trained!