When I was a little girl my grandpa used to take me around the ranch in his truck. I have fond memories of bouncing through the fields chattering away with him – laughing, singing, whistling. My mom says I thought that damngate was what all gates were called because of these rides. As fun as it was (and it was very fun), I also remember him warning me often and severely about how dangerous the cows were. I was little – like 5 or maybe 6 – and the regular cows were big, but the chianina’s they had were gigantic. The fear was real. I was terrified.
Sadly my grandpa died when I was 7, but I have tons of great memories of doing things with him (lucky me). However, one thing he didn’t do was reprogram me from my fear of cows. Still when I’m out walking and there’s a rogue cow on the road I’ll turn around and hustle myself back home as fast as I can. Even if they’re on the other side of the fence and they look at me funny I get a little giggly in the legs.
I have been lucky enough to have been invited out to “help” (and I use that term very loosely) chase cows on horseback which I enjoy. But, last summer my cousin invited me to “help” chase bulls and I have to say I was more than a little terrified. All was fine while I was just left to meander along through the field looking for flowers. But as soon as I was told to go get a bull and bring it back into the herd I was a total puddle of fear (after following the bull around for a while with him glaring at me and me pleading him to please stop being such a butt and just go back I was saved by one of the ranch hands who so easily brought him back).
Today I was out walking Dottie along the road. It’s calving season so the cows are up in the homestead field which is right beside where we walk. Across from this field is the slough where the swans are hanging out on a break from migrating north for the summer. I was stopped on the road to admire the swans when I felt Dottie push in between my legs and start to shake. I looked down and my little Dotted Dog was all puffed out like a porcupine. All of her hair on her body was standing straight up and she was shaking all over. I looked where she was looking and…. cows!!! Dottie saw her first cow and just about had a cow herself.
Finally she got a little braver and went across the road (on her leash) with just her hackles up to get a better look at them. Stopped, stared, ran back behind my legs. She did this a couple of times and then just ran/walked/glared at the cows until we were past the field
Fear of cows. It’s a real thing.
The swans were amazing this morning. Such beautiful birds. On my way back I was admiring them when a bald eagle flew over my head and up into the homestead field. Bliss. My moment of happiness today – swans, eagle, cows, and my dotted dog.