Calves are a bit overdue

The calves are still coming. It seems a bit slow at the moment, but we always say “they like to wait for the real cold nights to keep you on your toes!”
They come when they are ready, no matter what.
I have some dates marked down on some and it seems they are a bit overdue this year. And when talking to my friends, they have noticed the same thing.
Maybe it has something to do with this old-fashioned winter we are having?
• • •
It is common knowledge that a dog is an important part of the farm. And if you know me at all, you’ll know that I truly believe your dog is your best friend.
I pretty much take my dog everywhere I go. I’ve always felt that she felt as though the truck was her doghouse.
My dog is not your typical cattle dog (no, I don’t have a border collie–I have a 120-pound black Lab). She is from a field trial family and I think that is very funny because she is very lazy. These nights (and I guess days) when we go to the barn at least every three hours, she seems to get very tired and cannot hear that I am leaving (especially the night checks.)
She has never been an early riser. When I leave in the morning to do chores, usually around 7:30 a.m., she pretends she cannot hear me as she snores all snuggled in the bed (my bed, that is.) When I come back in, she acts surprised that I was gone anywhere.
She does help, though–but it cannot be wet or hot. If it is raining or too sunny, she don’t bother to leave the house (one of my friends thought she must belong to a union!)
The other day she was watching the gate while I was feeding cows. She sits very quietly while I take a bale out and if someone comes too close, she gives chase. She is pretty good most of the time, but for some reason that day she was so busy watching me, I saw a cow named “Nancy” walk right out beside her.
I quickly honked the horn, which means I need help, and she realized what had happened. I think she was partly embarrassed as she scrambled around to try and figure out what to do next. I came out with the tractor and gave her a bit of help, and we got “Nancy” back where she belongs.
This makes her feel good and important, and it reminds her to stay alert while I finished feeding. So even though she doesn’t protect me on my night checks, she is an important part of the farm.
• • •
I have two nieces, one who is almost three and the other almost one. The oldest loves the farm. We try to get her out here as much as possible as she is fun and truly enjoys the farm life.
She likes to feed grain, give “Mr. Wilson” (my adopted, spayed female rabbit) special treats, touch the tail of the cat, give “Alex” (the horse) his oats, go check on the bulls, and keep the dog close by. Above all, she has millions of questions and “why” is followed closely after all the answers you give her.
At first when I had seen her interest, I was thinking, “You poor little thing,” but now it gives you a reason to do your best and hope that someone will continue on with what has been started here.
It makes you feel good when she tells you, “I wanna walk a cow!” So, great, we have a future 4-Her.
When she was in Florida for Christmas and it was close to their return date, her dad asked her, “What do you want to do today?” and her response was, “I just want to go farming with Auntie Kimmie!” How cool is that.
She already worries too much—a trait that seems to comes with farming. I made the mistake of showing her a piece of tail (mainly hair) that had fallen off “Dan-D” the cow and she spent most to the night worrying about who had stepped on her to make it fall off.
She seems to think it was “Daisee,” and it kept her awake! So we will work on getting her a bit more tough, but that seems to take some years before you learn to except the hardships that come along with this business—and losing a tail is nothing!

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