Some adorable stuff.

Here’s the news from the ranch today and it’s adorable.

We have a bottle calf. I call her Lola.

Or Sweet Cakes.

Or BeBe.

Or Bubba

Whatever comes out.

She’s the other half of a set of twins born last weekend. The momma seemed to see one baby and forgot about the second so now the little babe is mine.

Ok. So there’s that.

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The other news is sorta old news, but Pops and his pup Waylon had an unfortunate accident with the side-by-side and now little Waylon is in a cast and it’s the most pathetic and adorable thing in the world. He gets along just fine but sorta drags that leg everywhere he goes. All because he can’t stand to be away from his momma, so he jumped out of a moving vehicle to get her.

So there’s that.

Waylon

Photo courtesy of dad’s phone…

When my little nephew, who adores Waylon, found out that his favorite puppy had an owie, he took Gramma to the drug store and bought him a get well card and a stuffed goose to play with that is as big as the puppy himself.

So that’s adorable as hell.

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And this morning when I went to feed the calf, Waylon and his peg leg tagged along, but not before attempting to bring his favorite stuffed goose with him.

Ugh, and as if I didn’t already have a toothache from the sweetness, the goose is so big that Waylon, in his attempt to drag it down the road, tripped and tumble rolled over it about three times before giving up because, get this, he got distracted by a butterfly.

A butterfly!

The adorable little puppy tagging along with me to feed the adorable calf waiting for me in the barn got distracted from the giant stuffed goose my adorable nephew gave him to literally go frolicking after a butterfly.

When I woke up this morning I felt shitty, with a scratchy throat and puffy eyes and a runny nose, but those ten minutes in my made getting out of bed worth it.

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That and this drooly little thing of course.

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*not her bottle*

 

Now go forth and keep smiling. It’s almost Friday.

You’re welcome

A second with Gus the cow dog.

And now for a split second with Gus…IMG_0923 IMG_0927 IMG_0929 IMG_0930 IMG_0931 IMG_0932 IMG_0933 IMG_0934 IMG_0936

Gus, the cow dog is energy embodied. Every minute is the best day of his life.

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And every minute of his life is chaos.

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Because he never sleeps.

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I swear it. I think I saw him sleep once when he was a tiny baby sitting on my husband’s lap, and that was after several minutes of the man lovingly forcing the pooch to snuggle with him.

And once he might have caught a good thirty seconds on the floor of my office because I provided him with such a nice blanket not even a terror tornado like him could refuse the pull of slumber.

Gus isn’t really into snuggling.

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He’s more into face licking, lap standing, and jumping three feet in the air upon your arrival. It doesn’t matter if you saw him two seconds ago. Every greeting from Gus is filled with the enthusiasm of a best friend you haven’t seen for years.

Come over at any given moment and you might find him tormenting the cats, ripping up the bed in his kennel, eating the cord to the heat lamp, attacking the broom when I’m trying to sweep, barking at the sky, eating cow poop and horse poop and cat poop and chewing on Brown Dog’s fat neck, then jumping up and over his back relentlessly, barking and taunting the poor old dog until he finally snaps …and then you will hear Gus The Tough wail the wail of a thousand deaths.

Because Gus has one other feeling besides happy. And that’s his hurt feeling.

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It’s pretty traumatic.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with him. I mean, I could teach him anything if I could only keep up with him. He’s smart as a whip. He comes back in a split second on a quick whistle. He sits when asked, and I’ll take it, even though he trembles and shakes the entire time as if the energy in him is bouncing around in that body poking and prodding and begging to be released.

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And when he makes his ears stand up like this, well, be still my heart. It’s frickin’ cute as hell and I can’t take it.

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He looks like a gremlin.

And well, he sorta is…

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Who knew this tiny little grunting fur ball that fit in the palm of my husband’s hand would turn into such a specimen…

And he’s only been alive for like six months.

Oh Gus, it’s fun to watch you grow. And I can’t wait to see how many woodticks/burs/mud/cowpoop you collect when summer comes.

Until then, let me reminisce you back to when you were small and innocent, when you peed puddles on the floor and weren’t such a threat to my cats… seriously, you need to go easy on those cats…IMG_4390 IMG_1573 IMG_1591 IMG_9881 IMG_0044 IMG_0027 IMG_9964 IMG_9958 dogs

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Gus, Gus, Gus…such an adorable bundle of energy and trouble brewing…

If you need us we’ll be out in it…

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Frosting

Last week our world was covered in ice.
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This week, just in time for Christmas, it has turned nice and white (and rather slippery).

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The beautiful thing about this place and its erratic weather is that every day it looks a little bit different out there.

Every day it’s a little bit new.

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So I like to explore it. And when the new pup is involved in my little quest, it’s even more fun.

He’s just a ball of energy jumping around, licking the snow, biting the heads off of weeds and bouncing his way around, discovering his world.

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So take a break from what is hopefully your last working day before Christmas, sit back and watch my home transform from icy brown to white.

Because who doesn’t love a little frosting, especially on the holidays.

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Peace, Love and Merry Christmas,

Jessie

Puppy + Kitty

So this was basically my day…
IMG_2708IMG_8565IMG_8575IMG_8571IMG_8596IMG_8597IMG_8591IMG_8587 IMG_8608IMG_8615IMG_8624All I have to say right now is that getting a tiny puppy and a tiny kitten at the same time is a great idea in theory (you know, best friends forever and all that shit) until said puppy runs out to the living room with two cat turds dangling from his mouth.

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Annnndddd…..goodnight…

Sunday Column: The epidemic

Before I get into “the situation” we have out here on the ranch, there’s this.

IMG_7973 IMG_8007 IMG_7938 IMG_7949 IMG_7975Augustus, aka: Gus, the Most Extraordinary Cowdog, came home yesterday and now all I want to do is run around the ranch so he can chase me. And then I want to snuggle him and smell his puppy breath, feed him treats and take him with me everywhere I go.

You can bet there’ll be more on him later, but I can’t get too distracted here. We’ve got big problems at the ranch, and it seems, they’re showing up by the thousands, chewing and squeaking and scampering their way to destroying our lives. They show up in feed buckets, in grain bins, on pant legs and saddle blankets, on the shelf of the tack room, in my future brother-in-law’s nice clean pickup, in the Bobcat, and of course, clinging to the windshield of Pops’ pickup on his way to town…

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I tell you all about it here.

Coming Home: An epidemic has hit the Veeder Ranch and it’s coming for you
by Jessie Veeder
10-26-14
Forum Communications
http://www.inforum.com

But try not to panic. It turns out I have some great readers. And one of them sent me an idea for a solution.

It’s called “Mouse-be-Gone” and I’m ordering seventy-three crates this afternoon.

And then I’m going into town to get this kitten,

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which I intend on putting through a rigorous mouse-hunting training session.

So I’m on it.

Because if I’m going to have an animal farm, I would like to have control of which animals I’m farming…

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Anyway, I’m sure the puppy and the kitten, they’re going to be great friends.

Peace, love and puppy breath.

Jessie

“Cow Dog,” defined

Pudge

You all know this about me, but I grew up with dogs who slept in barns and garages, on hay bales and under heat lamps. They were the first to go into the brush after a wayward, ornery bull and the first to be there to lick your face and give you a nudge when you fell of your bike and skinned your knee.

They were cow dogs. Working dogs. Partners.

They chased field mice, got in fights with raccoons, rolled in cow poop, howled with the coyotes and rode in the back of pickups.

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In various stages of my life out here we had a border collie, a blue heeler, a kelpie, an Australian shepherd and mix of a few.

This place is hard on dogs it’s wild and dangerous and full of just the kind of trouble that makes life worth living of dogs like these, so, unfortunately, some of our beloved canines, due to snake bite or bull fight, didn’t make it to old age. 

But regardless, I am almost certain they had the best lives for them out here. They were made for this place, as tough as the ground they run across.

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As a kid I knew inside dogs existed, I just didn’t know anyone who had one. I knew there were dogs who wore sweaters and had their own place on couches, but, it was like how I knew a million dollars existed somewhere, it knew it was true, I’d just never seen it.

In a few weeks, Husband and I are going to bring home our first real cow dog. I am so excited I’m counting down the days.

Here he is on the bottom, left side of the pile.

I’d tell you his name, but, well, last night we had a lengthy discussion on that topic that I won’t get into, but it got pretty heated. Good thing we have a some time to get this all worked out.

Anyway, I was thinking about this little guy and how he’s going to change the make-up of this place. And how his makeup: border collie, heeler, kelpie, Australian shepherd and Catahoula, is the make-up of all of the best cow dogs a girl could ever ask for…

And how he’s the same animal as that big brown dog laying out in the garage, snoring away a rainy October day, but how they might as well be a different species.

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The biggest difference? With a cow dog in the family standing guard in the yard, a herd of cattle will find it pretty hard to stand and chew cud on my new concrete patio.

Because labs, frankly, don’t give a shit.

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And I need something out here to give a shit.

I need my little cow dog.

I can’t wait!

So in honor of Throwback Thursday I found this little gem: a declaration I made when I was 8 or so that used to hang on my grandmother’s fridge, ready to tug at the heart strings of all of the ranchers stopping by for coffee with a blue heeler-cross waiting for him in the bed of his feed pickup…and, well, to put the wayward city slicker in his place…

Country dog:city dogAs you can see, I was pretty passionate…

I promise to never put you in a sweater little guy.

But you might have a place on the couch…just for a little while…

 

A boot in a snowbank and a puppy in the house.

And now, for a brief story about how my momma came home one evening last week to find one of her fancy boots laying haphazardly in a snowbank in the front yard…as told by my mother, to me, over wine sloshing in a glass while she waved it in exasperation and disbelief.  

Jessie, I have to tell you something. Did I tell you this already? I don’t know. Well, oh my gawd, yesterday I left the house to go to work, and, well, oh you know that puppy just makes me so nervous when I’m backing out of the garage. She jumps around and follows me, it’s like the most stressful part of my day trying to get her to stay out of the way. She’s so cute but, ugh, I don’t want to run her over…

Anyway, so I go to work and come home that night and open the door from the garage to the house, and, Jessie, I know that door was shut when I got home, and I’m sure I closed it when I left for work. You know that puppy tries to follow me in the house and I say, ‘no, get back’ and shoo her out of there, so I know I shut it.

But anyway, I open the door and I get in the entryway and I feel like something’s off, you know. Like someone’s been in here. Then I notice a FedEx package, so I figure that was it. The FedEx guy dropped off a package, no big deal. But I walked a little further into the house and I see little tracks on the kitchen floor leading into the living room, like the puppy had been in the house! And then I get to the living room and some of my shoes and clothes from my bedroom were strung out into the living room. And I look around then and there’s other things too, like dad’s gloves and hats from the garage are in the house. It was weird. So I wondered if somehow I accidentally let the puppy in before I went to work, but I’m sure I didn’t. I’m sure of it. And she was in the garage when I got home, but if she got in how did she get out?

Anyway, so I start picking up the stuff from the living room and notice one of my new Corral boots, you know, the fancy ones, the ones I just bought…yeah, those…one of them is missing! I can’t find it anywhere in the house. It wasn’t in the living room or kitchen or back in the bedrooms.

Well, you know where it was? Outside! Outside in a snow bank.

I looked out the window and there it was. And I don’t get it. How did she get in and how did she get out? Oh, that puppy, she just loves to drag things. Dad told you she got his box of gloves down from the shelf in the garage last week, somehow, I don’t know how she got up there, anyway, she pulled them down and spread every glove out on the garage floor and out into the yard. She’s even found his power tools, has been chewing on them.

Anyway, so my boot was ok. Thank gawd. Thank gawd it wasn’t snowing or anything and she didn’t eat it. But I still don’t know how she got in the house and out of the house while we were gone? I know I shut that door when I left and I’m pretty sure I didn’t lock her in there.

The only thing I can think is like maybe the FedEx man accidentally let her in when he dropped off the package. You know how she can sneak in the door behind you and if you’re not paying attention she’s gets in the house…but how did she get out? Maybe the door isn’t latching the right way…I don’t know…

I don’t know. It’s a mystery. But my boot? Can you believe it!? Ugh, thank gawd it was ok…

Oh, Juno...


Seeing it all.

We’re finding our way to the end of January, and around these parts that’s a huge relief.  I’ve been keeping busy playing music, writing and eating carbohydrates, and after a Friday evening spent singing to a full house, I was thawing out and happy with the way life gives you gifts, like 40 degrees on a January weekend.

Funny how a little warm up can turn an attitude around. Suddenly I was in love with winter again and while Husband worked on hammering and nailing and putting up walls in our master bedroom, I worked on ways I could sneak out the door unnoticed.

Because I decided it was of utmost importance that I load up little Juno and give her a tour of her new home turf.

Because we needed to check on things, ensure the gears were grinding right, the snowbanks weren’t too deep and the view was still as beautiful.

We needed to make sure those weird clouds weren’t storm clouds above us.

We needed to introduce her to the horses.

We needed to play…

and run…

And do whatever Tucker was doing here…





That looked like fun.

See, around here, if we chose to look, we can see things like this every day.

And although winter gets long, it’s one of those seasons that changes the landscape constantly. And so I suppose I’ve made it my mission here to keep tabs on the way the horses grow beards to ward off the chill…

The way the clouds roll and shift and change directions and colors…

How the light hits the grass and makes it sparkle…

How the horses settle lethargically into a pile of grain…

and how their noses feel under our hands.

I watch it all because I don’t want to miss it.

Because I like the way a puppy kiss looks.


And the sound of snow melting under a blue sky.

And the tree rows planted all those years ago? I like that they’re scraggly but standing still under a slow to rise winter sun.


I like the idea that this all will be green again, but first it has to be blue and white and brown.

I like that I’m here for all of that changing.

And I like the feeling, that like Juno, I’m hearing it all, seeing it all, discovering it all for the first time…on a 40 degree weekend at the end of January.

The littlest cow dog.

Meet Juno, Pops’ new cow dog.

Aren’t you just dying. She’s so fllllufffffaaaayyyyaaaa!!!

Ahem.

Ok, look beyond her absolute cuteness and you will see one of the most important elements in our ranching operation when spring comes. Every rancher has to have a good dog made to help get cattle out of a brush patch, move them through a gate or push them along to different pastures and Juno is a little mix of some of the best cattle breeds out there.

Take a look at the white markings around her neck and you will see a bit of border collie.  Her little brown eyebrows and fluffy fur is the Australian Shepherd in her.  Mix that with the speckled feet she got from blue heeler blood and it looks like Juno has all the makings of a great ranch hand.

Errrr, she’s so darn cute!

When I was growing up we always had a female border collie ranch dog. Usually we would have that female bred and keep one of her pups to learn from her momma so that when the momma was too old to work, the pup was at her prime.

Pops’ current working dog, Pudge, was a hand-me-down dog looking for a good home. She is one of the best dogs we’ve ever had on the place;  loyal, sweet and always willing to go along on the longest and most grueling of rides. Her only weakness is a thunderstorm.

And time.

See, we’re not sure how old this lady is, but she’s definitely slowing down. We needed to bring Juno home so that Pudge had a chance to teach her some things about life on the Veeder Ranch come spring.

I’m a little concerned that Pudge may not make it that long, but she’s got a lot of spirit and a heated bed, so the chances are good.

In the meantime we will just love on them this winter, feed them up, scratch their bellies and let them know that this ranch is a good place for a dog.




Even worthless pugs who pee on your Uggs.

Yeah, that’s right, I know what you did…

Ah, Juno, you don’t know what you’ve got ahead of you little girl. It’s a good thing you have big paws and a fluffy coat, because there are going to be adventures, cows for you to chase, mud to slop in, grass to roll in and poop to sniff.

It looks a little cold out there now, but trust me, you were made for this stuff.

Welcome to your new life little girl!

And whatever you do, don’t listen to that one…