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10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Complacent are You?

~Cowgirl Coffee:
If your spoon don't stand up in it,
put in more coffee.~

Ah yes...I am enjoyin' my Saturday mornin' coffee!!

My Man is off with the neighbors hauling calves to a feedlot over in Vale OR. He won't be back until late this afternoon. Last year when we helped them, it was a snowstorm...today, it's just freezing fog...they're going carefully.

Sunrise on the Rimrock
Sunrise ~ January 19, 2011
Cold and crisp.

Icicles Weeping from the Rimrock
These icicles are coming from under a ledge along the rimrock.
They remind me of tears...and a lot of those have been shed recently.

I've been cleaning out my inbox from the last week of email (between the blog, Facebook and friends, it was overflowing!) trying to answer questions about Cindy Sue's attack. Lots of questions were answered personally. But this question might be on a lot of your minds...

Susan asked: "One thing I'm wondering is how the coyotes got so close with your other dogs around. Our dogs run them off. We consider it part of their job. We don't shoot them unless they threaten to cause a problem, which they never have because they don't get close enough to."

Well, the attack was about 1/8 of a mile from the barn (just over our property line to the east in the neighbor's field). I've always called that stretch of his field the "coyote highway;" I see coyotes paralleling that fence line quite often. All four of my dogs go down to that fence line to sniff and mark like dogs do...sometimes they'll see a coyote and take chase (including Cindy Sue who really thinks she's a big dog in a lil' dog body).

I don't like them to chase after the coyotes, because I'm afraid that there is a pack of them waiting up in the sagebrush and rock like an ambush. They haven't earned the nickname "Wiley Coyote" for nothing. And my dogs don't have a mean bone in their body, and I think they would all loose against a coyote. So, I keep an eye on them as I feed the horses. That morning, I called for the dogs to come back up to the barn as I went to get the second wheelbarrow load of hay...and didn't realize that Cindy Sue hadn't come with the rest of the dogs...and that's how she got to be by herself.

I feel guilty as well as stupid for that mistake on my part. Here is what I wrote in my editorial for the February Horsefly:

The View From My Saddle

Complacent: To be content and satisfied with your life and surroundings, even when something which may destroy these conditions is imminent.

   This word has been fixed in my mind for the past five days, and it won’t go away. It all started last Friday when two coyotes got a hold of my little Rat Terrier, Cindy Sue. Living where we do, we hear coyotes daily and see them almost daily; and after five years, I really didn’t think about them too much. I didn’t like the fact that they visit my horse pasture quite often, and they also would look down from the rim rock just yards from the house, but they always had went their way, usually with my cattle dogs on their tails.

   Long story short, I didn’t pay close enough attention to where Cindy Sue was while out feeding that morning; and in a few seconds, she was tore up pretty bad. What saved her was  her winter coat that I make her wear on cold days, and my other dogs making a distraction for her to get away and come to me.

   Imprinted in my mind is the image of that one coyote, so determined to kill it’s prey, Cindy Sue, that it didn’t even realize I was there. I was screaming at it like a mad woman, and it finally stopped just a few feet away from me while Cindy Sue ran under the fence toward me. The coyote and I locked eyes. It looked back at Cindy Sue one last time then back at me; thankfully it thought the screaming mad woman wasn’t worth the risk, and it ran back to where Cindy Sue’s blood had been spilt on the ground.

    After a night at the vet clinic, she came home to recuperate. There’s still a chance of infection and her loosing some skin, but so far so good, and she’s got lots of friends praying for her too.

    Complacent. I’ve been kicking myself in the back end for five days for letting myself become complacent at the expense of someone that relies on me. Is is doing me any good? Well, yes it is. I’m taking an inventory of our lifestyle and looking where I need to be more watchful and diligent for the sake of everyone and everything that is near and dear to me. It’s definitely worth it! 

It was a week ago yesterday since the attack, and Cindy Sue had a check up with the vet. All of her bite wounds are healing fabulously!!! The drain tube was removed from her tummy...YEAH!!!!! She's down to one antibiotic pill twice a day for 7 more days. But, she's got two spots that I have to watch...they could be abscesses in the making.

Her vitals? She's poopin', peein' and eatin' kibble...just like normal!!! She packs her kibble from the utility room to the kitchen or the living room to eat it...one bite at a time! All is well~

Cindy Sue is sitting in my office chair with me as I type...she sends her love to each and every one of you!!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!


mj said...

Please quit kicking yourself for a few seconds of maybe not paying attention to the whole scene around you. I know, oh too well, the guilt that you are feeling. Just be glad that little rat terrier is sitting there right beside you and happy to have a friend like you! So very glad to hear that she is mending and getting back to her ol' self!

Mikey said...

Yes, I agree, don't go kicking yourself for not having an eye on her 24/7. You just never know what may come your way from day to day, especially living rurally. You did all the right things for her and she's alive today because of you!!
I do know how you feel, like you need to watch everything, make it better, safer, etc. There is SO much to worry about in this world. I recently took the Sheriff's out in the desert to check out this guy camped out there, who's wandering around in the dark "watching the owls". I think about Elizabeth Smart who was kidnapped out of her own house, and how people didn't think it could happen, yet it did (and to Polly Klaus too). Am I overly paranoid? Perhaps... but maybe not. Same goes with all the animals. How can I do better for them and keep them safe? It's hard!! It's also exhausting and for me, causes my ulcer to fire up. I just try to find the balance in life and do the best I can.
I'm glad she's going to be ok! Remember, because of you she's alive!!

DarcC said...

I empathize completely. "If only..." thoughts can break your heart. Goodness knows we all carry regrets in life. I'm so very glad that this "if only" has a happy ending, with Cindy Sue alive and well in your lap!

5 Starr's Farm said...

Dear Gtyyup, Your Human,
If you weren't doing the right things, you wouldn't be worried about doing the right thing.
Don't drive yourself crazy...She's your baby and you love her and that makes you a good mom, but human...

lisa said...

They get away quicker than heck. My one dog if we aren't paying attention constantly will take off to parts unknown. If we keep an eye on him at all times he hangs close by but just one second of taking your attention away and off he goes. So, you aren't the only one! The best thing is that Cindy Sue came out of it ok!

jane augenstein said...

Karen, I agree with all the others, stop beating yourself up. I too have those "If only I would have, could have, should have"... moments too but things happen beyond our control. Thankfully you were there, you heard, you saw and because of you putting on her coat and your quick actions, Cindy Sue is with you now.
Bless your heart and Cindy Sue's too! Cindy Sue has a great mom...
Hugs to all....

Val said...

To Cindy Sue:
From Morris:

Dear Cindy Sue, please tell your really nice lady that she is nice to take care of you in such a manner.
Humans have this weird thing of blaming themselves when we get hurt or sick.
Blink those pretty eyes at HER and her heart will melt.

My lady always is frettin' over coyotes trying to eat me and I've been scared a few times where I shake and shake and grow.

She told me what happened to you and wondered about you lots.
Get better soon, there's mice out there to get at you know....
and...poopsicles too!

Your WI canine buddy, Morris

KarenTX said...

Going to chime in with the chorus, you should not blame yourself. S*$% happens and Cindy Sue is not feeling sorry for herself, she's just happy to be with you. And she's recovering well because of you! And do ALL Rat Terriers do that with their food? Tootsie does the same thing! Lovey thinks it's wonderful, she can always scarf up a kibble or two lying on the floor.

Sandy said...

That is such good news. Don't beat yourself up anymore. You love her and did your best, that's all anyone can ask.

Have a wonderful evening!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Well kick ourselves at time and feel that "Mama Guilt", but just like with kids, you can't be there every second and protect them for their entire lives. They will make mistakes and they will learn. We're here to help them to put back the pieces (literally, in Cindy Sue's case.gah!) and provide love and support.

Life sure is a tough road, ain't it?


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

whoops! That was supposed to say "we all kick ourselves at times"


Ed said...

Good to go, like another comment says, don't kick yourself for not watching 24/7 its all life in the country..:-)

Rising Rainbow said...

I understand wanting to take inventory. That's about the only way we can have some semblance of control in a bad situation. The coyotes are your neighbors, as they are mine, sometimes they don't always do what we expect. It's good to be prepared.

I think that's the purpose of guilt. It's there to get us to take a look at ourselves and what we can do. Once it's done that, it's useless to hand onto it. It's done it's job.

Cindy Sue couldn't ask for a better mom.

Linda said...

Crap happens and to be honest your trial has given me a wake-up call. I'm just glad the Cindy Sue didn't come out any worse than she did.

Mary Ann said...

I'm glad your little dog is okay, and your wake up call woke me up... we have a dog smaller than a rat terrier, now, who can get through our livestock fence, and between coyotes and our llamas, she wouldn't have a chance. At least we have only seen coyotes ONCE in the pasture since the llamas came. She's going to start wearing a furry harness that keeps her from going through the openings til we can string poultry wire clear around the yard.

Mary Ann said...

I'm glad your little dog is okay, and your wake up call woke me up... we have a dog smaller than a rat terrier, now, who can get through our livestock fence, and between coyotes and our llamas, she wouldn't have a chance. At least we have only seen coyotes ONCE in the pasture since the llamas came. She's going to start wearing a furry harness that keeps her from going through the openings til we can string poultry wire clear around the yard.

Reddunappy said...

Some very smart Ladies(and Ed :o) have commented! I agree with all of them. Ceasar Milan is always saying dogs live in the moment, its the humans that relive things over and over!! Hang in there! So glad she is mending well!

thecrazysheeplady said...

If you care about the job you do, whatever that job may be, if you don't reflect *some* and learn *a lot*, you aren't doing a good job. You do a much better job than most.

BTW, nice circle shot :-D.

Country Whispers said...

Been wondering how she was doing and so glad to hear that all is well.

Janice said...

Glad to hear the road to recovery is not too bumpy. I know what you mean about complacement...your close call has me keeping a much sharper eye on my pup Kali...she is really independent and wanders pretty far from me while I'm feeding.

Maia said...

This is not your fault. These things sometimes happen and who knows why. You are not complacent, you are a wonderful person and a damn fine photographer. You stop kicking yourself this minute. We all love you and so does Cindy Sue.

PS: Give her a kiss for me please.

Wilma said...

I am so glad Cindy Lou is doing loads better. Please don't be to hard on yourself as hard as we try things do happen. I have had several jack russells over the years and they think that they are as big as our red heeler. I think sometimes they think they are vicious Lol but mine wouldnt hurt a flea. They just like to lay in my lap as long as I lay or sit. Everyone tells me that they have too much enegy until they get around my Tasha Marie and see her.
Love and well wishes to Cindy Lou and You too.

New follower


Rhonda said...

Lots to think about there, thanks for sharing. So glad Cindy Sue is doing better.

Shirley said...

Complacency is what gets us in trouble, in things like this, but especially around horses. Complacency usually hurts.

CTG Ponies said...

I'm so glad that she's feeling better. Don't be so hard on yourself. You can't be everywhere. I think it's good to take stock every once in a while. Life is too short.

gowestferalwoman said...

Please forgive yourself - you were living life and so was cindy sue. In moments time reality happens, and there was no malicious intent or neglect on your part - reality happens.

I had the wonderful opportunity a couple of years ago to spend some time with someone from a small wartorn eastern european country. When we went grocery shopping, one of her first few times, I was given an amazing opportunity - to see how we live such a full blessed life here on the north america continent. There was so many good choices to make on so many good items she became paralyzed with indecision. With tears in her eyes, one thing she said really stood out to me there in the store aisle - in broken english she said

"you even have so many choices of animal food, in my country we dont have this and we must feed them with what we eat"...

Cindy Sue is loved - and that is what counts. You did good. and will continue to do so. Some decisions are not in our hands, we can only deal with the outcome.

hugs to (((gtyyup)))

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