Archive for May, 2022|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on May 15, 2022 at 5:26 am

Then there was the time I decided I was going to become a large animal Dr.

My buddy/client/contractor has a herd of sheep, one of whom had a medical problem. Usually this kind of thing is handled by an ambulatory/mobile veterinarian who comes to your barn or ranch. The ones he contacted were not interested. Too small an issue, too far to travel, would prefer to “turn and burn” (huh?) or taking care of a sickly family member. He was told to take it to the vet school and not to delay treatment.

I get the urgent text – scenario and pictures. My advice is replied to “can i learn how to do that on You Tube?” Maybe I should get involved. Negotiations start on timing – bring the sheep to the clinic for $X or I’ll come there (over an hour away) for $Y but it might not be for a day or two. He says he’ll find someone to bring it by. Not.

So that same night I’m on my way out, after a heck of a week and final day. I text ahead “have the sheep ready at X o’clock.” I certainly am not intending to chase sheep or have him figure out which one it is when I get there.

My anticipation was well warranted. He’s a bit tipsy, says we are having steaks first. I’m a bit concerned as daylight is fading but he waves me off, light will not be a factor. We have a lovely dinner with his wife (it’s their usual date night) and one year old. Finally time to go get sheep. It’s darkish but the arena is lit.

Find a paddock with 3 new alpacas and 3 lambs. One of the 5 girl lambs has the problem. All 5 were in there before my arrival it is reported. The darn alpacas let them out, apparently. One can see where I am going with this. None of the three have the medical condition I was summoned for. I knew, just knew we should have started the vet stuff when I got there and earned our dinner.

I get to return to the house to watch the playoff game while our “farmer” goes out on the ATV to catch the/more sheep. Ultimately he returns dejected – not gonna happen that night. He (and I) are very frustrated. He is getting out of the sheep business.

New plan is hatched – I end up sleeping on the sofa bed. In the 5 o’clock hour we are up and I think good to go. “Give me 15 minutes” apparently a decent hangover is causing some troubles. 2 hours later we still haven’t budged.

Finally he takes off on the ATV having yelled something unintelligible to me in the house – obviously he is going to round up sheep. Do I join? Come down in 15 minutes? Where? Wait for him to call/text? The Mrs says just wait it out, what’ll happen will happen. More delay. He returns looking for his phone which naturally can’t be found.

Finally 15 sheep are in the paddock. None still can be identified as having the medical problem established. It self corrected! (apparently that is a thing with this particular issue)

Sigh. I get a steak dinner out of it and some ground beef from one of the cows he raised. We are not talking further compensation til he’s “done being dead” some other time. Promises he will not drink again for a month. I intend to hold him to that.

Maybe this is why people are having a hard time getting vets to come out to look at their livestock?