I had to beat up a dog to save the life of a ram
And the ram still came last.
*Names have been changed to protect the dog’s identity
It’s not a nice story and I would much prefer to be called a wimp than to have had to do this. It was dramatic and traumatic, and it still makes me feel awful. But, I suppose, such is farm life.
I was trying to do a nice thing for this dog, Chelsea. She doesn’t get out much. She’s one of those backyard town dogs that waits all day for her owner to get home to feed and walk her, before going to sleep and repeating the process. #doglife, I don’t know if dogs feel boredom in the same way humans do, but I really do believe the psychology of a dog is negatively affected without the right amount of mental and physical stimulation.
So I decided to take Chelsea out to what I think would be a dog’s heaven – my dad’s 125 acres of farm land. Our dog Daisy runs, jumps, swims and sways out there. She chews on cow shit and rolls in kangaroo carcass whenever the hell she feels like it. She’s got it good compared to these town dogs, she knows life beyond the fence and noise beyond the howls of other lonely backyard dogs.
Daisy is a beautiful dog, a Labrador X Golden Retriever. She is playful and placid and her most threatening attribute is the hidden cables she lays on the lawn. Chelsea is also a beautiful dog, she has big dopey eyes on a head that’s too big for her body. She loves affection and play. But she is an English Bulldog X Staffy and naturally inclined to tear other animals to shreds.
So I learnt the hard way, anyway.
I took the two dogs for a walk to the creek that runs through our property and everything was glorious. I had happy feelings buzzing around my body as I watched the dogs bounce around with glee. But suddenly Chelsea took off, growling.
“Chelsea!” I yelled, as my eyes lay on what she had seen and, my stomach dropped in terror.
Rambo is our family ram and he’s been around for about 13 years. He just showed up as a lamb one day and started hanging out with our cows. He had jumped the fence and the neighbour tried on several occasions to take him back. But Rambo would always find his way back to our cows. Eventually the neighbour gave up. Everyone just excepted that Rambo thought he was a cow’s man.
Rambo is old now, he has big balls and sometimes he gets left behind when the cows move around the property too quickly for him.
This particular day, Rambo has been left behind.
Chelsea grabbed him by the back leg and dragged him to the creekside. I screamed and ran as fast as I could towards them. I grabbed Chelsea by the collar as she grabbed Rambo by the mouth. But she drew blood and I lost my nerve, I couldn’t hold a vicious dog by the collar because I am a wimp.
I looked around in panic, still screaming at Chelsea amongst the screams for help. It was a weird feeling that took over me. I didn’t want to hurt Chelsea, but I didn’t want her to hurt our innocent old cow-ram. I had to get her off and my disciplinary screams weren’t moving her. I had no choice but to start belting her with logs and pelting her with rocks. I was crying and pleading with her as I desperately and ferociously fought for the Ram’s life.
Eventually my dad got to us, it was about a five minute drive from where he was, and he got there just in time to scare Chelsea away. I was hysterical. Chelsea was a beaten mess with black eye. Rambo was missing his bottom lip…
It was pretty fucked.
Chelsea didn’t come out of her kennel for days. And it took her a while to go back to normal. She knew she had done something bad, but I doubt it would stop her from instinctively attacking again if she had half the chance.
Rambo, on the other hand, faced far more serious rehabilitation. I don’t know how much you know about sheep, but their lips are pretty vital in food and water consumption. They suck their water with them and grab the grass with them.
Dad and I looked after him for a week. We force fed him water and electrolytes. Jabbed him with pain killers and antibiotics. And wiped his wounds with iodine. He’s a skinny old ram at the moment, it makes his balls look even bigger, but Dad and I witnessed him eating a tiny bit of grass yesterday, so there’s hope for the old cow ram after all.
I hope I never have to violently fight to save a life again. Farmers would have shot that dog, it would have been totally legal. Hashtag farm life.
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