Part of farm life, at least for us, is that some of us get up real early. I get up from 5:00 to 5:30 every morning. This morning I got up at the latter end of the time, but got up all the same, turned on the coffee pot and went to brush my teeth. As I got ready to scrub my teeth I heard a big disturbance outside. There were dogs barking and what sounded like another dog defending himself. I ran to the door and there was no dog on the porch. I took this as a bad sign. I put on a pair of pants, my boots, grabbed the .22 and a box of shells.
As I rounded the corner of the house the dog came to greet me, but the sounds were louder and more frantic and I realized that the calf was being attacked by a dog or two and battling back against them. It was still dark, but as I got out there I got about a dozen rounds loaded and set and kept moving toward the sounds. There was the calf, watching. What she was watching was the milk cow fighting off two dogs. Turns out she was fighting off two pit bulls. I watched her ‘bulldoze’ one dog to my left and as she pulled back the second dog latched on to her nose. I drew down on the first dog and shot it.
The second dog, being a pit bull, would not let loose of the cow’s nose. She was shaking her head from side to side trying to throw the dog, but it would not let go. It was dark and while I was about 15 yards away from the action I was still concerned about firing a round into the cow as she heaved back and forth. So, I fired to the outside of the arc. Eventually, she managed to throw the dog off and I got a shot into it's hind quarters. Unfortunately, it was my last round and the dog got away.
The cow had to have 18 stitches this morning. She is on an antibiotic because of the wounds, but rabies are not an issue as these dogs were apparently owned animals that were up to date on their shots. The antibiotics mean that we have to milk her for the next week and throw out the milk, but at least we’ll still have her. At one point Stephen and I were out in the fields trying to track a dog in the dark. We knew there was an injury, just not how much.
The first dog was shot through the chest and we saw it at the vet’s when we took the cow in to get repaired. The second dog came to our house. Honest to God, we get back to the house and it is still too early to get to the vet for the cow so I am finally going to get a cup of coffee and our dog starts barking. There, in our front yard, is a limping brown pit bull. By the time I got out front with the .22 it was down the road and Stephen had the 12 gauge and was chasing after it. At one point we had it in our sites, literally, but underfired and this wounded, bleeding pit bull, ran across a neighbor’s field at a 30+ mph pace. If nothing else, it was an incredible show of athleticism. Stephen and I traced the blood trail and it is our thought that he probably bled out as there was a lot of blood on the road and only more would be coming out after his run across the field. As far as I know, the second dog has not shown up at the vet’s.
As Stephen and I discussed, this is not something we would have gotten to do in the city. At one point we were walking down the road, he had a shotgun and I had a rifle, and our neighbors just smiled and waved as they drove by. Gunfire rings out throughout the morning and no one calls the cops. I shot a couple of dogs and the humane society is not knocking on my door. If we had done this in Grapevine there would have been news choppers, SWAT Teams and a one liner link on the Drudge Report. No happening that way out here. I am sorry to have shot those dogs, but will continue to shoot dogs that come out to my place to attack my animals. The cow will be alright and we’ll manage with regular store milk over the next week. Tomorrow, though, I just want to drink my coffee.