Monday, November 30, 2009

Life at the Ranch is Hard. Sometimes Puppies Die. *Added: But no Puppies Die in this Post!

Howdy y'all!

Welcome back. Anyone else so excited school resumes today?

Life on a Ranch is Hard

We went down to Sam's Uncle's ranch in central Utah for Thanksgiving. It's difficult to describe the ranch, because in the middle of this stark rugged terrain is a little oasis with three ranch houses, a shooting range, wine-fry (wi-fi), satellite television and warm water.
Ranch Life is Hard. Everyone kept reminding me of this fact over and over. And over:

We have to hand mash the potatoes...

We have to restore the art on the Indian Art Rock. (It's okay that we're messing with centuries-old artifacts... we totally know what we're doing with our crayons.)

There are grates on the ground to keep little boys out. (Kid B only fell through once.)

Every so often, you have to fight the urge to throw a little kid off the cliff...

If you wanna eat, you have to know how to handle a gun...
Here are the women, performing the most essential task for any Thanksgiving dinner... That's right. We're shooting the stuffing. (Stuffing doesn't usually put up much of a fight. But you should see the jello. Fast little sucker.)

After dinner, the natives come over to perform a traditional rain dance. (Who knew rain dances included karate kicks, and a background song of "Everybody was Kung Fu Fightin'?)

Since these girls kept accidentally aiming at Uncle Glendon during a gun lesson, he only allowed them to shoot with their fingers. He told them this was how the cowboys of yore did it.

Even newborn pups have it hard on the Ranch. Look closely at the picture below... Do you see the little white pup, closest to the dog's face? That little pup's neck was caught inside the steel ring of the collar on the mama dog.
The poor thing was choking, and every time the mother turned her head, the pup would be whipped about.

So I totally freak out. The mother won't let us anywhere near her because she doesn't know us, so Bro-in-law Ed sends his two youngest daughters to get the rancher Adam.
(Here's Adam, thinking, "When are the city folk just gonna leave us in peace?")

The kids run off, and Ed's all, "He's dead. It's too late."

I'm all, "Don't say that! He's alive!"

The kids return with a message from Adam. He says: "Just turn him over."

Hunh? What kind of advice is that? (We found out later the girls told Adam, "There's a puppy on his back, and his legs are sticking up in the air." Which I guess would warrant the "Okay, so turn him over" advice.)

This time, Ed's clear. He tells the two girls to tell Adam to, "Get his butt over here."

The message takes a little longer to deliver, because the girls are unsure whether or not they can really say the word "butt" without repercussions, but finally Adam shows up and coaxes the dog out, and yanks the little puppy neck to freedom and saves the day. I later found out that upon hearing the news that the puppy neck was about to be snapped, the ranch hands sorta shrugged their shoulders and said, "Ranch life is hard."

Grrrr. I know this.

It's raise cattle, hunt for food, water-shortage, dry, dusty, dirty boogers, farmer blow tough. I know that sometimes the cattle leave, and they don't come back, and they're not going to a spa.

But come on! Does ranch life have to be "Newborn Puppy hanging by its neck, choking indefinitely, just needing a little nudge that nobody will give" hard?

Apparently yes. The mother promptly ate the baby. Punishment for getting its neck caught. Because ranch life is hard.
*Update: Just to be clear, the dog did NOT eat the puppy. This is how mothers transport their little ones. I promise.

Here's Adam right before he yanked Kid B off the horse by his leg and threw him across the arena. Because ranch life is hard.
I jest. There was no kid-throwing of any kind. The puppy lived to face another hard day on the ranch. My job was done. I tipped my hat to the ladies and sauntered off into the sunset.

So how was all y'all's Thanksgiving?


  1. Obviously my weekend wasn't as eventful as yours. No dead animals unless you count a couple of deer that we saw by the side of the road. We're pansies, so we stayed at a hotel instead of a ranch.

  2. Valynne- you would be a delicate flower on the ranch, only because you're so stylish. Ranch life is hard. Designer shoes die.

  3. No question, ranch life is hard. I sprained my anke down there a few years ago. The ranchers all talked about how to put me down quickly and painlessly.

    I survived by jumping in the car and driving away as fast as I could.

  4. Sam- ranch life is hard. Sometimes even humans have to be put down. At least you would have been put out of your misery.

  5. Ok, I have to admit I freaked out a little when you said the dog ate her puppy. I'm glad you were just making it up!

  6. Heather- sorry to scare you. It's probably worse for mothers of newborns. Sorry!


  7. I was almost in tears because of the puppy. I wasn't sure if you were jesting or being real. I love animals and cry when one of them dies. I cry harder when an animal dies in a movie or book. I'm glad he's okay. Poor, little thing.

    I'm glad you have a "hard" Thanksgiving! It looks like you had fun.

    My Thanksgiving was pretty good, but not as eventful as yours. I did brave some of the crowds to go to Old Navy on Black Friday. I bought two pairs of jeans and two shirts. I'm two sizes smaller in my jeans and 1.5 sizes smaller in my shirts! I'm way excited about that!

  8. Jenni- Ah man, I'm so sorry. Again. I have now clarified the post so that there's absolutely no way anyone would think the puppy was eaten, even for a split second.

    Congrats on the downsizing! I'm jealous. Perhaps you'll have to share your secret.

  9. Brodi! Pregnancy brain + reading about possibly dead puppies.... its' a good thing I don't cry easily. It'd freak my kids out if Mommy started sobbing over lunch.

    Your holiday was far more eventful than mine... and I'm okay with that.

  10. The secret to my success is counting calories, eating low-fat food, and exercising. So, unfortunately, nothing too exciting or drastic, other than trying to moderate everything I eat.

  11. Not nearly as entertaining as yours Brodi! Just drove to the mountains to have dinner with hubby's parents (my parents and brother tagging along). It was very easy and relaxing. I only wish I didn't come down with a cold on Friday.

    I have been around puppies and their mamas so I knew you were jesting (even with pregnancy hormones + head cold). I'm glad you saved the puppy because it would not have made it without your intervention! Brodi, you saved a life, you should get a reward!

  12. Britt- sorry again! I changed the title this time, to incorporate the fact that I would never blog about puppies dying. It should really be the first rule of blogging: Never post about dead puppies... Just ahead of the rule: never post about bodily functions.

    Okay, so I break rule #2 a lot.

    Jenni- So, eat right and exercise. I should try this latest fad in dieting. :)

  13. Una- thank you for knowing I would never kill puppies! I should change the title of my Blog to:

    Brodi Ashton-
    She Writes, and She Doesn't Kill Puppies

  14. Una- And I forgot to add... sorry you have a cold. Nothing worse than a cold over the holidays. Except for dead puppies.

  15. Brodi someone once told me a secret, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to pass it on, but I will....Ranch life is hard.

    Looks like fun times. My in-laws are always getting together to shoot stuff, er I mean targets and stuff. It was the highlight of our family reunion when my hubby won the shoot out contest. I came in a close...last. Oops

  16. Thank you for stating up front that no puppy died in your post - especially when I saw there were pictures, that would have been way too sad! But you do tell a good story Brod. Glad that cute little guy lived to see another day. Yup - ranch life is hard. I take it you and Sam aren't considering a move yonder - are you? Might be nice to write in peace and quiet. Hey! remember when the Ashton Clot had to console me when I hit a deer with the suburban? Just remembered that incident while reading your post. Random. And - by the way - you look good holding a 30.6!

  17. Debbie- Ha ha. Thank you for divulging that little secret.

    Cath- You of all people should know I would never post about a puppy dying! I remember that day with the deer and your suburban too. The Ashton Clot is a lover of animals.

    I'd totally move to the ranch. If I could make it a "No Kill" ranch. Our motto would be: "Ranch life: It's Easy!"

  18. I'm so depressed I missed the ranch...even though it is so hard!

  19. Leena- you were missed too. The cowboys don't know this, but the hardest part about ranch life is the leaving to go back home.

  20. Brodi, ranch life may be hard, but be 33 weeks pregnant, fighting a head cold and trying to keep up with the holidays. I dare a cowboy to do it...especially be pregnant!! However, I do have a lot of respect for cowgirls! =)

    Hmmm, you do break rule #2 a lot...but not in a while, if it helps!

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.