Ranch Stories

What’s said at Cow Camp stays at Cow Camp. Except here.

5

Promise

By David Jessup

She was supposed to be a companion dog for my wife, Linda.  Suburban-raised, well trained, affectionate, calm (the dog, that is).  A classic Australian Shepherd:  blue-black back, white collar, buff patches around brown eyes.  A polite dog.  She’d chase a ball to humor you, but nothing obsessive, like some Aussies we’ve known.  Nothing unusual about her.

Until she spotted her first elk herd.  (See video here)

Promise came to us in Maryland, courtesy of a friend who had to move away to take care of her aging mother.  A month later we flew Promise out to Colorado for our annual nine-month stint at the ranch.  It was April, time to begin irrigating our Big Valley hay field.  I invited Promise to go along.  She cocked her head and stood by the open car door.

“Hop in,” I said.

She sat down.

“Up,” I said.  I tried to make my voice sound excited.  I snapped my fingers.

Promise looked at me as if she suspected I was taking her on a one-way trip to the dog pound.
Read more on Promise, the Elk-chasing Cow Dog…

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By David Jessup

The Yearling Cattle are the troubled ones

There’s no such thing as a routine cattle drive.  Just ask the group of Sylvan Dale Ranch “adventure riders” who helped move sixty yearlings from their winter pasture back to the main ranch on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

Seven of us saddled up at 9 am, the spring sun warming our faces, the deep blue Colorado sky and crisp air thrilling our senses.   We figured we’d be back by noon.  We figured wrong.

As we rode toward the winter pasture, we took note of the problem areas we’d encounter on the way back:  several driveways, a home with an inviting lawn, a stretch of county road with occasional cars, a highway crossing, and a steep, red-rock ridge to cross.  The yearlings had made this trek in the opposite direction six months ago with their mamas.  Now they would be on their own. Read more on Troubled Teen Cattle Drive…

By David Jessup

On the final night of Sylvan Dale Ranch’s Native American Week a few years ago, Gray Wolf presented one of our young guests with a cobalt necklace he had owned for many years.  Gray Wolf is a Northern Cheyenne who hosts a special program each year at our “tipi camp.”  The guest was a sixteen-year-old girl who had spent the week here with her mother.  Several times during the week she had treated her mother with disrespect.  Up at Cow Camp she actually called her mother a B—-.  One of the wranglers picked up on this and asked Gray Wolf if he might talk to the girl.  Read more on Gray Wolf and the Cobalt Necklace…

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