With vice grips for hands and sheer strength of will, I’ve seen my husband and his family subdue many wiggly farm critters. One might think they are a cruel bunch—especially while watching them forcibly squash a calf into the ground. Nothing could be further from the truth. They’re a bunch of softies who are just as attached as you are to your pets.
My father-in-law had a horse, a pretty sorrel named Coyote. I had the pleasure riding him only a few times. In his old age, Coyote’s hind legs became lame. No longer ridable, he should have been sold to the glue factory, but my Father-in-law could never bring himself to it. For years, he gave the horse Bute, (A drug used to relief pain in animals), and kept him well fed until he passed. He then used the backhoe to bury him out in field by a tree.
My big tough husband is just as soft. As a kid, he had a mutt named Max he found as a puppy. I met Max toward the end of his life, he couldn’t hear, could barely walk (if he had enough Bute in him), and probably couldn’t see much since he barked at everything. No longer useable as a cow dog, Max spent his days lying on the grass under an apple tree occasionally eating when he could get up the strength. Finally, Max’s health deteriorated to the point where blood oozed from his nose constantly. My husband still couldn’t bring himself to put the dog down. One afternoon, while we drove away from the farm heading back to college, his brother did it for him. He too is buried out in the pasture.
Though wise farm management might say otherwise, when love is involved, money, resources, and time aren’t factors.