Bulls Eye

☆ November 18, 2011


A happy consequence of having turned all my bovines into pets is that I have been able to doctor them myself. Daisy, Frisco, and Sir Baby have all had separate, major “events” in the past six months ~ left unchecked, I’m sure they would have been fatal conditions for Daisy and Frisco and would have resulted in Sir Baby losing an eye.  And, under normal circumstances, treatment would have required a vet and sedation.  But since these cattle are used to me climbing on them and laying on them, brushing them and fondling them, I was able to doctor all three myself with no drama, no sedation.  Well, with Frisco there’s always a bit of drama but that’s another story.

I took Daisy, Fiona, Frisco, and Sir Baby up the mountain with me this summer, but they didn’t all come at once.  Daisy and Fiona loaded easily together in the front compartment of the horse trailer, but getting the two boys in the back was… I should have videoed it.  Baby would step in, then, as Frisco was getting in, Baby would turn around and step out.  Frisco would lumber in, and just as we were getting Baby back in, Frisco would hop out.  Around and around and around.  So finally we just loaded Frisco and left Baby with the Special Project cows until Mike had the opportunity to bring him up to me at a later date.

I was so thrilled when Baby made it up to our mountain home but immediately noticed his left eye was bothering him ~ he kept it tightly closed and it was tearing up.  Mike blew it off as dust from the trip up but I knew it was more than that.  Mike returned to the valley that night, and the next morning, Baby still had his eye closed.  I was determined to find, and hopefully fix, the problem, so while Sir Baby was lying down for his mid-morning cud chew, I climbed on top of him and scratched his shoulder blades, rubbed his neck, and moved my hands toward his check.

Baby squeezed his eye closed even tighter as I neared it.  I scooched my body up his neck so that I was essentially laying across his head and, with both hands, gently pried his eye open.  I saw a flash of something pale and straight – something foreign – before he slammed his eye shut again.  I relaxed back on Baby’s shoulders and rubbed him some more, giving him some time, then laid across his head again and opened his eye again.  This time, I saw a huge grass seed head poking into his eyeball.  Sharp side in.

I let him close his eye and relax a bit as I readied myself for the extraction.  After another rubdown session, I planted myself on Baby’s head and pried his eye open once more, using the fingers of one hand and the side of the other hand and, once his eye was open, quickly reached in with my fingertip and thumb and pulled out the giant, treacherous seed.  Baby had his eye open by that afternoon, and it had stopped watering and was completely back to normal after two or three days.


51 Responses to “Bulls Eye”

  1. Angela
    November 18th, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    As a former veterinary technician, I am utterly impressed that you were able to treat Sir Baby without assistance, and a little awestruck at the idea of lying atop such a large creature while treating such a sensitive area. What a fascinating life you lead.

  2. hello haha narf
    November 18th, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    annnnnnnnd i just let out an audible sigh of relief as well as a prayer of thanks that you two have the relationship that you do.

  3. hello haha narf
    November 18th, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    p.s. cool photo with this post!

  4. Rachel
    November 18th, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    I’m so glad you caught that before it did more damage to his eye. That sounds… excruciatingly painful. It makes your eye hurt just reading about it. Ouch.

  5. Jessica
    November 18th, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    Awesome photo and you are so badass I love it. :)

  6. Karla
    November 18th, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    Awesome post.

  7. MJ
    November 18th, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    Kudos to you and Sir Baby! You are absolutely awesome. I do understand the power of a relationship and trust. Some years back, a wild doe who visited our yard regularly. She would eat from my hand, allow me to brush her and pet her. One time she showed up with “goop” in her eye, without giving it a second thought, I used my finger tip to get it out of the corner of her eye. Other than looking greatful for having the annoyance gone, she didn’t react to my intervention.

  8. Nathalie
    November 18th, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    The 2nd best part about this story is you crawling all over Sir Baby. The bond you have with your animals is remarkable. The best part is it didn’t do any long term damage.

  9. Teaspoon
    November 18th, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    I’m glad you were able to help Baby so well, and so immediately. Poor boy would have hurt even longer had he had to wait on a vet.

  10. BethK
    November 18th, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Wow, even my dog would not have let me get that close and personal if he was in pain. Very cool. :)

  11. Cheryl
    November 18th, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    ♥ Lovin’ the bovine LUV ♥

  12. Tracy
    November 18th, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  13. Dana
    November 18th, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

    OMG..at first I thought you were going to say that Sir Baby lost an eye. I was getting panicy. Glad everything turned out ok. I love that your animals are like mine and trust you to make it right without using sedation. Sedation can be more dangerous.

  14. Laura
    November 18th, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    You and your animals have such a wonderful trusting relationship! I’m so glad you were able to help Sir Baby, and I am also in awe that you were able to help him. Massaging a bull — I love it!

  15. bonnie
    November 18th, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

    to be able to experience that level of trust and intimacy with your animal is a blessing like no other! (and one that can only be earned)

  16. Kristan
    November 18th, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    Eesh! Lucky Baby that you could take care of him, and do so so lovingly.

    Btw, love the new stamp. :)

  17. Heatherface
    November 18th, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    I absolutely adore how Sir Baby is just one big dog. “No, leave my eyeball alone! You’ll make it worse by poking at it! NO! Oooo, tummyrubs… YOU TRICKED ME! GET AWAY! GET– Oh, you got it! Thanks!”

  18. Lisa Powell
    November 18th, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    I performed that same procedure on my 60 pound puppy this summer as well. Not quite as dramatic!!!!

  19. Scotty
    November 18th, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    wows S~ it’s like the old story of taking the thorn from the lion’s paw. now don’t be surprised if one day sir baby charges someone because then he will only be protecting you. omg he is massively humongus !

  20. pam
    November 18th, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    you never fail to amaze me. You are so strong and independent. You remind me of someone else I know who would just take the bull by the horns and fix any problem at all. :-)

  21. wright1
    November 18th, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

    A lovely example of how trust is earned and repaid among social creatures :)

  22. Siobhan
    November 18th, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

    I loved “Ferdinand the Bull” as a child. My favorite book. I often said to my mom that I would like to have a bull and my mom, who grew up on a farm, said you could “never” tame a bull so he wouldn’t be dangerous, at least once he was an adult. I KNEW that couldn’t be true — an animal who has always loved and trusted a human won’t suddenly stop with no reason! I just KNEW it! And you just proved it!

  23. Charity
    November 18th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    Ditto to what Jessica said. You are BA!

  24. TomT
    November 18th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

    Just another extraordinary day in the life of the Bovine Whisperer. :)

  25. Jenny C
    November 18th, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    Ooohhh… I agree, Narf and Rachel! Poor baby. I’m so very glad he’s better.

    I was thinking the same thing about Sir Baby charging a bad guy, Scotty. I wonder if he’d know when someone threatened and do something about it. He’s so dear and so gentle, but he IS massive, and he adores Shreve…

    I can’t get over how his head is nearly as big as you are, Shreve! How can anything so huge be so utterly precious?! :) Yum!

  26. Donna
    November 18th, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

    I love, love Sir Baby, and I would of done the same thing, I volunteer for Wildlife Rehab, and have been known to jump right in and not give a thought about me. I love that you could help him and not panic!

  27. Kev
    November 18th, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

    Your writing is fine, don’t worry. I’d sure enjoy meeting the whole family and actually seeing the bovine let you do as you please with them.

  28. Ailsa
    November 18th, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

    I love your determination and patience; not to mention love.
    I was also reminded of the thorn in the lion’s paw. :c)

  29. montanarose
    November 18th, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

    Just call yourself The Cow Whisperer, ‘cuz you is one!

  30. Kathleen
    November 18th, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    I volunteered at a wildlife rehab center and it always amazed me how animals seem to know that you’re helping. I poked and prodded with not much hassle from them mostly. That’s really cool you’re able to help and bond so well with your farmily.

  31. Bernice
    November 18th, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

    minor aside in the writing department –

    The difference that exists
    Between lie and lay
    Has confused many women and men;
    You can say that you lay
    On your (cow) yesterday –
    If you lay there today
    You’re a hen.

  32. Marg
    November 18th, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

    Shreveeeeee, my neck is sore…….could sure use that massage.

    Never underestimate the effect of a good massage although I would not like you laying on my head lol.

  33. Lesley
    November 19th, 2011 @ 12:51 am

    What’s the short form for “nails it”?

    Bulls Eye!

    This is a testament to the trust the animals in your care have for you. You are also a very brave lady, compared to me. :)

    Pulling a grass seed out of a any animal’s eye, never mind a bull…with no fallout. That’s impressive.

    I think we should start calling you The Bovine Whisperer. :)

  34. Robin
    November 19th, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    Oh how I love to be a part of your amazing world, if only through words!

  35. I Hermit
    November 19th, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    Watch out James Herriot, here comes Super Shreve!

    I had a experience with my cousins dog Dusty (Akita x Yellow Lab). Dusty and my dog Ursa (Chowbridor)found a dead porcupine. Dusty went to grab it which resulted in a mouth full of quills. Dusty came whining to me, I grabbed a pair of needle-nose pliers and began removing them from her snout,nose,gums and tongue. She squirmed a bit but allowed me to remove all of them. She did learn a valuable however ie: Stay away from Barry when he is holding pliers!
    When I would pick up a pair she would run away until I put them down.

  36. I Hermit
    November 19th, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    Watch out James Herriot, here comes Super Shreve!

    I had a experience with my cousins dog Dusty (Akita x Yellow Lab). Dusty and my dog Ursa (Chowbridor)found a dead porcupine. Dusty went to grab it which resulted in a mouth full of quills. Dusty came whining to me, I grabbed a pair of needle-nose pliers and began removing them from her snout,nose,gums and tongue. She squirmed a bit but allowed me to remove all of them. She did learn a valuable lesson however ie: Stay away from Barry when he is holding pliers!
    When I would pick up a pair she would run away until I put them down.

    oops forgot the word lesson

  37. kay
    November 19th, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    Love that picture! And I adore reading about your loving, trusting relationships with animals. I think they trust you because you love them and engage with them as the beings they are, rather than something you expect them to be.

  38. rikku
    November 19th, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    The more I look at bulls, the more I’m astounded that those tiny (by comparison) hooves can hold them up! :P He looks like an enormous puppy. ^^

  39. Deanna
    November 19th, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    I’m crying. Almost bawling. I’m so glad you can take care of your babies, big as they are. They need you and you are really there for them. God bless you. <3

  40. Bruce
    November 21st, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    And what about Daisy and Frisco’s ailments?

  41. Theresa Szpila
    November 21st, 2011 @ 11:09 am

    Oh, poor Baby! I can only imagine how painful that grass seed must have been. Even the tiniest thing getting my own eye is painful; I can’t imagine something as huge as a sharp-edged seed. Shivers went up my spine reading Baby’s story. I am soooo grateful he let you pluck away the menace. You’ve saved both his sight and his eye! And you did it without terrifying him. Kudos, Shreve, kudos!!!

    Please give Sir Baby a great big hug from me!

  42. Birdcage
    November 21st, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    I have a small bird in my care right now – he weighs a little over a pound – and he needs his nails trimmed. He has formidable objections to the procedure. Despite what I would characterize as an otherwise completely trustworthy relationship, my little Houdini can escape all massages right before I try to get the file to the nails….. so i admire your skill with the bull.

  43. JenMarie
    November 21st, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    What a story! I love it. Your relationship is due to your dedication. You should be proud of the time you have give them. I admire that.

  44. Alicia
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    youre amazing, Shreve. :)

  45. Lisa
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    If cows eyelid muscles are anything like horses I’m impressed you were even able to get it open enough to see the grass seed!

  46. Nanci
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    Nice work! One time my cat was sneezing and shaking his head and sticking out the tip of his tongue. I grabbed his head opened his mouth and saw the tip of a foxtail wedged right behind his upper little front teeth. Somehow I was able to pinch/grab it with my finger/nails and voila! Problem fixed! It gives much satisfaction achieving such delicate mending. Your bull has horns, my cat has sharp claws and all went well, yay!

  47. stacy
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

    I am in such awe! I love the connection you have with your animals. It’s just amazing. You are a girl after my own heart! I love the picture of you with your gentle giant!

  48. Nancy Dean
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    Awesome story. You are amazing and I enjoy reading your posts so much! Love your picture with Sir Baby.

  49. mlaiuppa
    November 23rd, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    He is lucky to have you. And you are wise to have them trained to accept all physical prodding and nudging from you. Baby has his eye and his eyesight because of the trust the two of you have. Without that, he would have lost that eye.

    It reminds me of when we had splinters as kids. Take it out take it out, don’t touch it don’t touch it, take it i out….

  50. LaurelAnn
    November 26th, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    Shreve, you are the Jane Goodall of bovines!

  51. sherry
    November 30th, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    you are so awesome. I love the picture. Sir Baby’s head is like… as big as your TORSO. Go Shreve! GO SIR BABY for letting her do it! he just KNEW you were trying to help him. awesome.

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