Tag Archives: Death


SD Sunrise JARWFirst of all, people have asked where they can help those who suffered storm losses.  Here is some information for you.  Thanks for all who have emailed looking to help.  May GOD bless you all abundantly.  To those suffering, please know we are praying with you, hurting with you, and will help in any way possible.  The sun will continue to rise. Please take care of yourselves and those you love.

Rancher’s Relief Fund on the web.

Rancher’s Relief Fund  on Facebook.

Secondly, this will be my last post regarding the negativity and the cruel comments that are circulating surrounding the livestock lost in the snowstorm.  I figure my time is much more valuable and better spent trying to educate about agriculture and what it is that we really do, rather than trying to understand the cruelty, lack of compassion, and lack of education being shown in the comments.  However, I am truly perplexed by some of the comments.  The negative comments posted on articles by those who don’t live our life and have no knowledge of agriculture I can understand way more than the negative comments posted by people who profess to “once being” a rancher or farmer.

I have seen comments by “I was once a rancher” passing judgement on who is a good rancher versus who is a bad rancher based on what livestock was lost.  Are you kidding me?  The storm didn’t chose where to hit the hardest based on whom Mother Nature deemed a bad  rancher. There were comments by “I was once a rancher” stating that all of THEIR livestock “back in the day” would have been in protection of barns, trees, wind breaks etc.  There was livestock killed while being protected in barns after the roofs collapsed from the weight of the snow.  There are pictures after pictures of animals who blew out from protected areas and later died many miles away after going through multiple fences, draws, etc.  There were comments from “I was once a rancher” stating everyone had enough notice and the cows shouldn’t still have been in the summer pastures.  The storm warnings changed from day-to-day.  It went from a couple of inches one day to several more inches the next, and so on.

Lastly, the craziest part of all of this is that all this time I thought there was shared sense of camaraderie among people in agriculture— whether those currently in agriculture or those “I was once-ers”.  Our world surely is changing as I never dreamed that fellow ranchers would be bashing each other over bouts of bad fortune.   I never dreamed that fellow ranchers would be twisting the knives a little deeper in the guts of those already hurt and suffering.  Here I thought we lived in the best part of the world, lucky to live the best life, and honored to be part of a time-honored way of life where you help out your neighbor, cry with them, pray with them, hurt with them, and do everything you can to help them.  Guess not.  At least not all of us.  Maybe I’m not praying for the right people.  I will add the “I was once-ers” to my list of people to pray for.

Until next time— JARW


IMG_7037Ranch kids sure seem to learn about death early, and sometimes often.  The Wild Child has had a tough go with her livestock this year. Her 3-year-old cow, Kaydee Cow, sloughed her calf in January and went to the sale a few weeks later.  She hated to see Kaydee Cow go. Her first cow-induced sadness.

Her 2-year-old heifer, Lula Belle, had a runt calf in March– Brown Eyes. She calved during the night and I carried him to the barn.  He was so little, but a spunky little thing.  When the WC got up the next morning I bundled her up and took her to the barn to show her Lula Belle’s calf.  On the way down there she was adamant that she was going to name the calf Blue Eyes because she was sure it would have blue eyes just like she did.  When we got there she just shrugged her shoulders and said “Well– I guess I better name it Brown Eyes.”

cropped-IMG_67271.jpgBrown Eyes went to heaven when he was about six weeks old.  He had looked a little out of sorts when we were sorting some pairs, but nothing that we were concerned about.  The next morning Pine went out to check on him, came back to the house and said, “I need to talk to you in the bedroom.”  I knew it couldn’t be good.  He had just found Brown Eyes dead.  So we broke the news to the Wild Child.  She took it like a trooper, said “Well I guess GOD needed him”, and then wanted to go out and see him and check on Lula Belle.  That’s what we did.

We found Lula Belle on the feed ground filling her belly.  The WC says “She looks so sad.”  I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing.  Lula Belle looked anything but— she only looked happy to have hay in her mouth.  That afternoon we brought in another calf off an old crippled cow and grafted it on to LB.  The WC was in the barn that night checking on the progress.  She told the graft not to worry that Lula Belle was going to take good care of her, and it seems she has.  She was just so matter of fact about it all.  

Yesterday she had another rude meeting with death.

IMG_7867Our old dog, Better, went to heaven.  It was a sad, sad day– for all of us– but especially for Papa as Better was mostly his.  He buried him in the pasture along side of his last faithful old dog.  Better was 14-years-old.  This morning the Wild Child said to her dad, “Did you know that Better died yesterday, Dad?”  He had been on a parts run when it happened.  Then she started crying.  With her crying, me now crying too, and him with tears in his eyes he said “I did, Kate.  It makes me so sad.”  And here I sit crying again.  Dang dog!  I just hugged her and said “Oh don’t cry Sweetie.  Better is in heaven with GOD.  He doesn’t hurt anymore.  He can run and play again.  He is probably even chasing rabbits!”

“MOM!”, she replied!  “If the rabbits are in heaven they are already dead so he won’t have to chase them too far.”  Her view of the situation was so enlightening.  She just knows that when friends die they are going to be with GOD.  She was sad, but realistic.  It happens.  It sucks.  But she knows and trusts that all is still well with the world.  She should give lessons.

Rest In Peace, Better Dog!  You will be missed.