An Unusual Ranching Life

Some days I experience scenarios that make me feel as though I am far removed from normal life.

A light March blizzard blew in day before yesterday and continued through the next morning. 

There was no hope of getting out to pasture in the Ranger. I tried yesterday and spent an hour shoveling and then backing out since there was no way I could continue forward (I was plowing snow with the front bumper). I have lost count of how many times I have gotten stuck this winter but it has been enough to squelch any of my remaining catholic childhood inhibitions about swearing.

The next great idea for transpiration, the snowmobile, was a flop. I can’t get the snow mobile to run - that’s excruciatingly frustrating - and I don’t have Allen here at the moment to make it run. It also turned colder, the tractor isn’t going to run until it warms up.

So for the next few days I am walking to my flock of sheep and feeding manually (more so than the usual means). With the long trek in deep snow I’m only going out once a day. I carry a pail with enough kibble for the guardian dogs and a pitchfork over my shoulder. Since I’m without the Ranger I’m also without the bale roller. This morning I donned a backpack to carry raw meaty bones for the guardian dogs. Since I won’t be out again in the evening I wanted them to have an extra treat.

The walk is laborious, knee deep snow, uneven surface beneath, sinking one step, hard packed the next. I don’t know of other large flock owners that are forced to feed this way. Maybe they have it all right and I have it all wrong. I don’t often think of Dog Tale Ranch as being that far removed from conventional farming. Then scenarios like this weekend happen and illustrate how wide the gap might be. Sigh. Only at Dog Tale Ranch.


  1. Sounds pretty lonely, actually. I hope your flock and dog pals are keeping you company. Down here in Georgia, we have an early spring- so the farmers are expecting a very hot summer. Mother Nature keeps us on our toes!

  2. You could try a toboggan, at least you might gain a few feet going down a hill.... :)

  3. Robin, occasionally I do feel lonely, yes. However, I'm very familiar with spending a great deal of time by myself. It's the norm in SK for there to be 1000 acres between you and the next guy. It used to bother me but now the solitude is often peaceful. This day was more laborious and frustrating.
    Mother Nature does keep us on our toes. I hope the Georgia farmers get moisture during that hot summer.

  4. Liezel, I might just have to try that. lol. I could use the calf sleigh.


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