Friday, November 12, 2010

The second truth about trips

The second truth about trips is one of my Murphy's Laws of Dairy Farming and Parenting: Plan a trip and somebody (human or animal) will get sick.

This law has proven true time and time again. And, with the cattle, at least, the diagnoses have been bizarre.

During our trip up north for my sister's wedding in August, Monika ended up being sick during the ceremony. We have wedding pictures with her wearing two different dresses because she threw up all over the first one (and Glen).

Just before a trip last year for my grandfather's interment, we had one cow prolapse her uterus and another come down with nervous ketosis — both conditions we very rarely see.

Our trip to Reno proved no different. Except this time it was calves that fell ill. We left our relief help with two recovering calves and came home to find several more ill, including a set of tiny twin heifer calves. Apparently it was one of those bugs that pass from calf to calf like runny noses in a kindergarten classroom.

I think we're through the worst of it now, but I haven't uncrossed my fingers yet. I wish the people who make their livings denigrating animal agriculture could have been here last week to see just how much time, effort, worry and love were expended helping those sick calves recuperate. The twins required around-the-clock care. It was like running a neonatal intensive care unit with one person.

Even with the sick calves, though, our trip to Reno was well worth the time we invested in preparing for and re-normalizing from the time away. I'll have some highlights from the trip in my next post. (And, if everyone cooperates, that might even be sometime soon!)

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