Helping out Dad

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Helping out Dad

My kids recently finished their school year, but their summer activities were yet to start.  My girls elected to spend some of their time helping me at work.

We started the day at the clinic where I restocked my truck with items I might need during the day.  While there, my girls stocked their pockets with suckers from the candy dish up front.

Then it was on to a dairy where I had cows to preg check.  Here the girls actually proved useful, and helped out by reading numbers on ear tags to help me find the right cows.

The next stop was at another dairy for me to look at some sick cows.  It was at this dairy where the girls were offered their choice of kittens from a recent litter.  Which is how a new little grey kitten named Tic Tac joined the family.

From there we hit the McDonald’s drive thru.  Happy Meals to go were in order as I planned to work them through lunch.  Back at the clinic I put them to work licking and stamping envelopes, on statements that needed to go out.  This project, and the kitten, and I’m pretty sure more suckers from the candy dish kept them busy while I was fertility testing bulls.

The next stop was at a farm, where I needed to remove stitches from a horse.  But besides horses, this farm also has rabbits, roller pigeons, alpacas, and miniature cattle.  So we had to spend time playing petting zoo with all the animals.

I was caught up for the day, and ready to head for home.  All that was left was a quick stop at the gas station to fill up with gas (somehow the girls convinced me that we also needed Slurpees).  Followed by a stop at the bank, where the teller thought the girls needed more suckers.

The phone rang just as I was pulling in the driveway at home.  I had a cow in labor that needed my assistance.  I asked if they wanted to come with me, but they were eager to tell their mother about their day.  So I dropped the sugared up girls, in possession of a new kitten off at home with their Mom.  As they were climbing out of the truck one of them said to me “Dad, this is like the best day ever!”

It had been a pretty great day.  As I drove to the next farm I had time to reflect on some of my own experiences helping out my Dad.

One in particular stood out.  We had driven to my hometown for a visit.  Dad, who is also a Veterinarian was working late.  He too had just pulled into the driveway when he got called out for a cow in labor.   So I went with him.

As we arrived at the farm.  The headlights of the truck illuminated a pen with a chute up ahead.  But the area was behind a fence with a tractor parked in the gate to get there.  So we parked on this side of the tractor and carried our supplies to the pen.  I could tell that Dad was tired from a long day at work so I delivered the calf for him.

In the process I managed to get soaked to the bone in amniotic fluid.  But with a new calf safely on the ground, I gathered up our supplies and headed back to the truck.  With my wet arms and sleeves, it felt most comfortable to carry the calf puller (which has a long metal rod) out at arms length with the pole up in the air.

What I didn’t realize was that the fence surrounding the place was an electric fence, and that the farmer who had designed this fence had continued the electric wire up in the air where the gate was, in such a manner that he could just drive his tractor under the wire without having to unhook it to get through.

In the dark I was unable to see this wire in this unusual location.  But as the metal rod came in contact with it, I discovered that the combination of metal calf puller, and a body soaked in amniotic fluid makes an excellent conductor of electricity.

When I was finally able to break the connection and drop the heavy calf puller on my toe, I became aware of the sound of laughter.  Despite the twitching in my body, I was able to see by the faint glow I was now emitting my Dad laying on the ground seized by fits of laughter.  Between breaths I was able to make out his words, “Michael, this is like the best day ever!”