Hi, I’m Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza, and I’m sorry to be a bore, but I had such an incredible week, I’ve just got to tell someone.. First of all, you’ve got to understand, I’m not just your regular dog.. Paradise Mountain seriously couldn’t operate without me.. Foremost, I take my roll as best friend very seriously.. I’m also head of ranch security, chief detective, main cattle herder, farm manager, occasional game warden,.. This list could continue, but it’d sound like I’m bragging.. None the less, all this pressure almost got to me, so they got Rolo, a chocolate lab, to work as my assistant. At least she tries.. Sweet kid..
So back to my week, early Monday morning, the harvest crew rolled in preparing to chop corn. The crew this year consisted of the Bossman, his daughters- Kendra and Emily, the Boyfriend, and another guy. Julia and Mother were on chore duty and more importantly food committee. Deb had to work so she wasn’t around as much..
As manager, I felt it was my responsibility to ride along occasionally. Kendra and the Bossman kept switching off from pulling a cart to running the chopper-guess they were trying to get in on the best of both worlds. So I rode with both of them. They love company in the chopper, but I can see a lot more from the tractor, and I like the wind in my face so I stuck with that.
When I rode with Kendra, she was all amazed by the flowers in the creek bed beside the field.. Such color! Bright yellow Golden rod, orange touch-me-nots, purple iron weed, blue bachelor’s buttons.. The smell of the honey suckle vine.. The warm sunshine and bright blue sky.. I was more concerned about the piece of ag bag plastic along the edge of the field.. Mighty suspicious to my seasoned eye..
The Bossman split his time between talking on the phone, complaining over the pitiful phone service after he’d dropped yet another call, and singing at the top of his lungs. I’m not sure about this cell phone on the job business, but he is my Superior, so I kept my thoughts to myself.
And Emily.. It was so good to have her in the field again after her shoulder deal.. But I had to think about a re-injury and worker’s comp.. Ah the stress of management.. I tell you, Rolo, next time you are complaining about me getting to ride and you staying at the house.. It’s not all sunshine and roses. That I assure you!
But let’s see. where was I? Oh so I rode with the tractor and cart out to the field, and that’s were the fun began. There is one of the most beautiful sights to behold, an amazing John Deere Forage Harvester.. It is unbelievable. I close my eyes and I can hear my sweet mom’s voice reminding me of the last rule she taught me before I left home.. “Now, son, if someone is enjoying a meal, and that someone is bigger than you, never ever interfere.” That rule has saved me a lot of hide over the years, and most certainly it applies here. I stand in awe.. One paw raised in salute.. “Bon appetite, monsieur”.. She is something to behold inhaling 8 rows of corn at a time. The knifey teeth things chattering as they slice off the cornstalks at lightning speed.. The machine growling as it processes the product. The gossip at the fencerow is that there is more than one color of these machines, but I don’t believe it. Those coyotes will tell you anything to see if you believe it..
One things for sure, I sure am glad that beast feeds off of corn instead of dog food.. If it were different, I’d have to take down my shingle.. We fill the cart in no time flat and head back to the barn. Now this part of the process, I don’t get. We roll in and line up beside the blower tractor like we are ready for a race. And that tractor fires up and runs full throttle.. And doesn’t budge an inch. I watched really close. Worthless. But the cart does get emptied somehow.. Strange.
We were having some trouble with speeding with these guys. I was at my wits end to know what to do. So finally I sent Julia up the silo and Rolo to construct a “This area is under surveillance of overhead radar” sign. But ol Jul beat us to the draw. She musta agreed with me, cause next thing I knew, she was on the phone saying “That’s it, only 2 more loads”. Nobody speeds when I’m on patrol..
By the end of the day, I’m exhausted. I relax for a few minutes in the back yard.. I observe Kendra as she heads for the house.. She stops at listens to an owl on the mountain, or a whippoorwill.. Looks at the stars, and thanks our Heavenly Father for the blessings in her life.. And I feel thankful too.. That I chose to be a farm manager, and not a highway patrol in some city somewhere.. I’ll gladly leave the headaches of trains, and airplanes, and taxi drivers, to some distant cousin somewhere..
Now, If you’ll excuse me, I gotta catch a siesta.. Rolo and I are on midnight patrol.. We must try some stage 3 alarm barking to warn the entire farm about that ag bag plastic.. And I have a thing or two to explain to those coyotes about quality equipment..
Special thanks to:
Inspiration from Hank the Cow dog books from my childhood
Detroit for being the best manager ever
And to you, dear reader, for persevering to the end of this silly tale 🙂