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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ever get blamed?

Ever get blamed for something you didn't do right but thought you did do right?

If you have a large flock or farm, do you sometimes wish that you could just deal only with the animals instead of the people?

People are so rude some times, downright condescending too. I honestly think that some 'city folks' think all farmers are hicks, sit on the porch in a rocking chair with nothing better to do, and that the majority of them have a 5th grade education.

If you have a large flock, farm, ranch, or herd - you have a wealth of knowledge and experience that no newcomer could ever have no matter how much they've read.

That's just the way it is. The feel of something under your hands tells you that something specific is wrong. The walk, the eyes, how the head or tail is held, even how the animal chews it's food - they are all very important clues to each individual's health and well-being. The longer you have certain individuals, they become much more than a number, a score, a rating, an appraisal, a tag, a tattoo. They have personality quirks, likes and dislikes, and records behind them of birthings and sickness and health. They aren't always written records, but mental notes that we store and we see those notes when we see that animal each day.

And at certain times of the year, when the farm bursts at it seams with new borns everywhere and planting, or harvest is under way, the brain fails us. A momentary brain-fart. Or, like during the recent windstorm we had here, so violent for 3 days that when it was over all you could think of is how nice it would be to sleep for the whole day because you're exhausted, worrying about all that you take care of. Recently I thought I was doing someone a favor and thought I understood what they wanted. So I did what I thought was expected, only to get a plethora of nasty, mean-spirited words practically telling me I was an idiot for what I'd done. My feelings were very hurt, it was supposed to be a joyful thing and I had been happy to do the task. Instead, I got to see what 2 people are REALLY like when things don't go just the way they wanted them to, and I can tell you, I have little value left for those 2 humans. Condescending and rude, I had to read their notes twice to finally catch on to what I was being blamed for doing wrong.

Such is life I suppose. I understand the animals much better than I could ever understand most humans, and that is why I like the lifestyle that I have chosen. So if I misinterpret something you say or something you imply, forgive me for not understanding you and just make an attempt to explain it to me a different way. My job is working with animals. For many other people, their job is to work with people. Sometimes the two sets of humans don't understand each other very well in the end.

Do other shepherds, ranchers, and farmers often feel the same way?


Heather said...

These two folks in Girdwood sure do appreciate your skill with animals. Brady is mellowing into such a lovely boy, and his genetics and early socialization are a tribute to you. Sorry you had a bad interaction...

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Oh thank you Heather! But Brady has 2 loving 'parents' too - just what a cattledog loves most!

Angela Rountree said...

yes, Suzanne! My "paid" job is to work with people, which necessitates coming home to the animals to get some balance in my life :-)

I'm sorry they were mean to you.

Tammy said...

I very much understand---I would rather just hang out with the critters than deal with people most of the time. It is always shocking and hurtful if you have had what you think is a pleasant relationship with people turn suddenly ugly. Seeing their true colors is painful. Anyway, sorry you had such a time.

marie said...

Suzanne, I am not a farmer or a rancher, but, I feel the same as you nemisis is my own sister, for reasons unknown has not spoken to me for three years. People are rude and mean all over the world...I admire the job you do and think you are inspiring and a great role model for anyone, anywhere...pooh on them who don't see. My beautiful Red and Lily are results of your hard work..and I am glad you are in this world