Ketzl loves cows.

I’m sure this is related to the fact that Berners were farm dogs, and cattle herders (or descended from them), but whatever—cows make her excited and happy. A state I try to induce as often as I can.

Saturday, Zabeth was taking the last real day of her brief break to canoe in New Hampshire as I watched Ketzl. (She’s been helping for the last two weeks, which has been a real relief—vet school doesn’t leave her much time for anything other than rounds and sleep these days, and it was wonderful to have her here for a week or two.)

So come afternoon—it was Cow Time.

Stonehedge Farm is a “gentleman’s farm” just up the road—“gentleman’s farm” in the “rich people who own lots of land and have hired someone to raise cows for them” sense. It’s a nice bit of property on Waltham Road (and getting bigger all the time), and their cows are friendly and hang out near the road.

As I’ve mentioned before, K’s now effectively a quadriplegic: she can’t move three limbs and has minimal motion in the fourth. Her neck still works, though, so—placed properly—she can hold her head up and look around.

I took her out of the back seat of the car—no mean feat, 75 pounds of dead weight (down from 96)—and carried her over to the 10-odd cows hanging out by a closed gate. Propped her nicely and she totally engaged with the big beasts, chewed grass with them, watched intently—intensely focused. They knew she wasn’t a threat but remained a bit wary: wolf-things can be tricky, you know.

Ketzl looked at me, and the cows, and the grass, and me again. Chewed some more long stalks. Cows are, clearly, a good thing.

After a while the flies started to bother her. I hauled her back into my arms (this is going to kill my back) and walked up the road back toward the car.

On the way, another driver stopped and rolled down the window.

“Oh my god! What happened? Is that dog OK?”

I guess I’m used to this whole thing, and don’t think about how it looks to others: it took me a minute to figure out he thought I hit her with my car.

“Oh, it’s just fine. She’s paralyzed.”

He drove off, a bit confused.

Back in the car, driving home the mile or two, radiator blows in a weird, mild, was-able-to-make-it-home kind of way. (Must you fall apart too, car?)

Ketzl, inside and lying on her bed as sternal as I could manage to put her, sleeps.

And dreams.

Of cows.