Posted by: chlost | August 14, 2011

Walking through the woods to grandma’s isn’t possible anyway.

Just a couple of updates today.


Husband’s cows had their calves last month. Two females. That was what he had hoped for. With the females, he will be able to have the herd grow larger, as he can use them to have more babies.

After the calves’ birth, my cousin has been taking care of them. They are on the pastures at my cousin’s farm, about 2 1/2 hours’ drive north of our house. Husband is hoping to get the calves a place to stay close to us, as he wants to work with them and show them in a competition.

For at least one of the calves, that isn’t likely to be in her future now.

A few weeks after the calves were born, my cousin’s wife came out to check on the cows. One of the calves (the better one of the two, of course) had a huge injury to her back leg. They looked at it, realized it was a major injury, and called husband to tell him about it. Husband told them to call the vet right away.

The vet looked at the calf and treated it. She will be fine, but her leg is likely to be permanently scarred. She came close to losing it. For now, they are giving her antibiotics, and using another medication to heal the skin. It is pretty difficult to keep a young calf clean and/or quiet to let something heal. So far, though she is apparently doing well.

They asked the vet what happened. The vet’s answer surprised everyone.

He said she was attacked by a wolf.

There is a possibility that it was a dog/dogs, but his explanation was that only wolves attack at the rear of an animal, trying to get the hamstring so they can not continue to run. The vet’s opinion was that it was a lone wolf, not a pack. Young wolves are sometimes on their own, as are older wolves, kicked out of the pack. If it had been a pack of wolves, the calf would not have made it.

This was certainly not one of the risks of owning cattle that husband had considered. My cousin had not had any problems with wolves in the past, but they are around. The timberwolves are numerous in the northern area of our state, one of the few places in the lower 48 states. There is much controversy in that area as to whether they should remain on the Federal list of protected wildlife, or if the State should take control of the issue.

A person cannot shoot a wolf unless they are endangering a person. I imagine that there may have been an increase in wolves threatening humans recently-as in whenever a wolf is shot. I’m not taking sides on this one.


Over the summer, I have been having physical therapy for my knees. Both knees have arthritis. I had shots of a rooster comb solution last spring. I cannot have another shot of that stuff until September. In the meantime, I have been doing the therapy 2-3 times a week.

One of my knees is doing much better. I did have to go in for a shot of cortisone in both knees to hold me over until September. The right knee is doing well, but the left one is not much better at all. The rooster stuff did nothing for that knee. The cortisone has done nothing for it. The therapy has done nothing for it. I cannot straighten the leg. It is very painful. In the mornings, I am barely able to make it across the room to the bathroom. I can’t stand for more than a few minutes on that leg.

So, I have now been seriously thinking of the need for a knee replacement. I have even said the words out loud. I had hoped that I could avoid it, at least for a few years.

The orthopedist that I see told me straight out “When it affects your quality of life, you will need to make a decision”.

Well, it certainly has changed my quality of life. I am just not sure yet that the surgery is going to improve it. I have all sorts of fears that I am going to have to consider. I personally know people who have had nightmare results. I am not sure how I will do in surgery. I found out after an earlier medical issue that I am deathly allergic to morphine. How will I deal with pain?

If I do decide to have the surgery, when is the best time? Should I wait until spring, so that I won’t have to deal with recovery over an icy winter? Do I want to sacrifice the best time of year-summer-to recovery? I do have disability insurance, so that should help, but how will we deal with the finances of me not working?

So many questions……………………no clear answers yet.

More to come, I am sure.



  1. So sorry about your calf. I hope she recovers nicely.
    As for the knee, I have known many success stories and a few not so successful. The ones who did not succeed, did not follow up religiously with the physical threapy. I have a dear friend who had both replaced at 85. She will be 99 in Sept and still gets around RV camping and playing cards. Even today, she does her exercises every day.
    It is a huge decision. You will make the right one.

  2. I don’t think there will ever be a “right” time for surgery. If the pain affects your ability to enjoy the nice weather, then you may want the surgery sooner than later.

    I’m glad the calf will be okay. It’s scary to think what could’ve happened.

  3. Yes, today one wouldn’t think of wolves when raising farm animals.

    So sorry about the knees. I do so understand.

  4. So sorry to hear about the calf’s encounter with a wolf. It’s hard to know the best way to handle wolves and farms, especially when the wolf is only doing what nature tells it to do. I suspect there is no good answer, both choices seem undesirable. Either way, it sounds like you’re well on your way to becoming a farmer’s wife!

    Yikes — the knee replacement surgery is such a difficult choice when you have no assurance of the outcome — perhaps your intuition will click in at some point and the decision will seem clear. I hope so. Wonder how long the recovery time is? Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.

  5. Glad to hear the calf will probably be OK. Wouldn’t it be nice if wolves could understand the difference between wild and domestic animals?

    Yowza … big medical decisions are always so tough. I wish I had a crystal ball I could lend you … wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could see the outcome before having to make the decision? *hugs*

  6. Well, flooding basements and mice pale in comparison to wolves. I don’t think there are wolves on the Cape, but there are coyotes. Fortunately we have no livestock unless you count the dogs.

    Knee replacement – I had one on 4/15. Surgery was surprisingly easy because the hospital and doctors were very good on pain control. You’re already doing the p/t, but not getting a lot to show for it. I couldn’t bend my knee more than 10 degrees and I couldn’t stand for more than ten minutes or walk more than two blocks, which wasn’t too keen for work.. The first day at p/t when I got on the exercise bike and could rotate my knee and pedal, I burst into tears and everyone applauded. Today I am going to rent a bike and ride outside for the first time in probably 13 years. I encourage you to go for it. You will get your life back! Good luck!

  7. So many things to take into consideration!

    Wolves. Beautiful animals, but I’ve had a fear of them since reading a short story in which the wolves really ARE at the door…

    Keep taking care of those knees,


  8. I didn’t know you even had wolves in your part of the country. They were only recently reintroduced out west here.

  9. Tough decision to have to make. But sounds like it might be inevitable.

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