I rotated the cows this morning. As I came up to the gate I noticed that the old cancerous cow was laying there under the first tree inside the north side. She just cocked an ear at me and slowly glanced over her shoulder. Normally she gets up when the truck comes around. All the other cows filed past her into the south pasture. She tried to get up several times, but never quite made it up.
Once all the cows where by, I drove in and stopped next to her. I thought she looked kind of sad as she looked at me. I walked closer to her and the notion that she probably was finished solidified itself into a conviction. It was clear to me from the way the grass was flatted out that she had been trying to get up earlier and only managed to scoot herself around in a circle. Her back was bleeding (I have no idea why), she was breathing heavy, and she was listless.
I got back in the truck and came to the house--I had to get Savannah, because I couldn't shoot the cow with one hand--even with a pistol or revolver. We called Daddy and he gave us the instructions on how to properly (i.e. the quickest and thereby the kindest way) put the bullet in her.
I cranked up the tractor and Savannah took the truck. One well-placed shot and the poor old cow was out of her misery. We hooked the body to the tractor and drug it to the 'graveyard'...there was no way I was going to leave that poor animal's carcass out by the road.
I almost cried...I liked that poor sick critter...she always seemed to be a nice cow (some of them aren't!) So...that's when ranching isn't fun. Could I have pulled the trigger myself? Yes...but then I probably would have cried.