Team Effort

You have heard that it takes a village to raise a child.  Well it takes a highly skilled – well-functioning – energized – compassionate team to take care of all the needs of a cow-calf operation.  Beef geneticists, nutritionists, forage specialists, ag economists, cowboys, and veterinarians are just a few of the team players.  So let’s talk about our vet and his team – Dr. Michael Allen and his assistants Rachel Huff and Jill Wilson from Crockett Vet Hospital in Crockett, Texas.

Dr. Wilson and Vet Assistants

bull in pastureThe first time I met Dr. Allen was a very cold winter day when one of our bulls had gone off his feed – head down – temp was high (I am not sure you really want to know how we know that – but we have ways).  It was apparent he was one sick boy.  We took him in to Dr. Allen where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.  Now that is pretty rare for a bull – but if you ride with this outfit for long – you will find that “I’ve never seen that” or “I’ve never had that happen before” are common remarks to many happenings here on the ranch.  Dr. Allen kept him – treated him – and saved his life.  Instantly a new hero had risen in my books.

receptionist at vets officeEvery rancher will tell you that having a good relationship with your vet is critical.  Relationship?!?!  I think this clinic thought I was moving in the first few months of our new “relationship”.  Those first few months that Dr. Allen took over as our vet was like a bad soap opera – critical care – emergencies – life and death scenarios.  We had calving issues, prolapses, an injured calf from a coyote attack, and an anthrax scare (NOT).  Dr. Allen said that his life had changed dramatically after he met Brandon and I (I am pretty sure he did not mean for the better).  And he felt strongly that we deserved our very own reality show.  Even when I went to pay my bill – the ladies at reception said “this is the one with the novel”.

The vet helps us design our vaccine protocols.  Simply – these are the preventive vaccines that your vet feels are important for your environment – vaccines that prevent diseases that are suspect in your area – issues you might have or could deal with in the near future.  In the Spring, our focus is on the calves and the vaccinations they will receive.  In the Fall, our focus is on the cows and the bulls.  They all receive parasite control several times a year as necessary.

And then there are the routine ranch visits – like this past Friday.  The heifers that have been bred for the first time had to be preg tested – Fall vaccinated – and a parasite control administered.  Then our replacement heifers had to be Brucellosis vaccinated – Fall vaccinated – tagged – branded – and parasite control administered.

4 pics in 1 - branding, tagging and testing cattle

No sooner had we finished our “routine” visit than I was back at Dr. Allen’s office with a cow that was limping.  She was placed in a hydraulic squeeze chute and had to be turned on her side so Dr. Allen could x-ray her hoof.

x ray of cow hoof with nail insideThis young cow had been in a pasture where a house had been torn down.  We had asked the construction crew to go over the grounds with magnets and be sure any and all metal be removed from the premises.  But the x-ray showed a nail embedded in her hoof.

The nail was removed.  A block was placed on her hoof and the hoof wrapped so she would not place weight on the section of her hoof that the nail had to be removed from so it could heal properly.

wooden block placed on hoof and bandaged

The cow is back home – feeling so much better – perfectly calm – not the least bit traumatized.   I could not make it a day without Dr. Allen and his staff.  That vet office always acts with urgency – the animals are always treated with respect and compassion.  They are on call 24-7 (I know I have been there at 2:00 AM).  And they have been by my side through some real ranch drama with the most encouraging words and assistance.  Couldn’t we all take a page from the ranch journal – stand by each other – be there when needed no matter the hour – no need for angry words or accusations – act with compassion – assist with your area of expertise.

Hats off to Dr. Allen and everyone at Crockett Vet Hospital – thank you for everything – thank you for being the great team you are – thank you for being part of our team.   As I have said before – the hours are too hot – too cold – dirty – gritty hard work.  But it is our team that works together – holds this operation together – and usually with some hilarious story – a little teasing – and a lot of laughter as the glue.  Of course, all large animal vets have to have a sense of humor.  So Dr. Allen would agree – no matter whether it is an office call or ranch call – most stories begin and end with one of our cowboys – another team-mate – Brandon.


By | 2017-04-25T23:03:18+00:00 September 14th, 2015|"The Girls" - Cow Work, At the Ranch|9 Comments


  1. Carolyn Schellhorn September 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Linda–I save each of your “e-mail events” until I have the time to read the contents and look at the pictures thoroughly–and I am always glad I do! I wonder what Brandon was thinking when his picture was taken! Keep Texas Rancher Girl coming, please ma’am!

  2. Judy Morey September 21, 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    When I read…”Dr. Allen said that his life had changed dramatically after he met Brandon and I”, I couldn’t help but smile!!! A good team needs a great leader and I feel so blessed I got to be on a “Linda Galayda Team” once upon a time. Never a dull moment and the laughter and memories are priceless.

  3. Linda September 18, 2015 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    I’m lovin’ your story! And your hat and jewelry are the best!

  4. Kathy Springs September 16, 2015 at 12:37 am - Reply

    Linda, I recall Dot talking about some of these same things when your Dad and family would work cattle. Such fond memories!

    • Linda Galayda September 16, 2015 at 5:36 pm - Reply

      Sweet Kathy – thank you for remembering!! So love it when my friends remember my family – makes my heart happy. And it makes me think about all the times I can remember Dot and I working cows – those are SOME stories!!

  5. Carmen Richburh September 15, 2015 at 3:30 am - Reply

    We look forward to every article you share!

    • Linda Galayda September 16, 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you – always – for your encouragement!! Most of all – thank you for your incredible son Brandon – his values – his work ethic – his loyalty. You did an amazing job!! Is that last picture of Brandon – priceless? Just like YOU – priceless!! Love you!!

  6. john kimbro September 15, 2015 at 12:21 am - Reply

    Enjoy your experiences and especially the outcomes working together can solve most problems

    • Linda Galayda September 15, 2015 at 1:51 am - Reply

      That really is one thing the ranch teaches – we all have to pull together to get the work done. We
      have to talk to each other – work together – work out our differences
      . Best of all – we laugh together!! Thank you John!!

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