Cowboys and Cows: A Frightening Co-Dependency

with Dr. Carl Menudo BFD, LBJ, ASAP, LSMFT

The last cowpuncher I that visited my couch told me about his dreams where all the cows had disappeared. This poor bastard, who had worked as a wrangler all of his life often woke up in a cold sweat with the shakes. It was only after he peeked out of the bunkhouse window at the massive herd of Herefords outside, that he stopped moaning. Tough way to go. I prescribed a handful of barbiturates.

More and more we are finding that as society sidesteps nurturing personal relationships, these kinds of fear-fed dependencies are on the upswing. Little old ladies love their cats because they are the only ones around. Where are their worthless off-spring? They were always around for a hand-out before. Now they can’t get off work for a visit or their car broke down. Excuses. The list goes on. Little boys have pet snakes, little girls like fuzzy rabbits. Old men like their cigars. Sick.

Getting back to the cowpuncher’s problems we find that he is also neurotically attached to his hat. It’s the same hat he’s worn since 1963. First, does he know why the bandanna is a necessary part of the outfit on the range? Although we stop short of suggesting a business suit, we feel he would come a long way to drop the costume and wear a pair of bibs to work, or god-help-us, maybe a pair of shorts on a hot day. (Co-workers might be forced to don sunglasses to protect their eyes from the brightness of cowpuncher legs, unaccustomed to even the hint of sunlight ). 

cowboy with a cow

The cows won’t notice and he might gain a certain sense of independence. It’s a damn good thing his boots wear out after a while or we’d have this fashion dependency to deal with as well.

Secondly, we prescribe a break from his regular diet of boiled potatoes and overcooked beef. Sure the plains Indians had a close relationship with the buffalo but they didn’t eat them. The buffalo never wore feathers either. Instead the Native Americans preferred rabbit, horse and fish dishes, especially bivalve mollusks like cockles and muscles. On the weekends they ate cod followed by a fine cigar. On holy days and times of sacrifice the existed only on fish strips and catfish made in Dutch ovens, stolen from the Indian Agency. But I’m getting away from our subject area…

Let’s not pretend to blame this whole mess on the cowboys. 

Shall we wander out into the pasture and see what’s going down with the herd. Not too motivated for sure. They just stand around waiting for a cowperson to feed them or drive them somewhere. Branding is traumatic but they get over it. The burning off of horns and castration can’t be much fun but they survive. Freezing temperatures, high winds, the deaths of friends and relatives…they remain vigilant. 

Why the cows can’t go out on their own and why the cowboy has become so attached to the herd, the way of life, is OK for a while but both must plan for the day when separation anxiety reaches its zenith. What if the cowboy has to buy a steak at the grocery and the cows are watching? What if the cows tried to fend for themselves without cowhide? Maybe everyone would benefit.

But today we watch helplessly as many of both species blend into one co-dependent unit unable to distinguish between working together and the chains of obsessive reliance.

Filed Under: Soft News


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