A Cowboy’s Faith: Are medicines really needed?

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Evidently, the ranch ought to become a pharmacy. That would be a “drug store” decades gone by, but it might get wrong connotation nowadays.

Boldface headlines daily target law-breaking news about “pills” and other such consumptions, unknown to ranch life, for “recreational” purpose.

“Getting high,” it’s said, although really wouldn’t know. Horseback ride on a brisk winter morning serves that purpose here.

Perhaps, giant medicine chest would be more accurate description of the mudroom and kitchen.

Except, most of the always very high dollar “supposed preventives, treatments” recommended health improvements aren’t in a cabinet. They’re here, there, wherever, ready for immediate use upon need or suggestion.

Now, this includes both livestock and human medication, or definition derivative thereof, maybe painkiller, to use old timer’s common terminology.

It’d be hard to know which requires more medicine these days: cattle, horses, and cats, or the ranchers. Counting all of the bottles and packages, there’s actually quite a bit more for critters.

That said, neither required such health “necessities” half century ago, can’t remember hardly any. Oh, a colt might get kerosene lard if a cut swelled up, but that was it.

Grandma, when she was in her 80s, would take one of Carter’s Little Pills. Dad was on high blood pressure tablets, and took one whenever he remembered. Mom never had any medicine period until terminal diagnosis.

Headaches were supposed to be stopped with aspirin, but that wasn’t necessary, as they were always forgotten about when working. Sneezing on Labor Day from dusts and pollen tempted capsule consumption, sometimes obliged, but more awake, better off without.

The veterinary supply house is sure doing good business with the several times weekly ranch deliveries. Must be two dozen kinds of “stuff,” wouldn’t have a clue what for, but herdsman and mom insist necessity.

Naive old one knows new born calves are supposed to get something, momma cow another treatment if not milking. Anything a bit sickly, “under the weather,” as Dad would say, gets pill, shot, that’s professionally called vaccination. Then there’s liquid down the throat, plus maybe outer treatment, who knows.

Human “drugs” overflow kitchen counter tomato flat as handfuls of pills and whatnot for whatever “medicate” two ranch old folks.

Can’t help be reminded of Proverbs: “A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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