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Teenage Angst – Spring Creek, Nevada

At the age of 12 my family dragged me from Glennallen, Alaska, to Spring Creek, Nevada with the promise of trading in my sled dogs for a horse and saddle.

Fortunately for me, they kept that promise. Our house in Nevada has been one of my favorite places I’ve lived. It was a four-bedroom log house on 44 acres of land, with a creek running through the property. This made it the ideal place for livestock.

Over the course of our time in Spring Creek (four years), I had the privilege of raising horses, cows, goats, chickens, and a rabbit. These were all in addition to our numerous cats and dogs.

My favorite experience, one that I hope to share with my future children, is raising leppies. Leppies are orphaned calves or baby cows that are abandoned by their mothers. The big cattle ranches in Nevada sell the orphans off to smaller ranches as they do not have the time to dedicate towards bottle feeding. My first year raising leppies we started off with five (5) Lolly, Daisy, Bambi, Redrum, and Eeyore. Feeding consisted of big bottles twice a day, once before school and one after. Lolly, a female black Angus, became very attached to me, so much so that in the following years I was able to halter train her and show her in my local 4-h shows.

The next year we ended up getting eight (8) leppies. My dad let me pick out which of the calves I wanted, and unbeknonest to him, I chose one that had numerous birth defects and was half the size of the other calves. I accordingly named him Button.

Unfortunately, Button only lived for about five (5) more weeks, he had too many defects and nothing could save him. However, his last five weeks were spent like a king. When I got home from school every day I would bring Button inside the house, (my parents were NOT happy) but I wanted him to be comfortable and spend as much time with him as I was able. The pictures do not show just how small he was, but he was half the height of a normal health calf, he was roughly two (2) foot tall.

Have you been to Northern Nevada? Or have you ever owned livestock? Tell me about it in the comments!

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